Tuesday, March 1st, 2010
Featured colimnist: Gwinn Mitchell Paden
I have been having a pretty thorough education lately in the making of Scottish tartans and in the symbols
and numerical values of the Jewish religion.
My friend, Rabbi Dr. Raphael Pazo, has had a special kilt made for himself as a Rabbi Bagpiper. Woven in Scotland
of virgin wool, the tartan pattern for the kilt was designed by Gary Berreth, once of Lodi, now of Portland, Ore. Gary, who
is a master kilt maker as well as a master tartan designer, incorporated colors with symbolic meanings into the military style
kilt. (In this style, only vertical lines show among the pleats in back; the front shows the sett, the plain open square that
is part of the design. A dress kilt shows the sett in back, also.) Where the average kilt has 24 to 30 pleats, Raphael's has
56, making it very heavy indeed. It was hand sewn, using a gold needle.
Colors include royal blue, emblematic of the priesthood; black, symbolizing the ashes left after a burned
sacrifice; red, emblematic of the blood of the animals sacrificed to atone for the sins of humanity; and silver, gold, burgundy,
and white, each with its own meaning. The numbers of threads in each color are also symbols of special events and meanings.
All the fascinating details of the design and making of the tartan, as well as a color picture, are included
on a special link on Raphael's website: www.californiabagpiper.com. There are also references to Jewish and Scottish history and comments from all kinds of people interested in
the tartan and the kilt. It is very interesting reading, and something quite out of the ordinary. A one-of- a-kind very elegant
masculine garment! A must see!