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Joining the Marine [Park] Core!

“Call Me Mister Blue!” 


Rabbi Hillel L. Yarmove ©


By way of introduction: blue is my favorite color. In fact, you might even call me “Mr. Blue.” 

Ah yes, but which Mr. Blue? Read on.

Several years ago I was intrigued by the fact that most of the cars which sped past me on my way to, say, New York City were either black, white, or silver-gray. What ever happened to the parti-colored autos of my youth, I wondered at the time? Indeed, research showed me that I wasn’t imagining anything: black, white and gray (or silver) really were the dominant colors on America’s highways at that time.

However, in the last few years a revolution has begun, a veritable reversal of the predominance of “neutral” colors. What has struck me as being outstanding is that blue has led the way. You might even call it “the proliferation of the color blue.”

And not just any old blue. The degree of the intensity–or saturation–of this color appears to be much greater now than it ever was in the past, making it seem as though there were an almost endless number of hues (or tints) of this primary color. Additionally, automakers have jumped on the blue bandwagon as never before. Why, in the last year alone, I have been absolutely awed by the unbelievable variety of the various shades of blue—and how chromatic engineers have experimented with them, even to the extent of allowing the blandest shades of gray to be spruced up by the addition of a tiny amount of blue pigment–in other words, gray with a tinge of blue!

OK, so what? Does anyone really care about anything as trivial as the color of cars?

Well, I for one do! Perhaps I am being merely curious, but I wonder why the color blue has gained such prominence so quickly. Let me posit my own, very unprofessional theory (or is it just a hunch?). 

The word “blue” connotes two very different characteristics. One is, of course, loyalty–as in “true-blue.” The other is melancholy, as in “a blue mood.” (Of course, a “blue moon” is altogether different, since the term refers to an occurrence which is extremely rare. What constitutes a blue moon will, I hope, be the focus of an article in these pages later this year.)

So I ask again, “Who cares?” And I shall now attempt to answer my own query.

When I was much, much younger (in the 1950’s), I was wowed by bright-blue cars which then were very much in vogue. And I don’t mean just Ford Edsels and Chevrolet Bellaires. Other automakers as well seemed smitten by the color blue. But then, the concept of loyalty was also in fashion–or at least, I remember it that way. Melancholy was not a major player in our young mid-century lives either. Now it could be that both time and absence make the heart grow fonder and that we tend to view the past as being more harmonious, urbane, and pleasant than it actually was. Perhaps my “rhapsody in blue” is just a bit too uncritical and off-base. But I distinctly recall that the America of the middle Fifties was a far more sypathetic and even patriotic place than it became just a scant few years later in the turbulent 1960’s. 

Could it be, then, that somehow or other we are all involved in making a statement (through our astonishingly recent interest in blue cars) about where we would like to go–or to where we wish to return? In other words, is  the “true-blue” trend actually both an allusion and a yearning to return to what we perceive as the noble attitudes of the past? 

Like loyalty, for instance. And as Jews, loyalty to Hashem Yisborach, to the Torah, and to our duty as frum members of a holy society, remains our paramount spiritual impetus.

If so, you may certainly call me “Mister Blue” as I once again scamper about getting ready  for leaving the Mitzrayim of crass materialism in which we are all to some degree or other ensconced.  Make no mistake about it: there is no longer room for any kind of melancholy, for on Seder night we shall through our actions and our words once more declare our ultimate loyalty and reinvigorate ourselves as the Am Hanivchar. 

And then–just you wait!– there’ll be nobody around to sing us the blues!



Questions or comments? Please send these to me at hillyarm@yeshivanet.com. A very kosher and happy Pesach to you all, dear readers!


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