Why We Wear White on Yom Kippur
On Yom Kippur it is customary to wear white clothing. This is mindful of purity since on Yom Kippur we spend the whole day in fasting and prayer—and are considered as pure and holy as the angels. Some people wear a kittel, a white robe worn over the clothing because it is similar to the burial shroud which serves to remind us of man’s mortality and the need for teshuvah (repentance).
This year, we encourage the Beth Emet community to join together on Yom Kippur to wear white to honor this tradition. It might be a white dress, a white shirt, or a white sweater. Imagine an entire sanctuary filled with folks in simple, white clothing— a collective sign of thoughtfulness and special commitment, perhaps to some higher power, or perhaps to the community, or to one’s self, but in any event, to a fresh start and a clean slate.