This Friday, as we welcome the Shabbat (the Sabbath) and prepare to relax and reflect, we turn our attention to the weekly Torah portion — Tetzaveh (Exodus 27:20–30:10). In this reading, among other things, God describes to Moses in great detail the garment to be worn by the Kohanim (the priests of the sanctuary). As I reflected upon this, I was reminded of a refrain of a song that my dad used to sing when I was a kid “I see by your outfit that you have an outfit . . .” (which is of course, a spoof of the song, “The Streets of Laredo” sung by Johnny Cash. Click here to hear the song: http://youtu.be/FJUniie94TA).
What are we to make of this full and very specific of the priestly garments? Is it that the clothes make the man?
So, with that in mind, I tried to come up with several suggestions for our 18-month old son, about how a man should dress:
1. Always zip/button your fly
2. Make sure your shoes are shined.
3. No ring around the collar.
4. Button-down collars are not technically made to be worn with a tie.
5. Pants should have a 1/2 to full break at the bottom. If people can see your socks — too high. If the back of your pants hem is chewed up by being walked on by your heel — too low.
6. People should notice how well your dressed by how well you you’re dressed, not by the fact that you look like a walking kaleidoscope or Huggy Bear from Starsky & Hutch.
7. No cell phones on the belt. You’re not Batman, and that belt is not a utility belt. It’s for keeping your pants up.
8. Socks really aren’t optional. We’re not WASPs, and we don’t own a yacht. When you’re an eccentric billionaire, then you can do what you want. Until then, your feet smell just like everyone else’s. So wear socks.
9. 2 buttons undone is okay. 3 buttons undone, you’re Tom Jones circa 1975, and that’s not okay.
10. Hipster-chic is not chic.