Ripped Jeans Philosophy

“The apparel oft proclaims the man.” – William Shakespeare

Fashion aficionados can perhaps recall better, but there was a time that ripped jeans became so popular, that people paid for pre-ripped jeans. What may have started as a non-conformist trend (how’s that for an oxymoron) developed into the latest fashion statement. People glorified the beat-up look of their attire.

I remember being drawn into the clothing madness. I was relieved when my jeans suffered rips of their own. I proudly left the rips and joined the masses, finally fitting in with all the cool people. I discovered two things very quickly. The first was that the ripped jeans did nothing for my social status. The second was that it was cold and uncomfortable walking around with ripped jeans.

The Ohr Hachayim (1696-1743) gives his own opinion as to ripped garments. In describing the priestly garments, the Bible declares that they should be “for honor and splendor.” The Ohr Hachayim (Exodus 28:40) connects this statement to the Talmud (Tractate Zvachim 18b) which explains that if a priest served in the Temple with ripped or disheveled clothing he was disqualified and his service was voided.

When serving God, we need to do so in clean, dignified and whole clothing, no matter what the latest fashion may be.

May we always be well attired.

Shabbat Shalom,



To Sharon Katz and the whole crew of Dames of the Dance for their incredible efforts: “Strength and dignity are her clothing; and she laughs at the time to come.”

About the Author
Ben-Tzion Spitz is the former Chief Rabbi of Uruguay and a candidate for the Knesset for the Zehut party. He is the author of three books of Biblical Fiction and hundreds of articles and stories dealing with biblical themes. Ben-Tzion is a graduate of Yeshiva University and received his Master’s in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University.