Every Friday in preparing for Shabbat, we revisit our own invaluable IPO's. The observance of Shabbat provides a reality check on our IPO I-ndividualised P-ersons O-utlook on life and its meaning!!


Preparing for Shabbos Amid Fridays Facebook Frenzy

While the financial insider will be watching their screens to cash out on Fridays Facebook IPO, we will be preparing our clothes to honor the Sabbath.

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg recently got a lot of flack from investors because he wore a hoodie to his financial roadshow. Zuckerberg's casual attire has raised some eyebrows. Is this a sign of immaturity? Should potential investors be scared away by a piece of clothing? Should Wall Street be worrying about things other than Mark Zuckerberg's hoodie?

While this controversy seems kind of wacky, it does raise some interesting questions about the kind of clothes we choose to wear and the statement it makes.

The Biblical source of the concept that modesty is the apex of Divine service is the well-known verse from the prophet Micah:

It has been told you, O man, what is good, and what G‑d asks of you:Only that you do justice, love kindness, and walk modestly with your G‑d.

Clothes Make the Man

On a deeper level the way we dress, speaks loudly of our standards of modesty. The modesty of clothing really begins with a different way of looking at oneself.

When you put on clothes, we simultaneously put on a self-image. The Jewish approach to dress testifies to how intensely our self-image is bound up with what we wear. People intuitively recognize that reconsidering their wardrobe ultimately means reconsidering who they want to be.

Despite the significance of style to self-image, the central issue in modesty is not whether to dress rich or poor, earthy or businesslike. The important choice is whether to draw attention to who you are on the outside—your body—or the inside—your being. You can dress any way you like, as long as you radiate the message that you are first and foremost not a body but a person.

We Are What We Wear

As a human being, we are the most multifaceted creation of all and can be seen in infinite number of ways. And just as others can view us on different planes, so, too, there are any number of ways in which we can view ourselves.

So the challenge of how we choose to dress on the Sabbath or the weekdays, really speaks to how we want others to define you. Clothes project us in such a way, that it can draw the focus to ones true identity.

Modesty of clothing means knowing and communicating to others that your identity equals your innermost self. This can be challenging for superficial parts of oneself can easily outshine the persons deeper dimensions. According to Judaism, G‑d wanted us to enjoy an existence in which our physicality wont stand in the way of defining ourselves internally.

Despite deteriorating sensitivity to these issues, there’s a distinct correlation between the mental and spiritual qualities we associate with a person in any given situation and how much of the persons body we expect to be covered. While a bathing suit may be acceptable at the pool side, this would certainly not be appropriate when receiving your Nobel prize.

The manner in which we cover our body is the most fundamental way of using our outside to tell others who we are on the inside.

Its Not Only Clothes

In conclusion the way we dress is not the only way to express modestly. We also have three modes of expression—thought, speech, and action—they are called the “garments” of the soul. Thus, modesty is also expressed by the way one “dresses” himself in these spiritual garments. This is reflected in the way one moves and talks; with the ultimate expression of modesty, in the way one thinks!

Have a good Shabbos!

(Torah Thoughts on Current Events, based on combined Torah sources Melukat MiPiSeforim UmiPi Sofrim)