Not Yet in the Yom Kippur Mindset

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5 Responses

  1. Jewish Observer says:

    this reminds me of an article in the Jewih Press in the ’70’s by arnold fine. apparently the edition was supposed to come out after pesach. the article started, “ah … the taste of rye bread again”. the thing is we got our edition of the JP in time for shvi’i shel pesach.

  2. joel rich says:

    In addition, we teach them to be oblivious to what the outside world thinks of them and to carry themselves as proud Torah Jews – tzitzis out and their dress showing no signs of aping secular fashions.

    One can carry themselves as proud Torah Jews without being oblivious to what the ouside world thinks of them ( I thought that was R’ CS point in your story)

    Just as a historical question, who were the first Torah Jews to take on the black hat and suit as a “uniform”? Were they native Jewish clothes at the time or were they “aping” secular fashion? IIRC I heard that R’ Moshe Feinstein reported that in his Yeshiva in Europe the boys were encouraged to dress in the manner of those dignified in their host society(e.g. walking cane)


  3. Eliyahu says:

    Great article. It’s hard to balance separation and the need to realize that in an ideal world such separation would not be necessary, but it has to be done.

  4. Baruch Horowitz says:

    “In addition, we teach them to be oblivious to what the outside world thinks of them and to carry themselves as proud Torah Jews – tzitzis out and their dress showing no signs of aping secular fashions”

    I agree with this(and with the article in general); in today’s atmosphere of multiculturalism, no one needs to be apologetic for standing out by not dressing like an all-American. Wearing a tallis in crowded non-Jewish cities, which was discouraged by R’ Yaakov Zt’l, may be different because it can be perceived as engaging in a religious ritual that should be done privately and modestly–there is an element of tzniyus and derech eretz in shmiras hamitzvos as well.

    While clothing, particularly in the charedie world, shield the wearer from outside society, I think that we have to be concerned that the walls that we erect do not take a life of their own. Diversity and individuality are important. If I recall correctly from the biography, Rabbi Stienberg Z’l , of Beis Yaakov of Baltimore, was initially against instituting school uniforms for this reason.

    I have read that the dress in the charedie community in Israel is more restricted than in the corresponding charedie community in America. My personal feeling is that this is an unfortunate development, and that it might be related to the complex relationship between religious and secular worlds in Israel. Practically, this means that a person considering moving to Eretz Yisrael needs to consider whether he and his family can adopt to the standards of a new geographic location. This was discussed in the Jewish Observer at length, and is recommended by Rabbonim. I personally hope that with time, the Eretz Yisrael community will move, at least in sartorial aspects, closer to the American model of tolerating more non-conformity.

  5. Baruch Horowitz says:

    Rav Yisrael Salanter’s point is an important one for the entire year. In addition, I think that although the Yom Kippur liturgy indeed emphasizes failings and seeking forgiveness, there is still some room for strengths as well.

    For example, following viddui we say “I am like a vessel filled with shame”. On the other hand, before the confession we say the piyut of “We Are Your People”, which describes the positive attributes of the Jewish people. Although it is speaking on a communal level, I think that it can also be related to the individual, so that they have the attributes to correct their weaknesses in the viddui which follows.

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