Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Sacred garments

A while back, I discussed how the Law of Unintended Consequences impacts school uniform shirts.

Basically, I noted that in girls’ schools, uniform shirts can waste significant time every morning. (Feel free to go ahead and check out the original post for details. I’ll wait…)

But it turns out that the uniform shirts have a surprising effect on boys as well.

Namely, their supply of non-uniform shirts tends to gradually devolve into a pile of torn, outgrown rags.

I mention this interesting fact to provide background and context for the following exchange, which recently occurred somewhere in Israel:

Mother: Why are you wearing that shirt? It doesn’t fit you anymore, and it’s full of holes!

Son: All my shirts are like that.

Mother: What about your uniform shirts? Why don’t you wear one of them?

Son: {shocked that his mother would even SUGGEST such a horrible thing} I’m not wearing a uniform shirt!! It’s vacation!!

Mother: {naively} Why not? After all, the only difference between uniform shirts and non-uniform shirts is that the former have a logo. What does it matter if your shirt has a logo on it?

Son: {thinks fast} It would be a chillul hakodesh! [Ed.- literally, “a desecration of holiness”]

Mother: {amused} A chillul hakodesh?

Son: {with a straight face but a mischievous twinkle in his eye} Yes!

Mother: {knows that she’ll regret asking but steps right into it anyway} You mean that since you wear the uniform shirts to learn Torah in yeshiva, it would be a chillul hakodesh to wear them during vacation to hang out with your friends?

Son: {grins} No. I mean that it would l’challel the kedushah [Ed. – Heblish for “desecrate the sanctity”] of the summer to wear shirts from school now…

Mother: {laughs} You DO realize that I’m going to put this conversation on my blog, right?

Laughing out loud


  1. Gadol! I've forwarded this to me kids, I'll let you know how they feel about the subject...

  2. Me kids! What an awesome typo - I sound like a pirate :)

  3. Toby - Are your kids willing to wear their uniform shirts during vacation?


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