Friday, May 14, 2010

Jewish Devotion

by Amanda Toohey

Judaism Background Info:
One of the oldest monotheistic religions and was founded over 3,500 years ago in the Middle East. The most important religious document is the Torah. It is the original of the three Abrahamic faiths, which also includes Christianity and Islam, and was founded by Moses. It is a religion based mostly in actions rather than beliefs, however, a main belief is that God appointed the Jews to be his chosen people in order to set an example of holiness and ethical behavior to the world. Everyday acts can become acts of worship.

Orthodox Jewish Attire:
Women tend to cover almost the entire body as a sign of modesty and men tend to wear dark colors & black hats during the weekdays. The only item of clothing that is not dark is the white shirts that are worn while everything else such as jackets, trousers and shoes are always black or navy.

Preference for black is derived from two things:
1st -a decree made by community rabbis in the 18th century where they specified that black outer garments should be worn on the Sabbath and other Jewish Holy Days outside of the home because the rabbis thought that brightly colored clothing could provoke resentment amongst non-Jews thus leading to violence.
2nd -during this time laws required that Jews wore black clothes so that they could be easily identified and because they were seen as non-persons they were not allowed to wear clothes of color

Conservative Jewish Attire:
The most obvious and ubiquitous is the wearing of the skull cap, also known as a kippa or yarmulke by the male Conservative Jews. The skull cap is worn to show respect for God who is thought to live in heaven above us thus they separate themselves from the divine presence by wearing a hat or cap at all times. “What we wear, what we say and how we confront others is reflected in the manner which others exhibit toward us; therefore, the Jew who wears distinctively Jewish forms of attire can be said to seek to be treated as a Jew” Dr. Gerhad Falk

Designer: Alexandre Herchcovitch, above. His Jewish grandparents immigrated to Brazil from Poland in the early 1900s Attended a Yeshiva (Jewish school where classical Judaism is studied) "I was influenced by the modest Jewish attitude of dress, of not showing the body, [however] this goes strongly against the body-beautiful culture of Brazil."

Jean Gaultier's 1993 collection was inspired by Orthodox Judaism

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