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11

The Mishna Brurah 610:16 says women customarily wear white and clean clothes. Not sure what people do today.


11

It is a halacha l'Moshe miSinai that the r'tzu'os must be black (M'nachos 35a), and this is a requirement for valid t'fillin. The straps must be re-blackened if the paint becomes scratched or abraded (Bach OC 32:25). Abrasions are especially common (if not readily noticeable) in the vicinity of the knot of the shel yad, and special attention should be paid ...


10

I understand that this Halacha reflects the economic realities of the Mishna, where pretty much everyone was producing small handicraft and traded them. It could reasonably be assumed that you could sell the black wool as easily as raw wool or red wool, so it has a definite increase in value. While you may not have any interest in dealing with it, the wool ...


9

I heard once, do not remember from who, questioning the word נא from הלעיטני נא מן האדם האדם הזה - since when did Eisav say please? The answer I was told was Eisav was not saying please, Eisav was saying give it to me raw - like in Shemos 12:9 אל תאכלו ממנו נא. Thus this red lentil soup was still raw and it retained its color. See here from Rabbi Gershon ...


8

Nitei Gavriel Nisuin 1 15:1:4 mentions this Minhag in the name of Maharam Mintz, Likutei Maharich and Shulchan Haezer. He mentions that some Chasidim do not wear total white as it is Chukas Hagoyim. Based on this I would say that there is no source in the Torah that requires such. However the fact that a majority of Klal Yisrael does so should make one ...


7

Yarok here means yellow, as DoubleAA wrote in the comments. As for your question, what is the difference between Yarok and Tzahov, see Rashi on the passuk who says Tzahov is similar to gold. So now we have two colors in the yellow family, one we'll call yellow which is pure, and one which we'll call a golden yellow which is impure. See also Tosafos Succah ...


7

R. Mordechai Yaffe mentions the custom of darkening one section of the wall as the zecher l'churban, but he says that this is not proper. Levush O.C. 560:1 ונ"ל מה שנוהגים עכשיו הבונים בתים ומסיידם אותו שמסיידין ומכיירין אותו כולו ואחר כך משחירין אמה על אמה בשיחור כנגד הפתח דלא יפה הם עושין כי אדרבה השיחור זה אינו מגנה את הבנין אבל מייפהו ומשמח הלב ...


6

Based on my observations (I am an anthropologist and fascinated by things like this) over the last 20 years, it is a recent custom for women to wear black, but it's spread very fast in the last decade. I can well remember my (and other people's) shock at attending a wedding in Jerusalem in the early 1990s at which the bride's female family members (right-...


6

See Rabbi Wein's blog The tradition of Jews is to dress modestly. Over the ages and in different communities, this has had varied expressions in the type of clothing worn but in all instances the common denominator of Jewish clothing was that it enhanced modesty of appearance.  Even though Jews in the early Middle Ages wore maroon and brown ...


5

I have also had this question for some time and I was glad to see someone else asking it. From my research into book binding techniques it is obvious that it comes from various decoration techniques. This style seems to come from the Victorian era, but I am not sure how it got into the Jewish book printing business and seems to have stuck around longer. I ...


5

The Star-K's Rabbi Frankel discusses it. Rav Heinemann shlit”a suggests that there is further reason to be lenient in the case of the diaper with a color-changing stripe. Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l states that, on Shabbos, one is allowed to wear photo-gray glasses which darken when exposed to sulight, even though walking outside will cause the lens to ...


5

The rationale behind this is that if the straps turn over, the black will still show. Call it Frum marketing. See Mishnah Berurah 33:21 and Ohr Zaruah 564 - this is the view of Rambam, though we don't accustom ourselves to do this! The Shevet Halevi 9:16 disapproved - none of the Gedolim did this until now! Kikar Shabbat reports that R' Eliashiv refused to ...


5

I found a Minchas Yitzchok (5:32:2) and an Az Nidabru (2:30) which prohibit, and a Shmiras Shabbos Kihilchasah (ch 18 note 70) which permits. I have seen the Az Nidabru misquoted as permitting. What he actually says is that people who sit out in the sun are only doing it because it's enjoyable and not to get a tan, and therefore it's permitted. ...


5

Many things we take seriously today had very humble beginnings. From a purely practical perspective, black clothing requires less maintenance. In times before quick, cheap, efficient cleaning1 laundry was a major undertaking, and some outerwear (like hats) didn't like soap and water. Walking around a European city that could politely be described as "filthy"...


5

There is a Bach that discusses fresh wet bedikos vs dry ones . Noone seems to care about his concern and the apprenticeship is on dry bedikos so people are trained to recognize their halachic status in that state. At some point though the color does change and competent Rabbis will no longer pasken on them. But interestingly enough the nida blood does not ...


