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October 23, 2014 / 29 Tishri, 5775
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Not-So-Basic Black

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Photo Credit: Yaakov Naumi/Flash90

Choosing what clothing to buy and, consequently, what clothing to wear is a very personal endeavor. The decision has the power to reveal or conceal one’s inner self in one fell swoop. To some women, clothing is a chance to express individuality by wearing unique and special items. Others view clothing in the most functional manner, as nothing more than a necessary covering for the body.

At any rate, black as a staple in the frum woman’s closet won’t be going away anytime soon. Naturally our daughters, who want to look like mommy and/or their peers, will continue to embrace the dark side as well.

On a personal note, I like to dress well and always hope my appearance defines me as an Orthodox Jewish woman. To paraphrase a well-worn cliché: On a day I choose to wear an all-black ensemble, I would hope I am judged not by the color of my outfit but by the color of my soul.

About the Author: Chani Miller is an optometrist in Highland Park, New Jersey.


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3 Responses to “Not-So-Basic Black”

  1. Godwin Akkub says:

    The Book of Prophets ( Zephaniah 1 : 8 ) warns of an impending punishment for all who array themselves in foreign attire .
    The Torah is emphatic on the chosen attire for His Chosen People which are mainly cotton fabrics . Following the sign of the rainbow , wearing of the color black is not out of place since it is one of the colors of the rainbow . By extension , world Jewry actually include a flowering pomegranate of six colors ( Magen David ) and no longer restricted to just the caucasoids counting from the time , Isaac , Joseph and Moses married from Midian, Egypt and Ethiopia respectively . The products of this marriage is an amalgam of colors and other physical features – wooly hair , swarthy and broad skin and noses , et cetra .

  2. Father Abraham ( Abiama, to the Igbo ) and his dad , Terah, of the Chaldeans never really worried so much about the color of their attire . What to wear and the color thereof began with the priestly line of Aaron- purple , blue , white and red . Later we read about the sheepskin of Joseph , natural woolly material of color black . Beyond this , we encounter the Jewish Messiah during his first coming teaching his disciples not to worry about what to wear for Hashem will provide this need . Which is probably why Paul spoke about wearing faith like an armor along with a helmet and other war gears ready to do battle with the evil one who continuously in take prowl to tempt mankind or humanity . From all this , one could tell that the color of what to wear to mattered only priests and not the rest of of mankind . To agree with the writer of the above article , the state of our soul or spirit is what our G-d cares for and not the color of our dress ,

  3. Lisa Kamins says:

    Sorry Chani, as you do not live in Israel, you may not be aware of the background behind women wearing black. I good friend of mine,who is a respected Rebbitzen who lives in Geulah, Jerusalem told me the following: since the destruction of Bayit Sayni women took upon themselves to wear black as a sign of mourning for the destruction of the temples. A number of years ago Gedolim saw that this was a bit of a problem regarding husbands, as men are very visual, so they gave a p'sak of leniency for women to wear other colors. If you choose to wear a lot of black for other reasons, as you've stated, and there are many women who choose to for the same reasons, fine, but that is not the source of it.

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