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Wearing White on Yom Kippur

09/11/2019 08:55:41 AM


Rabbi Ranon Teller

The clothes we wear orient us and influence our behavior. When we wear business attire, we’re oriented toward work. When we wear jeans and a t-shirt, we’re oriented toward relaxation. When we wear athletic gear, we’re oriented toward exercise. Sometimes, when I’m lacking motivation to exercise, I put on athletic gear, which dramatically raises the likelihood of exercising. It works. Clothing orients and influences us.

On Yom Kippur, we orient ourselves toward God and spirituality--to listen to our inner selves. When I wear my white kittel, I am cloaked in a spiritual identity. It drapes my body and orients me to the task of self-transformation and God-connection.

Many Brith Shalom congregants have the custom of wearing white on Yom Kippur to orient ourselves toward the sacred task of purification and atonement. This year, consider wearing white clothing on Yom Kippur or purchasing a kittel of your own.

Blessings, light, and love,
Rabbi Teller

Wed, November 29 2023 16 Kislev 5784