5

I sense some confusion on you part. The mitzvah of tzitzit comes from Numbers 15:37-41. The only thing that is "blue" about the tzitzit is one of the threads that hangs from the others knotted on the four corners. I put the word "blue" in quotes because the Hebrew text tells us that the color of the string was to be תְכֵלֶת which is a very specific shade ...


5

The Ramban on that passuk writes that the food was red either from the lentils, or it was red from some other ingredient, but Esav did not know what it was, so he just called it red. So he does entertain the idea of a different ingredient that made it red, but does not identify it. On a different note, here is a chidush. Torah Temimah n Chukas chapter 19 ...


5

The Talmud (menachos 43a) states, R. Meir says: Why was techelet singled out from all the various colors? Techelet is similar to the sea, and the sea is similar to the heavens, and heavens to the Heavenly Throne, as it says: "Under His feet was the likeness of sapphire brickwork, and it was like the essence of heaven in purity." (Shemot 24:10) (...


5

Rabbi David Golenkin writes here that he wasn't able to trace the custom eariler than the Sha'arei Efraim (c. 1820, by R' Ephraim Zalman Margolioth). A contemporary source here mentions that the custom varies from hanging the white parochet from Rosh Chodesh Elul to Rosh HaShana, and to taking it down from after Yom Kippur to after Hoshana Raba (or ...


4

Rashi (ibid) clearly distinguishes between the whitening of sin and the commandment of the goat. This strongly implies that while the two may be correlated, they are ultimately independent and one does not necessarily cause the other. In other words, The whitening of sin was not necessarily always the direct result of the goat's death. Likewise, the ...


4

In Shemirath Shabbath by Rav Yehoshua Y. Neuwirth, 40:2: This chapter talks about medical procedures on shabbos. The Halacha starts by saying a. 1) It is permitted to measure body temperature on Shabbath. Then continues: f. 1) Whether or not one may use a forehead thermometer (consisting of a strip of celluloid which changes color, according to the ...


4

The stripes of color are a rememberance for the lost blue techeles string. I heard on a tape from R' Yoshe Ber Soloveitchik that the differences in black/blue really come from a machlokes Rambam and Rashi. The Gemara in Menachos says that Techeilis is " Techeiles Domeh Le'Yam, V'hayam Dome Le'Rakiya" that the blue techeiles string is the color of the sky. ...


4

I've seen a lot of women do it -- maybe not quite the same percentage as men, but it's not unheard-of. I don't know of particular standard-identity communal practices, though. (E.g. I don't know what dyed-in-the-wool Chabad women do, nor Satmar or the like.) The general thing to keep in mind is to be dressed appropriately. (I think some women, in some ...


4

According to the Jewish Encyclopedia: (a) It has been generally assumed that at times colors are used in the Bible symbolically, either in the ritual, as in the construction of the Tabernacle and in the priestly raiments; or apocalyptically, as in the visions of Zechariah and of Daniel; or, as a literary device, in poetical diction. Philo ("De Vita ...


4

https://judaism.stackexchange.com/a/1304/899 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 ...


4

My understanding has always been that argaman refers to Tyrian Purple, or at least a similar reddish-purplish dye, produced from murex shells. The archaeologist Zvi Koren has written about this and has found a fabric at Qumran of murex-dyed wool that he interprets as having been Tyrian purple. With regards to the hair: some scholars have suggested (and I ...


4

Let's assume the question is the color of the garment, not the stripes. There is actually some (small) halachic basis for such an argument (in addition to whatever "soft" concerns about distraction, disruption, or the like.) Rambam's opinion is that if the whole tallit is pink/red/grey/yellow, then the strings (except for the techelet one) should be pink/...


4

The Gr'a was apparently bothered by this as well. See his glosses on Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah siman 352 siff two. I'll try my best to translate and fill in the blanks. The Mechaber mentions the minhag is to be buried in white. The Gr'a says even though R' Yanai said not to, in the Yerushalmi (Klayim 9:3 and Kesuvos 12:3) we find Rebi Yashia commanding to ...


4

Likely, the reference is to the story in I Samuel 5-6 where the Philistines captured the Ark of the Covenant in battle, and were stricken with hemorrhoids and rats whilst they held on to it. After 7 months, they returned the Ark to the Jews along with an offering of 5 Golden Hemorrhoids and 5 Golden Rats from the 5 Philistine cities. It's not unusual for ...


4

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef in Yalkut Yosef (272, 6) says that only if one doesn't have enough red wine (which is preferred for kiddush over white wine), one should add the little amount of red wine he has to white wine, so that the color becomes red: אם לא מצא יין אדום הכשר לברכת בורא פרי הגפן, יקדש על יין לבן, ויערב בו מעט יין אדום כדי להאדימו.‏ He goes on ...


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