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Are You More Than a Fashion Statement?

Are You More Than a Fashion Statement?

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Question:

Hoping you can help with a translation. I recently bought a new suit, and my aunt said to me something like, “Tetchadesh!” I asked her what it means, and she said it is Hebrew, and you say it when someone gets new clothing. So I asked her again what it means, and she sort of said something like “wear in good health,” but she really didn’t know exactly what it means. So what does it mean?

Answer:

You may be surprised at the true meaning of this blessing for new clothes. It actually translates as: “May you wear it out and need a new one.”1

This is not a Yiddish curse disguised as a blessing (like the one that goes, “May you make a lot of money and be the only one in your family with it”). This is a real blessing. You should outlive your clothing. You should use your material possessions well, and be able to replace them. Your suit will be worn out, but you will keep on trucking, and buy a new one.

You should outlive your clothingThere could be a deeper blessing here too. As exciting as a new suit is, it won’t last forever. The clothes we wear are no more than an external facade, and the way you look today will not be the way you look in a few years from now. Fashions come and go. Make sure you don’t go out with the latest fashion.

Don’t define yourself by your appearance. There is something beyond your exterior look; there is your true self. When your clothes wear out, will there be anything left? Do you have anything more to say with your life than a fashion statement? Your aunt blessed you that the real you should remain true to itself. Tetchadesh!

Good Shabbos,

Rabbi Moss


Footnotes
1.

Glosses of Rema to Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 223:6.

Aron Moss is rabbi of the Nefesh Community in Sydney, Australia, and is a frequent contributor to Chabad.org.
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