The prohibition of red women's clothes is well known, as is the definition of red in hilchos niddah. I hear many near-red garments being justified by calling them salmon, pink, purple, maroon, etc, but those colors would certainly be forbidden in hilchos niddah.*

What is the definition of red in regards to women's clothing?

* Black and dark brown are forbidden in hilchos niddah too, but obviously not in women's clothing.

  • 2
    very related: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/252/… Commented Aug 1, 2013 at 15:14
  • Way do you think niddah has anything to do with it? Do you think red clothes are forbidden because they look like blood??
    – Double AA
    Commented Aug 1, 2013 at 15:40
  • 1
    No, but very often we draw parallels in halacha to fill in missing information. Niddah is the only halachic area I know of, where red is defined. The back of tefillin's straps may not be red either, but there too, red is not defined. (Btw, I have actually heard the argument that red clothes are forbidden because they reminiscence menstrual blood.)
    – Adám
    Commented Aug 1, 2013 at 16:08
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    Can you source such a prohibition exists at all?
    – Double AA
    Commented Aug 1, 2013 at 16:55
  • "...Is well known" by whom? Is this a prohibition every day, for all women, or specifically a prohibition during the white days of niddah? I've seen a rebbetzin in my community--a very righteous one--wearing bright red on Yom Kippur.
    – SAH
    Commented Dec 15, 2016 at 0:51

1 Answer 1



The difference between the two cases, of course, is that those other colors are a problem because they could have been dried blood, i.e. red at one time not currently red.

According to Rav Elyashiv zt"l (cited inHalichos Bas Yisrael, Vol. 1 7:8 footnote 11) the prohibition is only with bright red.

And it would seem that according to Rav Shlomo Zalman Aurbach zt"l that while red is prohibited it is permitted when it is an incidental accent to the garment.

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    Concur. In the laws of Nida, only certain shades of red are actually problematic (this requires an expert rabbi who's trained on this), and some browns or blacks could have actually started off as red before oxidation. This has nothing to do whatsoever with the issue (Yirmeyahu and I will agree to disagree on whether it's a "prohibition" or simply a "concern") with red clothing, which is perceived as too attention-grabbing. If a woman bled red and it then oxidized to black, she's a Nida because she bled red. If a woman buys a neon-red hat and dyes it black, it will no longer grab attention.
    – Shalom
    Commented Aug 1, 2013 at 15:33
  • Which page are you referring to from R' Elyashiv?
    – Adám
    Commented Aug 1, 2013 at 17:05
  • @NBZ, I'v edited the full reference in.
    – Yirmeyahu
    Commented Aug 2, 2013 at 22:20
  • Sorry to burden you, but can you maybe quote? I don't see the relevant page on Google's preview, and in my Chassidishe neighborhood, I am afraid it will be difficult to find the book.
    – Adám
    Commented Aug 4, 2013 at 13:32
  • It is page 104, "According to HaGaon Rav Yosef Sholom Eliashiv, this prohibition only applies to bright red. Darker shads, such as burgundy, are acceptable."
    – Yirmeyahu
    Commented Aug 4, 2013 at 16:11

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