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12

Keset HaSofer 21:14 rules that you can't put ground ivory into the tefillin paint as it is not from a kosher animal (an elephant). Accordingly, it would seem that one would need to make sure to use paint that has a certification ensuring that all ingredients are from kosher species.


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 ...


11

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


10

Pesachim 54A says the rainbow was created on the sixth day: Ten things were created on the eve of the Sabbath at twilight. These are they: the well, the manna, the rainbow, the writing and the writing instrument[s], the Tables, the sepulchre of Moses, the cave in which Moses and Elijah stood, the opening of the ass's mouth, and the opening of the earth's ...


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

Even if the threads are fairly fine (and we don't know if they were), two colors plied together still looks like two colors, not the combined color. Thread is not like paint. Now even if at the usual viewing distance most people would see it as the combined color, it would not look that way close up, like to the kohein wearing the garment or tending to the ...


9

Zohar (Bereishis 18b and in other places) states that the rainbow has three colors, חוור סומק וירוק - white (or pale), red and green. In Bereishis it associates these three colors with Gavriel, Michael and Raphael. Elsewhere (Bamidbar 215a) it associates them with the three Avos. In one of the maamarim (chassidic discourses) of R. Shneur Zalman of Liadi, he ...


9

The Shach on Shulchan Aruch 178:1 (s.k. 3) says וצבע השחור הוא דרך צניעות והכנעה וכדאמרינן מי שיצרו מתגבר עליו ילבש שחורים ויתעטף שחורים Not clear if he's talking about men or women or both. But he's commenting on the Rema saying not to wear red, which it's reasonable to suggest is probably at least aimed at women as well, I'm not sure how many men would ...


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

R' Hirsch (e.g. in the long comment at the end of Ex. 25:1-8) takes the four types of thread used in Mishkan construction to represent four basic aspects of life that we humans need to strive to perfect within ourselves and unify in the service of God: Linen, from the flax plant = Vegetative - consumption and reproduction Wool died red with worm blood = ...


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

The Mishna was referring to specific sects at the time. If we had solid reason to believe today that a person's dress indicated serious rifts with mainstream Jewish theology, we'd think twice about having them lead prayers (and, as was done then, apply poetic license in how to recite the texts). I don't really see that as an issue now.


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

I have once heard that such technique was done because in the early days of book-binding, paper was very expensive and some books, including judaica, was printed on 'recycled' or scrap paper. This paper would be of random colors and element exposures. When stacked, the sides of the paper would be the colored splotches.


6

I saw an excellent comprehensive article on exactly this topic It brings down all the opinions and reasons, but the bottom line is that these photo chromic lenses are permitted on shabbos.


6

From a scientific point of view, when light was created, it would have been created in all its wavelengths (colours.) It would be interesting to consider the idea that man was colour blind until Noach's generation, and thus they could see the rainbow for the first time.


6

The short answer is yes there is room for leniency, but as always (and especially in something like this), a competent halachic authority should be consulted. As I heard it from a rabbi who was offering a review shiur on the subject: The original practice was for a woman to wear libunim, freshly-laundered clothes. The idea was that often garments had all ...


6

Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 53:18) makes it clear that this is only because of the concern that he is an apikores. The Mishnah Brurah there writes that if he immediately gives an explanation for why he did it, he can be the shliach tzibur. Also, the Tiferes Yisrael (ch. 4 note 52) writes that it is only for that prayer that he doesn't get to be the shliach ...


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

Tosafos on succah 31b sv "Hayarok KeKharti" translate the word yarok in several different ways. Furthermore, rashi and several ashkenazi rishonim usually translate "תכלת" as "yarok", which could suggest that yarok means blue (unless they are saying that techelet is green...). Rav Yosef Dov Soloviechik has been quoted as saying that yarok in rashi means blue....


5

Yes, it does require that the ink be made from kosher ingredients. Therefore, stam shoe polish is NOT acceptable unless ALL the ingredients in its manufacture is 100% kosher or synthetic.


5

Nitey Gavriel (Rosh Hashana pg. 153) brings the custom to have white paroches etc until after Yom Kippur. In Nitey Gavriel (Sukkos pg. 362) he brings the Maharil, Sharey Efrayim and Minhagei Amsterdam who say to put up white paroches etc. on Hashana Rabba - implying that they had already been changed back from Rosh Hashana. However he writes (without citing ...


5

An alternative approach: Mishna Sotah perek 1 mishna 6 describes the procedure with the suspected adulteress. If she was wearing white clothes, then they change them to black clothes. Bartenuro says that if the black clothes look good on her, then we change her into horrible clothes. It seems from the first part that she is less likely to look attractive in ...


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"...


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