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PHEBESS's Photo PHEBESS Posts: 45,133
11/4/19 6:25 P

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@TRUEPEACENIK Peacenik, you might look at those cloth and rope espadrilles made in Central or South America - though they might have rubber soles on the bottom. But the soles are rope, and the part over the foot is fabric (cotton or linen). Ties in the back or around the ankle are rope, usually cotton.

Just a thought.

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TRUEPEACENIK's Photo TRUEPEACENIK Posts: 1,181
11/4/19 11:06 A

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The prohibition on leather shoes is to remind us we are asking for compassion and mercy, so we should not be wearing death. (From my Chabad rabbi)
We should “show mercy” that day.


And my battle with this:
I’m vegetarian. I care about the post use waste of a pair of shoes.
Leather can be repaired. Re-dyed. It somewhat will breakdown in a landfill.
My main option is plastics. That typically aren’t good repair candidates. They don’t break down in landfills, and go there faster.
My day to day struggle is ecology, but when Yom Kippur rolls around, I cannot help but think wearing plastic is “approving” of the pollution of the earth.
A far cry from tikkun olam, for me.
I have worn the same pair of wool slippers for many years to get around this.

Edited by: TRUEPEACENIK at: 11/4/2019 (11:07)
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PHEBESS's Photo PHEBESS Posts: 45,133
10/11/19 2:36 A

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I had an interesting discussion with someone today on the rather fine line between religion as practiced by most people, versus religious practices aimed at leading to enlightenment.

And while the point of fasting is supposed to bring us closer to some spiritual enlightenment, the not wearing leather shoes during Yom Kippur seems to be one of those following the letter of the law for some reason that has more to do with following the law and less to do with enlightenment. If that makes sense. (It's 11:30 PM and I should fall into bed.)

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ECOAGE's Photo ECOAGE Posts: 12,813
10/10/19 11:45 P

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Personally, I don't wear leather. I decided to live my life as a vegetarian when I was in my early 20's. My patterns and habits changed in incremental steps. I was happy to stop eating meat. In all honesty, I still struggle with my decision to avoid wearing leather shoes and boots, and carrying leather bags. It's not easy to find a decent veggie burger but it's even harder to find a nice pair of faux leather dress boots. I do make exceptions for the possibility of leather decorative elements on my running shoes. And I won a pair of leather ballet-style flats from SparkPeople when I didn't even know I was in a contest. They give me a blister every time I wear them! (Comfort of leather? Not guaranteed!) But I digress ...

Or do I? Should we all avoid wearing faux leather shoes on Yom Kippur? Should only I (and other persons who do not wear leather) abstain from wearing faux leather shoes on Yom Kippur? Should I wear the leather shoes that give me a blister because they are uncomfortable? I like the idea that we can argue about these possibilities ... arguing is central to the religion!

I was taught that some of our religious laws might not make sense to us humans but they have a deeper meaning. We are "supposed to" follow the laws because they are laws, not because they make sense to us. This is in contrast to the common sense laws that make sense more intuitively. It makes sense to "do not steal" and no additional explanation is necessary.

The often-used example is keeping kosher. Why would it be okay to eat one kind of animal and not another type? It can be argued that way back in time, cows were a safer bet than pigs. These days there are modern farming techniques and the FDA has a pretty tight bunch of regulations on all meat products making a pork roast about as safe as a beef brisket. But the no bacon law is still followed today because the law is not for food safety but coincidentally happened to result in safer foods. The law might make sense to us humans or it might be antiquated, or it might not make sense to us in any context that we can consider as rational. The law is the law whether we understand the purpose or not.

And that's my understanding of lessons taught by my patient teachers ...

It takes a long time to grow young. - P. Picasso

Gail
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10/10/19 4:29 P

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Well, thats really what I meant - 2 jews 3 opinions type thing. sure there's a "reason" for what we do and some agree and some dont. sometimes its something that is soo out of date (like leather shoes) we are doiong it for ...i cant think of the right word, not historical.. but those reasons. honestly it doesnt make sense today to not wear leather shoes since one of the main reasons they didnt wear them was to be NOT comfortable in the time of these prayers. but really, does it make sense to follow this today? i was looking around yesterday and the men seemed to be wearing sneakers. arent they just as, if not more, comfortable. So i wasnt so much saying there's not a reason if you delve down, it doesnt always make sense.

ECOAGE's Photo ECOAGE Posts: 12,813
10/10/19 2:49 P

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I agree with Nu. Sometimes one has to dig very deep to understand because the "why" might not be obvious. That's why we are encouraged to pursue a lifetime of study.

But I think the explanation I found is clear if you consider the second paragraph that I shared along with the first one. The main idea for abstaining from food and drink is not to 'fast for 25 hours' but to have a long fast as a way to get to a mindset when you can have a spiritual connection to get to a state for repentance. Those activities that are prohibited for Yom Kippur are meant to help you avoid distraction and focus on the more spiritual aspects of the reasons for Yom Kippur.

