Black and White
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- This topic has 34 replies, 25 voices, and was last updated 14 years, 8 months ago by squeak.
September 19, 2008 6:06 pm at 6:06 pm #588286SJSinNYCMember
I’m just curious about why yeshivish men wear black and white? I asked my yeshivish brother-in-law and he told me its basically gang colors or a uniform.
Is this true or is there something more to it? It seems silly in my mind to take color out of your wardrobe for no real reason.
(Note: this post is NOT inflammatory, just looking for information)September 19, 2008 6:19 pm at 6:19 pm #622651lammed heyMember
No need to match anything, since boys can’t do it anyway! That way they don’t go out looking like they are colorblind 🙂September 19, 2008 7:36 pm at 7:36 pm #622652shindyMember
I think it means that you support or belong/identify with a certain group when you wear its’ colors. like the whole orange thing with gush katif. Hah, I was touring in Israel during that horrible time, and I wore an orange kerchief to match an orange shirt I had bought in the U.S. not for gush katif reasons at all. So anyways, a secular Israeli made this rude comment to me (save your strength till they throw you out!) and I wasn’t even wearing it for gush katif reasons!September 19, 2008 9:10 pm at 9:10 pm #622653JewessMember
While on this topic, I’ve often wondered why these (mentioned above) men’s women dress in mostly black clothes, socks and shoes. Is black a more Jewish color than say blue or red or yellow or grey? Or is it just easier to just wear black every day?September 21, 2008 2:41 am at 2:41 am #622654
1)There is an Iinyan for yidden to wear white,
especially Shabbos & Yom Tov.
(dont know about the black however.
2)bnei Torah wear black & white because
they are respectable, & should dress appropriately,
Lawyers, etc. businessmen, (old school that is)
I believe the Rabbonim of old also wore what was considered
respectable attire.September 21, 2008 2:45 am at 2:45 am #622655
Jewess: To answer your question, these colors are nice, (which is required)
& they dont attract too much attention, as say a red, or colorful garment.
Not my Psak!! just a reason.September 21, 2008 3:52 am at 3:52 am #622656charvonaMember
Yosef hatzadik wore multicolorsSeptember 21, 2008 5:15 am at 5:15 am #622657just meParticipant
I’ll go with bein_hasedorim’s reason about the men.
About women’s clothing, this is fairly new. I got married it the late 70s and everyone wore colorful clothes (not red, of course) from the most Chassidish to the most Yeshivish. It was concidered incorect to wear black. I think the black thing started when there were many affairs one after another. If you spilled something on a turquise dress, it showed and you didn’t always have time to go to the cleaners. On black, it doesn’t show. Also if everyone wears the same color, then people don’t notice if it’s the same dress 3 times in a row or not. Colorful dresses, you propbably would notice.
This is just my thought.September 21, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm #622658RBS_gimmelParticipant
charvona and the rest: nobody mentioned here that part of the reason is due to the Churban (and I also heard that it’s due to the Girush Sfard (Spanish Inquisition) and the Pogroms of Tach v’Tat (approx. year 1648)) – so definitely Yosef Hatzaddik lived before the Churban.September 21, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm #622659tzippiMember
About women’s clothes: I heard somewhere that the 80s are coming back so maybe we an revive those jewel-toned clothes in the back of the closet.
