H&M Selling ‘If Not Now, When’ T-Shirts
Hillel the Elder’s 2,000-year-old rabbinic quote is basically the new YOLO
Hillel the Elder, the rabbinic sage whose ancient teachings continue to influence modern Jewish thought, can add another important cultural touchpoint to his resume. Clothing conglomerate H&M, a company known more for its inexpensive, runway-inspired wares than its philosophical forays, has plastered Hillel’s famous quote, “If not now, when?” onto a $9.95 tank top.
It’s been a big week for Jewish motifs in fashion. On Wednesday, Zara faced collective Internet outrage over a kids’ pajama shirt that looked an awful lot like a concentration camp uniform. (The company removed the item and apologized profusely via Twitter).
The popular H&M shirt, meanwhile, is likely on the backs of tweens across the country, maybe even the world, at this very moment. Hillel’s 2,000-year-old quote is basically the new YOLO.
It’s only a matter of time before kids these days are doing the ‘on one foot‘ dance.