Is the question often posed by the fashion cognoscenti in the secular Fashion capitals of the world; Paris, Rome, Milan, and Madison Avenue. Their answers and the “fashionable” clothes they manufacture cater to and elicit from the baser human instincts.
Le’Havdil, our Torah Hakedosha takes a different perspective. In this weeks Parsha, Hashem commands Moshe: Ve’Ohsisa Bigdei Kodesh L’Aharon Oh’Cheey’choh L’Chovod U’Lesifores.
Rav Shimshon Pincus, ZT”L says that the Torah’s message on Fashion re: the singular, beautiful, and holy clothing worn by the Kohanim during their Avodas Hashem in the Bais Hamikdosh applies to all of us for we are all “Kohanim”. ‘Ve’Atem Tiyu Lee Mamleches Kohanim V’Goy Kodosh’. Each one of us, Klal Yisroel, stand and serve constantly before Hashem with our Tefilllos, Kiyum HaTorah, Mitzvos, and in our interactions with the secular society we live in.
And therefore says Rav Pincus, we are just like the Kohanim in the Beis Hamikdash, each one of us has the obligation to be clothed in “Levushei M’Yuchad”, so that we are recognized as Me’Shorsei Hashem.
What is the definition of a Jewish “Levushei M’Yuchad” asks Rav Pincus: They have three characteristics:
1. The clothes should be Tzenua-modest,
2. They must not contain Shatnez,
3. They should contain a Levush of Mitzva, i.e.; Tzitsis.
Clothes, says Rav Pincus, protects us not only from the external elements, cold, heat, etc. but also protects us internally, our Neshama from succumbing to our baser human instincts and behaviors. The proper clothing has a level of Kedusha that serves to protect us from harmful external influences.
Rav Pincus notes that the first people to wear clothes were Odom and Chava as it says: VaYa’as Hashem Elokim Le’Odom U’LeIshto Ketonos Ohr Va’Yalbeesheim”.
Rav Pincis references the Chazal in Bereishis Rabbah that notes the Milah “Ohr” (with an Eyin) is a remez for the word Ohr ( Aleph-light) to indicate that one who clothes himself with clothes that are “Levush M’Yuchad” will be zocheh to be clothed and protected in and by the Ohr-Light of the Torah.
Today, Zayin Adar, is the Yahrtzeit, Lzecher Nishmas our Zaide, R. Avrohom Ben R’ Yechiel Mechel ZT”L, one of the founders and Gabbaim of the Chevrah Kaddisha Morya, West Side, New York. Yehei Zichro Baruch.