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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

In a midrash: Why did he repeat? Esav found Yaakov preparing lentils for his father in a dish, and told him "feed me" [=hal'iteni na min haadom]. He said, "wait, I'll prepare you another dish. I prepared this one for my father and don't want to cancel my mitzva. But if you're willing to sell your birthright, I'll give you my father's dish, which I'm allowed ...


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

It says in the Rambam and Rashi that the strings of a Tallis have to be the same color as the Tallis itself. Tosfos writes that there is no obligation to do so, and the color of the strings does not have to be the same as that of the Tallis. The Halacha is like this opinion. Moreover, the custom in the Ashkenazi world is to make the strings white even when ...


7

Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan quotes Kabbalistic sources that he was using meditation "to direct spiritual energy and actually to change the genetic structure of the sheep ... manipulating some of the highest spiritual forces that exist." Okay, as I'm neither a Kabbalist nor a bioengineer, I'll take his word for it ... The simplest way to read the whole story (as I ...


7

One of the answers the Mizrachi to Rashi on Bereshit 30:39 brings is that the sticks were just used to cover up the miracle. The angel appeared to Yaakov and showed him that all the animals would be born with the pattern that would benefit Yaakov. Yaakov then used to sticks to hide the miracle. (The Mizrachi is addressing another issue, which is how could ...


7

Me'am Loez on this parsha actually talks about it. Edit: After chasing down the source (יפ"ת דתכ"ב), I found the (hopefully) original in Medrash Rabbah. This photo is from Me'am Loez. Quick translation: There was a story with a black man who was married to a black woman, and they had a white son. He came to Rabbeinu Hakadosh and said, "this is certainly ...


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

According to the Cartoon guide to Genetics, when the goats saw the reeds, they were predisposed to mate with other goats that had similar characteristics, causing an increase in the population of that type of animal. It also brings up the idea of this being an example of recessive genes.


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

If you ever look at sfarim that are commonly opened to specific sections (like a siddur), you'll notice that there are black lines around those pages that are more commonly used (you could, for example, land almost exactly on the last page of Shacharis). When the pages are colored, you don't see those lines.


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

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

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

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-...


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

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....


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