For somber Jews on Yom Kippur, white is the new black

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Rabbi Charles E. Savenor, director of congregational enrichment for the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, wears a prayer shawl (striped) over his kittel, a white shroud worn by some Jews during the High Holy Days of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. Religion News Service photo by Michael Falco

Rabbi Charles E. Savenor, director of congregational enrichment for the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, wears a prayer shawl (striped) over his kittel, a white shroud worn by some Jews during the High Holy Days of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. Religion News Service photo by Michael Falco

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(RNS) In her simple, white linen dress, Stacey Robinson says she can heighten her experience of atonement and renewal. “I can stand now, ready, clean ... to reach out to God as God reaches out to me."

  • Leo

    Interesting and nice reasons for the symbolism. The Asian populations have considered white the appropriate color of mourning and death for centuries. With Vatican II, there came the widespread disappearance of black vestments in Roman Catholic churches for funerals and Good Friday, using white instead. Somehow in our culture, I still think that black conveys the message better.