Filed under: BLACK GARMENTS, GARMENTS | Tags: BLACK GARMENTS, Charade, Soul, WORLD TO COME
The medieval church and state demanded that Jews wear black at all times. The European countries generally decreed so-called “sumptuary” laws (The Latin word sumere refers to spending or consuming). These laws required each social class in the feudal system to wear clothes appropriate to their rank. Hence, the upper class wore gaudy clothes of many colors and ornamented profusely. By law, Jews were non-persons and had to wear black clothes so they could be identified at once.
R. Eliezer Ze’era once put on a pair of black shoes and stood in the market place of Nehardea. When the attendants of the house of the Rosh Galuta met him there, they said to him: ‘What ground have you for wearing black shoes?’
He said to them: ‘I am mourning for Jerusalem.’ They said to him: ‘Are you such a distinguished person as to mourn over Jerusalem?’ Considering this to be a piece of arrogance on his part they put him in prison.
(Bava Kama 59b)
Meir Nativ says wearing black shows “cafira” (denial of the Torah)
R. Beroka Hoza’ah used to frequent the market at Be Lapat where Elijah often appeared to him. Once he asked him, is there any one in this market who has a share in the world to come? He replied, No. Meanwhile he caught sight of a man wearing black shoes and who had no thread of blue on the corners of his garment and he exclaimed, This man has a share in the world to come. R. Beroka ran after him and asked him, What is your occupation? And the man replied: Go away and come back tomorrow. Next day he asked him again, What is your occupation? And he replied: I am a jailer and I keep the men and women separate and I place my bed between them so that they may not come to sin; when I see a Jewish girl upon whom the Gentiles cast their eyes I risk my life and save her. Once there was amongst us a betrothed girl upon whom the Gentiles cast their eyes. I therefore took lees of red wine and put them in her skirt and I told them that she was unclean. R. Beroka further asked the man, Why have you no fringes and why do you wear black shoes? He replied: That the Gentiles amongst whom I constantly move may not know that I am a Jew.
If there is a royal decree, one must incur martyrdom rather than transgress even a minor precept. When Rabin came, he said in R. Johanan’s name: Even without a royal decree, it was only permitted in private (Chy bihem); but in public one must be martyred even for a minor precept rather than violate it. What is meant by a ‘minor precept’? — Raba son of R. Isaac said in Rab’s name: Even to change one’s shoe lace.
Rashi :Jews wear white shoe laces, idolaters wear black shoe laces.
From here we see its better to die “Kidush Hashem” than to put on black shoe laces , all the more so black shoes, needless to say a BLACK GARMENT Chas vShalom
R. Elai the elder said: If a man sees that his evil inclination is prevailing upon him, let him go to a place where he is not known, and put on black garments and wrap himself up in black garments, and let him do what his heart desires; but let him not profane the Name of Heaven publicly!
R. Eliezer said
‘If the halachah agrees with me, let the stream of water prove it!’ Whereupon the stream of water flowed backwards’
They took a vote and excommunicated him. They said, ‘Who shall go and inform him?’ ‘I will go,’ said R. Akiba, ‘lest an unsuitable person go and inform him, and thus destroy the whole world.’ What did R. Akiba do? He donned black garments and wrapped himself in black, and sat at a distance of four cubits from him. ‘Akiba,’ said R. Eliezer to him, ‘what has particularly happened to-day?’ ‘Master,’ he replied, ‘it appears to me that thy companions hold aloof from thee.’ Thereupon he too rent his garments, put off his shoes, removed his seat and sat on the earth, whilst tears streamed from his eyes. The world was then smitten: a third of the olive crop, a third of the wheat, and a third of the barley crop. Some say, the dough in women’s hands swelled up.
A Tanna taught: Great was the calamity that befell that day, for everything at which R. Eliezer cast his eyes was burned up. R. Gamaliel too was traveling in a ship, when a huge wave arose to drown him.
(Bava Metzia 59b)
The Ar”i said that on Shabot you need to dress in white Garments, not other colors. Chym Vetal saw souls dressed in black after leaving the world. They said it was punishment for wearing black on Shabot
(Shar Cavanot p.30)
You will be wearing a garment in the world to come that you are building while you have a body in this world. This garment is made from our fulfillment of the God’s commandments, the detail in the nature of this garment will be according to one’s inner intentions “cavannah” when doing the commandments. It is only these things that you will take with you when you leave this world. Everything that is permitted to you in this world should be used for this end. To make Your soul’s garment that it will need to wear in the world to come. The “Talit” (4 cornered Biblical garment with fringes). Is a Garment of light. It is as a curtain above our heads above which is upper lights of Heaven. The “Talit” reminds us of the garment of our soul we will wear in the world to come.
In Tikunim its written that Four white garments, all of them are mercy through the name of יהו–ה . There is nobody who can forgive forbidden relationships except for Him. Four garments of gold all of them judgment from the side of אדנ–י, nobody can forgive idol worship except for Her.
Rabbeynu Bachya In Parshat Shoftim writes that wearing Black on Shabot was the custom of the Idolaters in Bavel. Shabat for them was a day of mourning and self afflictions. It was their day to worship the planet Saturn whose wrath they wanted to mitigate by mourning wearing Black self flagellation.
The Cohens Four white garments, being a head covering (turban), a belt, a body covering (tunic) and pants. all of them mercy though the name of יהו”ה , the God by them forgives forbidden relationships. The Cohen Gadol wore Four additional garments of gold that are judgment from the side of אדנ”י , by them the God forgives idol worship.