My Bubie loves colors. She dresses in colors and loves to see paintings and art that has colors and textures. It is hard for my Bubie to see us only allowed to wear dark colors. She dreams that someday she will be able to take us to the shops and buy us outfits that bring out all of the colors of the world. The next story is about girls who find their own way to bring colors into their lives.
Once there was a King who ruled over the people in his land. The King was not a bad man but it was difficult for him to understand how people felt, when they were hurt, when they were happy and when they were sad. The King wanted his subjects to achieve greatness and holiness and he thought that he had the formula for that, but he did not ask his people what they thought might be good for them.
One day, the King ordered that all of the women in his Kingdom, from the age of three, must wear clothing that would touch the floor, cover their arms to their hands, button up to under the chin and wear scarves that would cover their hair. No longer could girls or women wear any colors other than black, dark blue or green and grey, except on the Sabbath when they could wear an outer garment of white.
Many of the girls and women protested. The young girls did not want to cover their hair and they wanted to wear dresses that had color in them. However, the King said that it was not appropriate for girls to wear colors or to walk around with their hair uncovered. The King wanted to create a holy community and for this, the women would need to be extra modest, so as not to attract attention.
There were a few girls in the Kingdom who decided that this was not a fair decree. They gathered up all of their old clothing and instead of burning it, as the King had instructed, they took it to an underground cellar and hid it. The leader of this group was a girl named Kayla.
Now Kayla knew that it would be dangerous if the clothing was discovered and even more dangerous if she and the other girls were discovered wearing it. In addition, she didn’t know exactly what the plan was in terms of what to do with all of this clothing. Other girls in the Kingdom heard about the secret place for the colored clothing and they too brought colored materials and clothes to hide, from the people the King had sent to burn all colored clothes.
Kayla and her friends, Shira and Ahuva, met one day after school in a kindergarten where they volunteered. Kayla said, “We must think of what we want to do with all of the colored clothes and material.” “Yes”, said Shira. “But, we must also be careful that our hiding place is not discovered and we do not get into trouble”. The girls were not sure what could happen to them if they were caught, but they knew that the King did not have a problem with punishing those who did not obey his commandments, so they knew that the punishment would not be a pleasant one.
“First of all”, said Ahuva, “We must make sure that our hiding place is safe and that only the three of us know where it is. We must also have a good place to hide the key and keep it locked at all times unless we are in there”.
“Secondly”, said Kayla, “We need to decide what we will do with all of these clothes. Do we just want to keep them? Do we want to wear them in secret? Do we want to share them with other girls? What is our purpose in saving all of these colorful clothes, especially since having those clothes goes against the decree our King?”
After a few minutes, Shira began to speak. “Listen, our King believes that wearing dark clothing that covers all of our body, including our hair, is the way to make our Kingdom holy. He is not a bad man, but he does not understand how important it is for us to take the colors in the world, that God created and wear them to make us happy. The best way to make a holy Kingdom is to work, learn, play and volunteer with happiness in our hearts. Through happiness, we can make our Kingdom holy. The dark colors make us sad and this is what our King does not understand.”
“Ok”, said Ahuva. “Would you like to go to the King, for all of the girls in the Kingdom, and explain this to him?” “No”, said Shira. “He would not understand, and so we must have another plan”.
Then Kayla spoke. “My dear sisters, I have an idea. We can take the clothes that we have collected and the colored material that we have stored and we can begin sewing and distributing beautiful clothes to all of the girls in the Kingdom.”
“How can we do this? It is against the law!” Both Ahuva and Shira said together.
“Here is my idea”, said Kayla. “We will tell the girls that we are meeting every day to say our prayers together. We will ask each girl who comes if she would like to have a beautiful dress of her own to say the prayers in. If we are caught, we will say that this is just a prayer session for girls and it is a way to make us happier as we say our prayers. After each session, we tell the girls that we have no room to store the clothes we have for them so that they must wear them under their black shawls and bring them home. Each girl will be responsible for keeping her colorful clothes. When she grows out of the dress, or gets tired of it, she may return it and we will make her a new dress to take home with her.”
“All of our Prayer meetings could be at different places so we are never at the same place”, exclaimed Shira. “The girls can give us their size one week and by the next week we will try to have their dress ready”, she added.
Ahuva thought this idea was a good beginning. “At least this way girls would have one beautiful colorful outfit and they would even be able to wear it outside, even though it would be under all of their dark dreary outfits", she said.
“Someday”, thought Kayla to herself. “I will live in a Kingdom where the girls and the women can wear whatever clothes they want. It will be a place that celebrates all of the colors in the world. It will be a place where there is no color that is forbidden because colors make our lives bright. They make us feel happy and pretty and colors make me smile!”