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Yom Kippur Fashion Faux Pas

Written by PETA | September 15, 2010

Everyone knows that you’re not supposed to wear white after Labor Day, but did you know that it’s taboo to wear leather on Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, which will be observed on September 18 this year? Stepping out in the skin of a dead, dismembered animal is a big blunder if you’re seeking mercy, compassion, and forgiveness. Check out PETA’s new “Yom Kippur Fashion Faux Pas” video to learn more:


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I’m no theologian, but I think it’s safe to say that no matter your religious beliefs, being kind to animals will never be a faux pas.

Written by Heather Moore

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  • Constance says:

    Talia, thanks so much for your explanation. I’m not Jewish but I have been a hired singer in a reformed Temple for the last 25 years. We have always tried to be respectful on Yom Kippur by wearing subdued clothing but I have never heard the whole story. Thanks again.

  • Chloe says:

    I’m Jewish and we thinks wrong to wear animals on holidays. I just wish that applied to meat eating too! I am the only vegetarian in my family. 🙁 Kosher means nothing and animals still suffer.

  • Talia says:

    Okay guys, here’s the thing. I’m Jewish, a vegetarian, don’t wear leather, etc. And I think I understand what you’re getting at here. But the thing is, your message is factually incorrect. The reason Jews don’t wear leather on Yom Kippur is because, at the time the prohibition arose, leather was considered a luxury. The idea was that we should be uncomfortable while thinking about our sins, and therefore not wear luxurious items. There is an accompanying tradition of not bathing the day of Yom Kippur, not wearing perfume, etc. You’ll find most modern rabbis will tell you comfortable non-leather shoes aren’t allowed either (I believe there was an issue with people trying to get away with Crocs a couple years ago 🙂 ). I don’t mean to step all over your message, (and I do understand that this has been a -modern- interpretation) but Yom Kippur is one of our holiest days. I’ll be honest with you, I’m not someone who goes around shouting all over the internet, but I really felt I had to speak up here. Yom Kippur deserves more respect. (As for that horrible chicken torture thing, which is, I believe, condemned by many if not most modern rabbis, it’s actually called “kapparot.” I believe kaparah refers to atonement in general.) Thanks for reading.

  • F... says:

    I’m a jewish and i can say my religion it’s a little ironic! Two days before Yom Kippur it’s a tradition to sacrifice a chicken, in a really bad way, in an old ritual named kaparah or kapporoh. That’s terrible…..