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April 18, 2018
Rabbi Eytan Yehudah Dzikowski
What happened to the ancient custom of attaching red wool on people’s windows?
וְכִלָּה֙ מִכַּפֵּ֣ר אֶת־הַקֹּ֔דֶשׁ וְאֶת־אֹ֥הֶל מוֹעֵ֖ד וְאֶת־הַמִּזְבֵּ֑חַ וְהִקְרִ֖יב אֶת־הַשָּׂעִ֥יר הֶחָֽי׃
When he has finished purging the Shrine, the Tent of Meeting, and the altar, the live goat shall be brought forward.
There was once a custom for people to attach red wool on their windows on Yom Kippur Eve.
Some of these strings who turn white while others would remain red thereby embarrassing the members of the household.
The custom was therefore terminated and red wool was hung only on the doors of the Heichal, inside the Ulam. This too was eventually terminated since it sometimes remained red which upset many people.
In the end they would only attach it to the rock from which the goat would be thrown down.
(Rosh Hashana 31b, Talmud Yerushalmi Shabboss 9:3; Yoma 6:5)
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Dedicated Today L'iluy nishmat Ratza Bat Baruch
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