Clothing on Rosh Hashanah
This year I will be attending my first Rosh Hashanah service. Is there anything I need to know about particular clothes to wear?
The Aish Rabbi Replies:
Rosh Hashanah is the Day of Judgment - when we stand before God and plead our case to be given another year of life.
Normally, if someone would be in court with his life on the line, he would wear solemn black, feeling totally distraught at not knowing the outcome.
Paradoxically, on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish people wear nice clothes and eat festive meals. Why? Because we have confidence in God's kindness and the outcome of the decision.
On the other hand, however, Rosh Hashanah is not a fashion show and we shouldn't show up in synagogue wearing extra-fancy clothes like a tuxedo or embroidered silk dress! That's because we need a balance to take the Day of Judgment seriously.
Think of it as an experienced heart surgeon - he walks into the operating room confident, yet extremely cautious. That's our attitude on Rosh Hashanah, and it's reflected in our clothes.
(source: Mishnah Berurah 581:25)