Judaica - Tallit
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is a prayer shawl "cloak" that is worn during the
morning Jewish services (the Shacharit prayers) in
Judaism, during the Torah service, and on Yom Kippur.
It has special twined and knotted "fringes" known as
tzitzit attached to its four corners. The tallit is
sometimes also referred to as the arba kanfot, meaning
the ‘four wings’ (in the connotation of four corners).
While some other Jewish garments or objects might be
treated more casually, the tallit is a special
personal effect, generally used for many years or a
lifetime and never discarded. Most Jewish men own very
few tallitot in their lifetimes. A threadbare tallit
is treated with great respect, as if it had a mantle
of holiness, acquired from years of use. Although
there is no mandatory tradition, a tallit is likely to
be given as a special gift, from father to son, from
father-in-law to son-in-law, from teacher to student.
It may also be purchased to mark a special occasion,
such as a wedding, a b'nai mitzvah, or a trip to
Israel. When a man dies, it is traditional that he be
buried dressed only in his kittel, with his tallit is
draped over him.
wearing a tallit at certain times is considered an
obligation for men, a synagogue will usually have a
rack available with extras, for visitors and guests,
or for those who forgot to bring their own with them.
The extras that a synagogue has available to lend are
usually plain and simple, but sufficient to fulfill
the obligation. Although non-Jewish male visitors are
expected to wear a kippah (headcovering) when visiting
a synagogue, it would be frowned upon for a non-Jew to
put on a tallit, unless he is studying or preparing
for conversion to Judaism.
According to Rabbinic Judaism, men are required to
wear it at various points of their lives as Jews, and
most sages regarded the tzitzis as compulsory. In
Reform Judaism, the use of a tallit was declining
during much of the 20th century, but in recent years,
it has returned to favor. Various authorities have
differed as to whether women are permitted to wear a
tallit. In Orthodox Judaism, many authorities
discourage women from wearing a tallit while some
Modern Orthodox authorities permit it. In other
branches of Judaism it is more commonly practiced.
tallit (Modern Hebrew:
tallet(h) (Sephardi Hebrew: טַלֵּית),
Yiddish also called talles