Ask The Rabbi

Colors

The Color of HeavenArtscroll
Topic: Colors, Symbolism

Name@Withheld wrote:

Dear Rabbi:

I heard that colors have meanings in Judaism. What is the history behind this and could you explain the meaning of certain colors like red, green, blue, yellow, violet, black, orange, and white.


Dear Name@Withheld,

The color red represents blood and sin. White represents purity from sin. Ironically, a white skin coloration marks a person impure, making him into a "metzorah" (leper). Blue is the color of sky and hence of spirituality, reminding of "G-d's Throne of Glory."

* Red, white, and blue, represent fire, water, and air, respectively. They also stand for strength, kindness, and splendor, respectively; or, similarly, judgement, kindness, and mercy.

Furthermore, the color white is associated with the Angel Michael, red with Gabriel, and blue with the Angel Uriel. And white is associated with Abraham, red with Isaac, and blue with Jacob.

* ("yarok" is translated as blue, although there are divergent views regarding this.)

    Sources:

  • Iggeret D'kala page 300
  • Yitav Panim 1 page 193
  • Megalleh Amukot, Ofan 8, 57, and 86

 
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