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Black And White - Religious Implications

Dear Rav Ally

I really liked your post on why you are not Charedi. But if you don't mind my asking - why do you dress Charedi?


Dear I.D.F.

Are those your initials or the initials of the army in which you served?

Anyway, to answer your question: I dress in such a way that immediately upon seeing me I will be identified as a Torah Observant Jew. Then I hope to act in a way that will bring honor to Hashem and His Torah. Although it is not forbidden to dres like the Gentiles dress today, I nevertheless believe that it is preferable to avoid it. I am aware of the fact that Moshe Rabbeinu and Rebbe Akiva did not wear a dark suit, white shirt and black hat but in our day and age Torah observant Jews are the only ones who do so. I am also aware that our kippah and tzitzis differentiate us from the Gentiles but the more the better. And if one chooses a more modern mode of dress I urge them to dress in a respectable manner. I cringe when I see a yeshiva boy [or girl] who looks like a "shloomp". The way we dress influences not only the way others perceive us but the way we perceive ourselves.

If you have ever seen a Pro Basketball game you will notice that even though the players are wearing only their undergarments, the coach is wearing a [usually very expensive] suit. And if a player is injured he is sitting on the bench wearing a suit. From this we learn that even they realize the importance of respectable clothing when trying to present a positive image.

Many years ago the Lubavitcher Rebbe was walking in the pouring rain without an umbrella. Upon being asked why he replied "Have you ever seen a soldier carrying an umbrella?!". "Charedi" clothing is also such a uniform.

I am not trying to convert you to my way of thinking, but I do want you to understand.

Love and Blessings!!!!!!!!!

what is the exact definition of chareidi? and what is the exact definition of modern? Any sources to read on this topic?

Dressing Charedi- go to nearby Bnei Brak and that is what I mean. But you knew that.
As far as being Charedi or Modern- I think such definitions are irrelevent. I know people who would be called modern and are Tzaddikim, people who would be callled Charedi who are Rishaim. People who would be called Charedim who are tzaddikim and modern people who seem to be rishaim. And everything in between.
Hashem scrutinizies every second of every moment of our lives to see how we behaved. Hiding behind labels will help nobody. Hashem loves Anshei Emes.

Like you.

[The term Charedi comes from the end of Yeshaya where those who fear G-d are called Charedim L'dvar Hashem. I would prefer the term "Ohaiv". Ahava is a higher level than Yirah.]

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About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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