Photo Credit:opendoorministries.waorg the tallit 2013Elder Mary Contreras
“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak untothe children of Israel, and bid them that they make themfringes in the borders of their garments throughout theirgenerations, and that they put upon the fringe of theborders a ribband of blue: And it shall be unto you for afringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all thecommandments of the LORD, and do them ; and that yeseek not after your own heart and your own eyes, afterwhich ye use to go a whoring: That ye may remember,and do all my commandments, and be holy unto yourGod” (Num. 15:37-40, KJV).“Thou shalt make thee fringes upon the four quarters ofthy vesture, wherewith thou coverest thyself” (Deut.22:12).
Background• The tallit (Ashkenazic, tallis) is a robe that a worshipper wraps him or herself during prayer, hence, "prayer shawl.”• The word tallit, means a robe or a cloak (some connect it the Latin "stola").• Takelet (H8504) It comes from two Hebrew words: TAL (H2919--tent) and ITH (H6996--little). When you wrap yourself in the tallit by covering your head, you feel as though you have personal space inside the closed area of a tent with the intention to enhance your prayers• This is not the traditional Jewish name for the garment, as is it originally not associated particularly with prayer.
• Jewish tradition specifies “that a person only wears the tallit during morning prayers, except for the Kol Nidre service during Yom Kippur” (Temple Emanu-El of San Jose, 2008).• The textual basis for this practice establishes this mitzvah: "…and you shall see it, and you shall remember all the commandments of the Lord and observe them…“ (Num 15)• One interprets the words "see" to imply a daytime obligation only -- when one can "see" the fringes attached to the tallit.
History: Rescuing the Mitvah• During Middle Ages people did not wear four-cornered garments. The tzitzit was in danger of being forgotten.• The Jews then wore a four-cornered garment to which they would be obliged to attach the tzitzit to restore it from vanishing Jewish life.• This special four-cornered garment was given the name tallit on the analogy of the four-cornered garments worn in ancient times. Photo credit: dharma-beads.net
• The tzitzit should be worn the whole of the day, but Jews could not do this because the tallit was an unusual garment. So, the tallit was limited to the time of the morning prayers.• Another device similar to the tallit also has been adopted by pious Jews. You wear it all day as an outer garments, like a vest with four corners to which the tzitzit are attached (tallit katan--small tallit or the arba kanfot --four comers). Photo Credit: thejudaicastore
Blessings: Donning a Tallit• Before putting on the tallit the benediction is recited: "Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who hast hallowed us by Thy commandments, and hast commanded us to enwrap ourselves in the fringed garment."
• In the traditional prayer book the following meditation before putting on the tallit is found, based on the Kabbalah: "I am here enwrapping myself in this fringed robe, in fulfillment of the command of my Creator, as it is written in the Torah, they shall make them a fringe upon the comers of their garments throughout their generations. And even as I cover myself with the tallit in this world, so may my soul deserve to be clothed with a beauteous spiritual robe in the World to Come, in the garden of Eden”
Prayer for Those Wearing a Tallit Photo credit: templesanjose.org
Wearing a Tallit: Exemptions• Since the precept of tzitzit is binding only during the day and not during the night, women are exempt.• Orthodox rabbis generally disapprove of women wearing the tallit because it’s not traditional.• Until recently, you rarely saw a woman to wear it to prayer.• Currently, women do wear the tallit for prayer.• Many women have a special colored or decorated tallit in the latest fashion. Photo Credit: AllJewish links. com
• Unmarried men do not wear the tallit in Ashkenazic communities (Deut 22:13): "If a man marries a women.” This verse indicates that a tallit is not to be worn until one is married.• It has been remarked that the real reason is to enable the young ladies in the womens section of the synagogue to observe which young men are eligible for marriage.
Tallit Specifications: Fabric & Size• Fabric: Linen, wool, silk or synthetics; so long as the biblical prohibition against the wearing of clothing combining linen and wool is observed (Shatnez, Deut 22:11;Temple Emanu- El of San Jose, 2008).• It must be long enough to cover most of the body. Many modern Jews wear a silk tallit that is really little more than a scarf around the neck• In more recent years the older form of a woolen tallit covering most of the body has again become the norm.
• The Israelites are commanded to put tzitzit ("fringes") on their garments in order to remind them of Gods laws (Num 15:37-40).• The fringes have to be placed on the four corners of the garment, from which the Rabbis conclude that only four- cornered garments have to have tzitzit affixed to them (Deut 22:12)
Jewish Laws: Putting on a Tallit• Open the Tallit: Hold it by the atarah and open it, with atarah upward and closest to your body.• Recite the Blessing: Hold the tallit with both hands and say the blessing (berachah).• Kiss the Atarah Twice: The last embroidered word of the blessing, and then again on the first word. Photo Credit: bing.com
• Putting on the Tallit: Put the tallit over your head with the atarah along your forehead. Both sides must have parallel lengths Pull down the atarah to cover your forehead. Gather the tallit around your head to cover your face. Contemplate your prayers. Release the shawl and spread the fabric out over shoulders and down your back. Bundle up the strings at the corners of the tallit into one group and kiss the strings (From Temple Emanu-El of San Jose, 2008; Jewish-art.com, 2011).
References:• Goldberg, A. (1989). Tallit. Reconstructionist, 54(6), 35-318.• Jewish-art.com. (2011). How to put on a tallit. Retrieved on February 8, 2013 from http://jewish-art.org/how-to-put-on-a- tallit.html• Temple Emanu-El of San Jose. (2008). The tallit. Retrieved on February 8, 2013 from http://www.templesanjose.org/ JudaismInfo/faq/tallit.htm PPT template: Sharefaith.com
"... may my soul, my spirit,my essence, be guarded fromobstructions—may the tallitspread its wings over themlike an eagle who rouses hernestlings hovering over heryoung." Kabbalistic Meditation
Israel Mission Trip 2013 Lighthouse Church of All Nations Mission Department 4501 W. 127th Street Alsip, IL thelighthousechurch.org