Word of the Day / Bediavad

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We've recently discussed how Jewish law distinguishes between practices that are better performed a certain way from the outset (lekhathila) but are acceptable after the fact (bediavad, or bedieved) if done differently.

The word bediavad, which means "in retrospect" in contemporary Hebrew, came up in the news this week, or at least the corner of the news where politics and fashion intersect.

It started with the semi-transparent dress that the prime minister's wife, Sara Netanyahu, wore to the Knesset inauguration ceremony. The top part of the dress consisted of a black band covering her bust, while her arms, stomach and upper torso were shrouded in black lace that revealed that (shocker!) she is not as skinny as Bar Refaeli.

I'm not sure whether the reams of criticism over Netanyahu's fashion faux pas had more to do with the less-than-classy nature of a dress worn by the prime minister's wife at a formal state function or with the insistence that flab is something to be covered up rather than put on display. But whatever its source, the dissatisfaction appears to have been enough for Sara's stylist, Merav Yohanan, she of 20-20 hindsight, to tell Yedioth Ahronoth that, as one of its headlines blared, "'Bediavad, I would have picked a different dress for her.'"

This ex post facto admission of what, in retrospect, Yohanan ought to have done prompted one commenter to play on the statement with a fake headline purportedly from Yohanan's client: "Bediavad, I would have picked a different stylist."

To contact Shoshana Kordova with column suggestions or other word-related comments, email her at shoshanakordova@gmail.com. For previous Word of the Day columns, go to: www.haaretz.com/news/features/word-of-the-day.

Bediavad, Sara Netanyahu's stylist might have dressed her differently.Credit: Emil Salman

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