It was Friday and a short two hours before Shabbos. I was waiting in my car on Coney Island Avenue in Brooklyn -parked in front of a shul. A car pulls up with Jersey plates. A young man jumps out with his ten year old son. They deposit two tallis bags in the shul and come out.
I think to myself, “Only a yekke brings his tallis to shul before shabbos!”
As he leaves the shul he waves to me. It was one of our “own” Washington Heights to Lakewood emigres. Two years in AJ Brisk and several years in Kollel has not dulled his sense of respect for
a)His appearance on the street (not wanting to wear his tallis to and from shul.)
b) His commitment to where he will daven that Shabbos (he needed to ask where his host will daven, and not leave the decision up to Shabbos morning.)
Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetzki, A Lithuanian-born Torah great was asked by a student if one could wear his tallis on the street in Monsey, since it had already become a Jewish enclave. Reb Yaakov answered in disbelief, “Do you think Monsey is your private bungalow colony?”
This attitude, common to us German-Jews and seemingly a ma-yafislike self-conscious feebleness, is echoed by a Lithuanian “Gadol” in the above story.
As a side note, the picture shown in a previous post of the men leaving shul in Frankfurt on Sukkos has them holding their bare lulavs in hand. I don’t know if there were cases for carrying lulavs back then, but they clearly didn’t wrap them at all.