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The Color of Forgiveness

Rhona Lewis

What comes to mind when you think of the color white? A spotless Shabbos tablecloth, a shul full of men dressed in kittels, a bride’s gown, a thick carpet of snow unrolled overnight ready for your footprints, clouds as fluffy as candy floss. All of these make us think of beauty, purity, perfection, and forgiveness. Why?

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

 

 Seeing Color

Let’s start by explaining how we see color. To see color, we first have to see light. The light we see comes from the sun and from light bulbs. Light actually includes all colors of the rainbow. When all these colors join together, the light appears white. (You can confirm this by watching how a glass prism splits up white light into different colors.) When this white light hits a surface, some of it is reflected back. Different surfaces soak up different colors. The surface of a red apple sucks in all light except for the color red. This color is reflected out and we see red. When there is no light and therefore no color, we see black.

But color isn’t only a physical thing; every color has a different spiritual source and therefore means something different: red means danger, blue means calmness, and white means unity because it joins all colors together. (Ramchal, Kinas Hashem Tzevakot. As quoted in an essay by Rav Yehoshua Pfeffer.)

 

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Seeing Color

Let’s start by explaining how we see color. To see color, we first have to see light. The light we see comes from the sun and from light bulbs. Light actually includes all colors of the rainbow. When all these colors join together, the light appears white. (You can confirm this by watching how a glass prism splits up white light into different colors.) When this white light hits a surface, some of it is reflected back. Different surfaces soak up different colors. The surface of a red apple sucks in all light except for the color red. This color is reflected out and we see red. When there is no light and therefore no color, we see black.

But color isn’t only a physical thing; every color has a different spiritual source and therefore means something different: red means danger, blue means calmness, and white means unity because it joins all colors together. (Ramchal, Kinas Hashem Tzevakot. As quoted in an essay by Rav Yehoshua Pfeffer.)

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