9/26/09

Are Crocs shoes taboo on Yom Kippur?

The Internet is buzzing with the late breaking news that a prominent Orthodox rabbi has banned croc-wearing on Yom Kippur because the shoes made from lightweight, antimicrobial foam are too comfortable, even though they contain no leather.

Crocs have sold 100 million pairs in seven years. Of late, the company that makes them is rumored to be in bad financial straights.

We have never owned or worn crocs. We checked with a relative of ours, who prefers to remain anonymous, who informs us that he has worn crocs on several occasions and that they gave him blisters each time. Apparently, the rabbi has been misinformed as to the comfort of the crocs brand of shoes.

We do not issue on this blog religious rulings for others to follow. But we can tell you that it is our informed opinion that if we were to wear crocs on Yom Kippur we could rest assured that we had not violated any prohibition in the Torah.

Rav Elyashiv: Crocs Should Not Be Worn On Yom Kippur

rav-elyashiv1crocsThe posek hador, Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, has ruled that Crocs should not be worn on Yom Kippur. Matzav.com had actually reported this ruling of Rav Elyashiv before Tisha B’Av (see here), but now the p’sak has been reported in Bakehillah and various news outlets. The p’sak is based on the fact that the issur to wear leather shoes on Yom Kippur is because they are considered the most comfortable footwear and are therefore included as one of the five prohibitions, or inuyim, of Yom Kippur. Thus, Crocs which are especially comfortable, ruled Rav Elyashiv, should similarly not be worn.

Israeli Chief Rabbi Yonah Metzger and others had previous ruled that Crocs are allowed on Yom Kippur, even though they are comfortable, because they are not made of leather. They say that in the past, as mentioned, the prohibition on wearing leather shoes was because they were considered the most comfortable, and therefore, they claim that just because nowadays rubber shoes are no less comfortable, they, and similar sport shoes, are permitted.

The posek hador has disagreed, however, and has ruled that comfort must be considered, and therefore, Crocs, which are worn for their extreme comfort, should preferably not be worn on Yom Kippur.

See Matzav.com’s earlier report here which contains the views of Rav Moshe Shternbuch and others.

1 comment:

Nadine said...

This makes no sense to me. You can wear slippers on Yom Kippur, and few things are more comfortable than those. I haven't looked it up, but I'm sure the prohibition against leather has more to do with using the skin of an animal than comfort.