This was cited as a possible reason for the custom for women to wear white on 15th AV (Taanit 26b):

אמר רבן שמעון בן גמליאל לא היו ימים טובים לישראל כחמשה עשר באב וכיוה"כ שבהן בנות ירושלים יוצאות בכלי לבן שאולין שלא לבייש את מי שאין לו כל הכלים טעונין טבילה ובנות ירושלים יוצאות וחולות בכרמים

Said Chief Rabbi Shimon son of Gamliel -- there were no holidays for the Jewish people like the 15th of Av and Yom Kippur. On those days, the daughters of Jerusalem would wear borrowed white dresses -- everyone would borrow someone else's dress, to not embarrass someone who didn't have one -- and dance in the vineyards ...

I was not aware that women were supposed to wear white on Yom Kippur. I would think that this is NOT the same reason for a man wearing a white Kittel on Yom Kippur. Please clarify this seeming anomaly for me. Thank you.

  • @Adam thank you for clarifying my question
    – user12315
    Sep 6, 2016 at 8:34
  • Can you provide a separate source that claims that women and or men should wear white on Yom Kippur? Is it simply symbolic of Isaiah 1:18?
    – rosends
    Sep 6, 2016 at 11:21
  • If my edits to the question title and the first par. don't match your intent, please inform me. From reading the Q, it appears that this applies spec. to women.
    – DanF
    Sep 6, 2016 at 14:52

1 Answer 1


See Mishnah Brurah Orach Chaim 510:13.:

Rama states that it is customary to wear white clothes on Yom Kippur to imitate the ministering angels. The Mishnah Brurah commentary (#15) says that it is customary for women to wear white, as well.

  • It's definitely not everyone's custom.
    – SAH
    Oct 11, 2016 at 11:16
  • @SAH Perhaps it was so more at that time than it is now. The current custom for women seems to be to wear a lot of make up and perfume :-)
    – DanF
    Oct 11, 2016 at 13:59
  • In many cases they are applied before Yom Kippur. Women know how to make this work :)
    – SAH
    Oct 21, 2016 at 4:55
  • @SAH Despite my allergies to most perfumes, I'm glad to know that on Yom Kippur G-d has a way of working miracles to make the stuff last overnight :-)
    – DanF
    Oct 23, 2016 at 0:42
  • 1
    We'd probably all be better off if they and He would spend their energy doing something productive with their time... Try a Torah class instead of a lipstick one and ask God to spend your miracle points giving a poor soul bread!
    – Double AA
    Oct 30, 2016 at 6:02

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