At first, I thought this would be a comical question to ask a few friends. After all, I’ve been quarantined for way too long, plus recuperating from a surgery that was canceled three times because of COVID-19. If you are a social person like me, you know that the lack of outside entertainment such as parties, weddings, and various other events can make you stir crazy with cabin fever. Since I continuously inform my husband that Mashiach is coming any minute now, I thought I better decide what to wear for the beyond momentous occasion of a lifetime!
Going through my closets, I gravitated towards the ball gowns that danced me through the wonderful highlights of my life. Of course, I chose my favorite Carolina Herrera white jersey gown with jet black beaded flowers placed all over the front panels. After all, this is the most important and life-changing event of all time. Maybe it was the pain meds that were responsible for me doing this crazy fashion exercise, but the selection started to authenticate its reality. Thinking that I simply couldn’t be the only one doing this, I called a few friends to see if I wasn’t alone in my wardrobe planning. To my delightful surprise, every woman I contacted had a definite outfit already picked out for Mashiach’s entrance.
Estee Goldshmidt, founder of ShopDrop, has a two-season solution to the big fashion question. “Well, it depends: Is Mashiach coming in the winter or the summer? If summer, I’ll pair my Alexander Wang heeled sandals with an ivory Badgley Mischka twist dress. If winter, I’m wearing a Lela Rose sweater with a ba&sh blazer (Russian style). For the bottom, my Réalisation silk midi skirt paired with J. Campbell pointed heeled sock boots!” Since she is the daughter of Pinchas Goldschmidt, Chief Rabbi of Moscow, and President of the Conference of European Rabbis, she knows a thing or two about Mashiach’s importance.
Hillary Barr, CEO of R New York Real Estate, immediately texted me back with a definite, “Outfit picked out and bags packed. White eyelet dress down to my ankles.” My vivacious childhood friend and event planner Altchie Pelcovitz WhatsApp messaged me, “I should say white. But knowing me, I chose a black Valentino.”
Galit Udel Einer, founder of Kidichic children’s wear, thought deeply about it. “Hmmm....Something white. Something fun from my collection. I’m thinking something with a stunning lace collar that will work perfectly to fly on the wings of Mashiach.”
Rebbetzin Malka Werde, Director of Chabad at FIT, included her best sheitel with her outfit. “My favorite Sheitel #1, my finest jewelry, and my one-piece patterned dress from Tz’fas!”
“A white midi dress with gold thread in the shape of a flower. Something super pure and shiny” is the outfit for Ahuva Levy, co-founder of ShopDrop.
This is just a cross section of successful, educated, and accomplished Jewish women of different ages and professions. I could continue with a lot more responses, but I’m filing it away for preparation and content, as I’m writing my book titled The House of Faith and Fashion: What my closet has taught me about Judaism.
This wild question meant only to entertain has taken on a life of its own. If you dig deeper, past the seemingly frivolous notion of the attire, you will see the bright lights of pure emunah and complete joy in anticipation of Mashiach. This is where you find the housing of the Sh’chinah that rests in every Jewish woman’s soul.
The Lubavitcher Rebbe zt”l describes it best: “The righteous women are (also and essentially) imbued with the feeling of joy – a joy so great that it is expressed in song, because of the greatness of the trust that “Behold he (the Mashiach) is coming, and he has already come!” (January 6, 1992).
This is familiar territory, as we girls have been here time and time again. Our Sages tell us that “in the merit of the righteous women our ancestors were redeemed from Egypt.” It was the women who never despaired during G-d’s redemption, possessing unwavering trust in His process.
The Midrash explains that the Jewish women, while still in Egypt, were so confident they would be redeemed, that they prepared tambourines for the day when they would sing a song of gratitude with Miriam leading the procession.
The Arizal reveals the Kabbalistic connection as the souls of the final generation before Mashiach’s arrival are reincarnations of the souls of the generation of the Exodus. This analysis repeats the reality of the Jewish woman’s merits for survival of the Jewish nation for generations. Once again it will be the women of our generation, with their unshakeable belief in the Redemption, who will escort the Mashiach’s coming.
Naturally, I must ask: So, what are you wearing, ladies?
Tobi Rubinstein is a retired fashion and marketing executive of 35 years who currently produces runway and lifestyle events for NYFW, specializing in Israel’s leading artists and designers. She is the founder of The House of Faith N Fashion, fusing culture and Torah. Tobi was a fashion collaboration and guest expert for ABC, Geraldo Rivera, Huffington Post, Lifetime, NBC, Bravo, and Arise. She hosted her own radio and reality TV series. Tobi is a mother, wife, dog owner, and shoe lover.