And it’s filtering down to kids. My preteen, early teen girls aren’t kids sizes anymore, we don’t buy expensive suits, can’t afford to patronize the haimishe stores so they wear a lot of separates. And I find myself buying a lot of black tops and skirts – if they’re tzniusdik and the price is right they’re bound to go with something. It bothers me though when I see them making outfits totally out of black instead of using the pretty floral skirts they have. (I’m talking about Shabbos, weekday is uniforms or denim and a T shirt.)September 21, 2008 2:26 pm at 2:26 pm #622660noitallmrParticipant
I think we wear Black & White simply because it’s less attractive. Also if we could wear colored people would spend much more time buying and deciding which clothes to wear which is wrong for a man and bitul torah…September 22, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm #622661
just me: lol! I like your reasoning about the black & white, cleaners.. etcSeptember 23, 2008 1:53 am at 1:53 am #622662oomisParticipant
How can black be because of the churban? NON-Jews wear black as a sign of mourning. Jews do not have a mourning color.September 23, 2008 9:14 am at 9:14 am #622663intellegentMember
My brother had this same question but with different reasoning. He said that he has no clue about matching (duh…) so he doesn’t understand, if you want to match, why wear black and white??? Either all black or all white! THAT is matching! (I think he was kidding-I hope!)September 23, 2008 2:04 pm at 2:04 pm #622664SJSinNYCMember
So if its just something people do to “follow the crowd” or blend in, why is it such a big deal if someone wears a “colored” shirt? My cousin asked me that about every guy I ever set her up with (or tried to) and she wouldnt date a guy who wore a colored shirt. I still dont understand the significance.September 23, 2008 2:12 pm at 2:12 pm #622665Feif UnParticipant
Yeshivish men wear black and white because that is how most of them view the world – in black and white, without any gray areas at all.September 23, 2008 2:48 pm at 2:48 pm #622666cantoresqMember
I seem to recall a gemara in Taanit that indicated that only gentiles wear black shoes.September 23, 2008 4:18 pm at 4:18 pm #622667Pashuteh YidMember
SJS, it is because some people are too focused on chitzonius, rather than pnimius. The RBSH doesn’t care one hoot what colors one wears, or what kind of yarmulka. It is just a status thing (albeit a fictitious status).
The only lshem shomayim is if a person thinks that he is too attractive, and is afraid of his yetzer hara so he deliberately needs to dress like a yeshivishe shlump in order to control it. Maybe there are some sincere cases like this. (I think the chassidim deliberately dress that way for this reason, so completely out of style that it keeps the yetzer hara in check.) Many others just like to follow whatever the crowd is doing, even if they have no idea why. It helps them feel like they fit in. My 4th grade daughter wanted crocks for the same reason, her friends had them. People have posted here that if one dresses differently in yeshivos, then people may call them a “Harry”. Since, of course, nobody wants to be called a Harry, obviously you will wear black and white. The Shulchan Oruch teaches us how bad it is to be a Harry, and even says that a Harry has no chelek in Olam Haba. (Hilchos Harry.)
The down side of dressing like a shlump, is that it may turn people off to yiddishkeit, and be a chillul hashem. I seem to remember that in Chofetz Chaim Yeshiva in Queens, they were very makpid to dress well, and even shaved during omer and 3 weeks on Erev Shabbos, but please do not quote me or rely on this without verifying.September 23, 2008 5:19 pm at 5:19 pm #622668enlightenedjewMember
I understand bein_hasedorim’s post, 2)bnei Torah wear black & white because
they are respectable, & should dress appropriately,
Lawyers, etc. businessmen, (old school that is)
But personally, B&W always scared me on a personal level. Dress for many (tho not all) people is naturally a very personal and expressive inyan. We have so many guidelines on how to dress (tznius, not flashy, etc) that color is one way we can express ourselves individually while still maintaining dignity and uniformity as a nation. I personally frequently wear more color (shirts, ties) on shabbos or yom tov because of the way i feel and my natural tendency to express through dress (and I feel B&W all the time is just plain BOOORRRRIIINNNGG) but this is my own opinion and personal taste, others express their individuality in different ways, so B&W can work for them.September 24, 2008 2:12 am at 2:12 am #622669chasid-of-HashemMember
have you seen the ties men wear nowadays? they do go for color and it certainly makes a statement about them!September 24, 2008 7:02 pm at 7:02 pm #622670rabbiofberlinParticipant
chasid-of-hashem— GO COLORED TIES- GO !!!September 24, 2008 8:39 pm at 8:39 pm #622671Give Me a BreakMember
When I was in yeshiva I wore blue/navy shirts and dark blue/black pants. Most of my friends wore striped shirts.September 24, 2008 9:04 pm at 9:04 pm #622672DocParticipant
Give me a break:
What Yeshiva?September 24, 2008 9:22 pm at 9:22 pm #622674intellegentMember
So if its just something people do to “follow the crowd” or blend in, why is it such a big deal if someone wears a “colored” shirt? My cousin asked me that about every guy I ever set her up with (or tried to) and she wouldnt date a guy who wore a colored shirt. I still dont understand the significance.
