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    Durable clothes – Ki Tavo

    The portion relates some of the experiences of the forty years which the Israelites spent in the wilderness.

    The text informs us, “I (God) led you for forty years in the wilderness and your clothes did not wear out” (Deut. 29:4; see also 8:4). The reason for telling us this must be to show how God cared for us and His providence ensured that we would keep our dignity.

    The sages still find this verse rather difficult. Clothes that remained in good condition for so long?

    These days of course we sometimes discover garments that have hung in a closet for many years and, though sometimes dusty, are still wearable – but the Torah story is dealing with clothes that people wore for long periods in difficult physical conditions.

    The Midrash offers the thought that the clothes were endowed with special properties from the time of Sinai onwards so that they remained usable, the clouds of glory kept them clean, they grew with the wearers and did not smell of perspiration (D’varim Rabba 9:11; see Rashi on Deut. 8:4).

    If we are prepared to be assured that God made certain that we had miraculous food to eat throughout the years in the wilderness, there can be no problem with His capacity to work miracles with people’s clothes and footwear too.

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