Wear White this Summer
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by Rachel Heiser
July 30 is the perfect day to wear white. It clearly falls between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
Most people aren’t really sure how wearing white became restricted to the time from Memorial Day until Labor Day. It may have something to do with white fabrics reflecting light and keeping you cooler in hot summer months. But, then why the time restriction? It can still be pretty hot in September.
Some speculate that a few socially elite women of the late 1800s or early 1900s wanted to distinguish themselves from the common folk. So, they instituted an annual deadline for wearing white. That way, they could identify the true upper crust from the impostors trying to look snazzy. The tradition spread and many people still follow that rule today.
Here is a better reason that dates back to ancient times: Tu B’Av. Within a week of Tisha B’Av, the day of sadness when Jews remember the destruction of the Second Temple, Tu B’Av is a day of love and celebration. It is a day when women would dress in white and dance in the fields. In ancient times, it was a day when couples were matched and people married.
So, I’m not saying you should marry the first single Jew you see on Tu B’Av, but you should head downtown to the White Party hosted by Downtown Chabad and Cleveland Yentas at 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 30. Whether you are looking for love or bringing the love of your life, visit www.yjpCLE.com/rsvp to get your tickets and all the details.
Just like modern Jews in Israel, get dressed in white, dance and enjoy yourself. Instead of wearing white to be part of the elite and exclude others, at this party we are all one. Dust off that white disco outfit you bought for a costume party, if you want. If you don’t have white, borrow an outfit like our ancestors did in ancient times (or you can just buy a new outfit). As in Israel, this is not a religious holiday and you do not need to be observant to celebrate it. This is our Valentine’s Day. Enjoy it. Own it. Feel the love.
Note: Chabad Young Cleveland is just one of many Jewish organizations for young adults in Cleveland. Learn more about what’s going on for 21-45 year olds through the Young Leadership Division (YLD) at the Jewish Federation of Cleveland. YLD can direct you to any one of these groups to help connect you to the things you care about.
Rachel Heiser is President and CEO of Cleveland Yentas, a non-profit, for-purpose organization. Cleveland Yentas provides free matchmaking for all Jewish singles over 21. Currently, about 94% of Cleveland Yentas’ clients are Conservative, Reform or Unaffiliated Jews. Learn more or register at www.CLEyentas.com.