I am not sure if there is a major significance in the black & white thing but your cousin probably wants to marry a certain type of guy. Chances are the type of guy she wants to marry would not wear colored shirts. By wearing this “dress code” you are sort of wearing like a club t-shirt. It doesn’t mean that it is required or there is anything wrong with wearing a blue shirt. So in essence it’s not really the color clothes your cousin cares about but the group the guy belongs to which is sort of expressed by the clothing. How that came about to begin with is an other story. So it’s not such an outward trivial thing really. I hope this makes sense to you.September 24, 2008 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm #622675Give Me a BreakMember
Chofetz Chaim, specifically Yeshiva Toras Chaim in Miami and Mesivta Tiferes Yisroel in Flatbush.September 25, 2008 4:42 am at 4:42 am #622676abcd1234Participant
i would imagine steady colors that go together and dont clash makes it much easier for men to get dressed…September 25, 2008 4:56 pm at 4:56 pm #622677
Obviously the Yeshiva velt follows its “gedolim”. If you look at pictures of Rabbonim and Roshei Yeshiva of old, you will find that they are always in black and white. Therefore, yeshiva bochurim wear black and white nowadays.
Anyone who can think of a different reason why the Rabbonim in the picture have black and white is just a koifer.September 25, 2008 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm #622678b1lParticipant
Jews – rabbis included – used to wear colorful garb.
Anti-Jewish decrees in Middle Ages forced Jews to adopt drab colors (gray, black). Ever since then, Jews have – as they often have done – taken what was meant to be derogatory and turned it into a badge of pride.
I heard this on a history tape from Rabbi Wein.
And hence the black suits.
Cheers.September 26, 2008 1:00 pm at 1:00 pm #622679Pashuteh YidMember
Squeak, a koifer for trying to suggest reasons for black and white? The koifer standards have really dropped precipitously lately. May have something to do with the stock market.
Actually, if you look at pictures of the gedolim of the early 1900’s they do not appear to be black and white. One reason why you may have thought they were black and white is that color film didn’t exist then, and all the pictures were in black and white. Did the gedolim have special extra-frum grass and trees that were grey and not green? I don’t think nishtaneh hateva applies here. I think it is just an artifact of the black and white film.
I hope I am not a koifer for thinking that the trees in Reb Chaim Soloveitchik’s town were green.September 26, 2008 3:08 pm at 3:08 pm #622680
I knew someone would suggest that. I’ve heard the “black and white film” argument for years now, but I don’t buy it. It smells of kefirah. The pictures clearly show them wearing black and white, so we should do the same.
As far as the trees go, think about the first ani maamin. The world is constantly in a state of creation and re-creation. It’s not difficult for me to believe that they had black and white trees in those days and that now the briah is green trees with brown trunks. But the rabbonim didn’t wear trees, so it is not relevant.September 26, 2008 3:31 pm at 3:31 pm #622681tzippiMember
Re Squeak: if you were trying to be tongue in cheek I for one think you succeeded. Thanks for the laugh.September 26, 2008 4:53 pm at 4:53 pm #622682
thank you tzippi, it is rare that I get recognition for my attempts at humor. But then, I also rarely get any recognition (on this site, that is) for my attempts at serious, level headed conversation. So I stick to parody.September 26, 2008 5:15 pm at 5:15 pm #622683BogenParticipant
On behalf of the oilem, I hereby convey the recognition that you are rightfully due, but were wrongfully denied:
You are hereby deputized YWN comic genius and intellectual giant.September 26, 2008 5:31 pm at 5:31 pm #622684BYgirlMember
It must be nice to look like an Oreo cookieSeptember 26, 2008 6:00 pm at 6:00 pm #622685
Thank you Bogen. If YW allowed emoticons, I would bow. You are too kind.
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