The historical leaders debated (and like other Jewish thinkers we continue to argue today) about the interpretation of the meaning, purpose, and exact implementation of these constraints. Some say leather shoes, others say all leather, and some say all shoes; and there are rational reasons for all these possible interpretations.

There are many ways to interpret the laws that guide the things that we do and what we have done for generations. Personally, I think a strength of Judaism is a lack of "one way or the highway" type of dogma. For generations we have argued about 'how' and 'why' while making room at the table for different opinions and a variety of conclusions.

It takes a long time to grow young. - P. Picasso

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NUMD97's Photo NUMD97 Posts: 10,107
10/10/19 11:18 A

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It usually does if you take the time to dig deeper.

Knowing is not enough. We must apply. Willing is not enough. We must do.
~ Goethe

Dare to dream.
~ Me


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10/10/19 9:58 A

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So when did Judaism ever make sense?

GWYNANNE1's Photo GWYNANNE1 Posts: 4,190
10/10/19 6:14 A

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makes no sense to prohibit leather shoes, but be able to wear leather coat, carry leather purse or wear other leather products

NUMD97's Photo NUMD97 Posts: 10,107
10/10/19 4:40 A

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I think I saw that one, too.

Knowing is not enough. We must apply. Willing is not enough. We must do.
~ Goethe

Dare to dream.
~ Me


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ECOAGE's Photo ECOAGE Posts: 12,813
10/9/19 11:46 P

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more opinions and more opinions ...

"Only leather shoes are prohibited on Yom Kippur and Tishah B’Av. One is permitted to wear belts, yarmulkes, jackets, or other items made from leather. Some authorities prohibit all “protective footwear,” even if there is no leather component."

"all have one goal –to bring one closer to God and lead one to teshuvah. It is not just about abstaining from food; it is about repentance and experiencing a spiritual awakening. ... the fast is the means, not the goal. It is a tool that serves the ultimate purpose of repentance."

Leather and Fasting on Yom Kippur
Rabbi Dr. Ari Zivotofsky
Orthodox Union
www.ou.org/torah/machshava/tzarichiy
un
/tzarich_iyun_leather_and_fasting_onR>_yom_kippur/



Edited by: ECOAGE at: 10/9/2019 (23:47)
It takes a long time to grow young. - P. Picasso

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PHEBESS's Photo PHEBESS Posts: 45,133
10/9/19 9:16 P

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Hmmmm. So now I'm wondering if these would mean no down jackets on Yom Kippur. (It hovered in the 30s to 40s here until the afternoon. We are freezing!!!!)

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NUMD97's Photo NUMD97 Posts: 10,107
10/9/19 6:08 P

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Source regarding leather shoes not being worn on Yom Kippur:

judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/
30
895/why-are-we-forbidden-to-wear-leaR>ther-shoes-on-yom-kippur/30907#30907


And, Julia, it's a 25-hour fast. That's long enough!

Knowing is not enough. We must apply. Willing is not enough. We must do.
~ Goethe

Dare to dream.
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10/9/19 1:37 P

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ah well the eternal question - how far should my observance go? everyone has a line they draw. some go as far as eat pork to break the fast at 5 pm (its over at 730ish) and others didnt even go home last night so they can pray all night. technically its leather anywhere, i believe, not just the shoes. i looked around at shul and saw bunches of sneakers and leather shoes both.

PROVERBS31JULIA's Photo PROVERBS31JULIA Posts: 5,875
10/9/19 11:58 A

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Yes, I was reading those theories. So does that mean any leather anywhere on shoe? or the sole of the shoe! Most of my “leather” shoes have rubber soles and man-made synthetic fabrics for the liner and just a little decorative leather on the uppers.

She girds herself with strength, And strengthens her arms.
Proverbs 31:17


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10/9/19 10:22 A

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I don’t know details but one reason is not to give ourselves comfort like leather was comfortable back in the day. The other was for the sin of not wearing skins or killing animals with something on that line. Sorry I don’t know more but I think that sort of covers it

PROVERBS31JULIA's Photo PROVERBS31JULIA Posts: 5,875
10/9/19 10:04 A

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So these are not quite like the ones asked at Passover...

but I got email from a group and they had these points on why places we were to afflict our souls:

On Yom Kippur, for nearly 26 hours, we “afflict our souls” in the following five ways:
We don’t eat or drink;
We don’t wash;
We don’t use lotions or perfumes;
We don’t wear leather footwear; and
We abstain from marital relations.


Some is obvious... like lack of energy.

But why are they saying we don’t wear leather footwear?

The reason I am puzzled is years ago I was emailing a deaf Israeli friend and he considered himself as Jewish racially - but not as much spiritually (he claimed the Jews in Israel were not inclusive of deaf people in their congregations... which sounds like an excuse to me?). But he was telling me years ago he hatred Yom Kippur because the only shoes he was allowed to wear was leather shoes or sandals? He couldn’t wear his other shoes like walking shoes or whatever that are mixtures of fibers, rubber, cloth etc?

So that puzzles me...

She girds herself with strength, And strengthens her arms.
Proverbs 31:17


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