As I write this article, I will first confess not to have a magic ball to predict the outcome of the election. When all the votes are counted properly (or otherwise) and a definite (or otherwise) winner is named for another term or another disaster, I might need the assistance of Ezras Noshim, an all-female emergency care service.
This past week was filled with huge victories for women that don’t fit in the current box of feminism. Conservative and deeply religious Justice Amy Coney Barrett was sworn into the U.S. Supreme Court, filling the seat of R.B.G., and Ezras Nashim scored their own major victory for Jewish observant women.
This week, according to vosizneias.com, the brave ladies in purple celebrated their first ambulance: “It was an exhilarating moment for the women of Ezras Nashim as they took delivery of their long-awaited ambulance on Sunday, their hard-fought legal battle to get a vehicle of their own finally coming to an end.”
The founder of that organization, Judge Ruchie Freier, is a Jewish celebrity in her own right, as she is the first Chassidic female judge, breaking her own stereotypes within the ultra-orthodox arenas. With enormous pride, she showed off her first purple-and-white striped, state-of-the-art ambulance complete with logos and endorsements. Ezras Nashim has EMTs in Borough Park, Flatbush, and Manhattan, plus a training program. The volunteers comprise of various religious observances who are fluent in English, Yiddish, Hebrew, and Russian. At first, the purple EMT vests and matching ambulance reminded me of sour grape candy sticks. I’m always struck by the presence of color, as there are no accidents in choosing them. Upon a more mature view, the color purple seems to envelope this sisterhood with a sense of strength, power, and position.
The color purple is often associated with royalty, nobility, luxury, power, and ambition, such as royal garments for a king or queen. According to the color encyclopedia, a person who favors this choice shows compassion and kindness with a great willingness to aid others.
The Torah’s word for purple is argaman. Literally, argaman means “woven.” The Torah usually mentions argaman in the same sentence as two other colors: “sky-blue, purple, and a crimson thread.” We are unsure if argaman was actually a weave of blue and red that appeared purple, yet it was an integral part of the Tabernacle interior design of curtains as well as the attire of the Kohen Gadol (High Priest), seen in the trim and apron.
All these colors are certainly divinely designed choices of color. I would like to think that Ezras Nashim adopted the purple and its various shades as an oath of power and protection drawing on these Torah references, as well as continuing their majestic and compassionate cause to help Jewish women during their vulnerable time of sickness.
Since we presently live between the divisions of red (Republicans) and blue (Democrats), which make the color purple when properly mixed, it makes perfect sense that these extraordinary Jewish women live in a world of purple with its perfect symmetry.
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.