It is customary to wear white for Rosh Hashanah. It symbolizes the seriousness of the accounting and teshuvah we must do, and reminds us of both birth and death and the grand cycle of which we are a part. When we are born, pure, naked and innocent we are wrapped in a white swaddling clothed. And when we die, experienced, naked, and forgiven we are returned to the earth in simple white garments, too.
I keep this High Holy Day custom by wearing a special silk kittel (robe) hand made by my mother, Sharon Norry. It has small coins on the hem and a red string tied to the inside of the cuff. I also wear a special white on white tallit that she wove. They are beautiful and continue to remind me of her beauty, talent and generosity.
Symbolically, they are both very fragile garments, tender materials delicately woven together. They are thin, and held together by that unseen hand of the weaver that makes structure out of simple thread. The kittel is translucent, and allows the light to show through, and the tallit is a delicate weave that looks almost too frail to hold together.
This year, I am again reminded of where I come from and where I am going. And of the space in between the fibers, the spaces in between the moments of life, the quiet rests in the music, and the spirit of creativity the binds us all together and wraps us in the light.