How To Pick the Perfect Tallit
The idea of wearing a tallit (also called a tallis) dates back to Torah times when the Jewish people were commanded to attach "tzitzit" (fringes or knotted tassels) to the corners of any four-cornered garment. The purpose was to remind the Jewish people of the 613 mitzvot (commandments). The Hebrew word tzitzit has the numerical equivalence of 600, and each tassel has 8 strings with 5 knots, which together equals 613. At the time, huge squares of white material were worn constantly as protection from the scorching desert sun, folded into scarves and wrapped around the shoulders in the evening when the desert's temperatures drop. When this stopped being normative practice, the Rabbis decreed that a four-cornered tasseled garment must be worn every day, so that the notion of tzitzit wouldn't be lost.
There are two types of tallitot (the plural of tallit). There is the tallit gadol, which is what most people think of when they hear the word tallit or tallis. This is a prayer shawl that one wraps around their shoulders during a bar or bat mitzvah, during morning prayers, when getting married, and other events. They are often beautifully decorated and gifted before a bar or bat mitzvah. The other type is the tallit katan, which is a four-cornered undershirt with tzitzit attached that some people wear every day, either with the tzitzit tucked inside their pants or hanging out.
Traditionally, tallitot can be made from wool, cotton, linen, or silk, but most authorities on Jewish law champion wool as the best option. We carry a selection of beautiful traditional tallitot, made from pure, unblended wool, featuring blue or black stripes. This classic design has evolved over the years to include decorative corners and collars in a variety of colors and sizes. Want something a little more contemporary? There are plenty of modern options as well! A tallit's stripes can really play off a person's personality, as seen with this Gray, Bordeaux, and Silver Tallit which gives off a more serious tone compared to this playful Light Blue and Silver Tallit.
Our range of modern tallitot includes tallitot made of a blend of synthetic fibers, which is suitable for vegans who avoid animal products like silk and wool. Most are relatively simple and feature the traditional blue striped design, but there are also plenty that that feature decorative stripes with stunning motifs like Jerusalem, as well as tallitot with backgrounds in beautiful colors, finishes, and sizes. In this section, you will also find the famously colorful Bnei Or Tallit with stripes in every color. These tallitot are ideal for everyday use, and for stockpiling in the back of synagogues for members who may not have their own.
The designer tallitot we carry are truly spectacular and come from the top artists in Israel. Many of these feature hand-painted designs, intricate embroidery, and stunning appliques in a number of vibrant colors, like this Multicolored Musical Tallit, the Sheer Lilac Tallit, and the Jerusalem Tallit. Brightly colored tallitot are almost always made for someone who enjoys making a statement and standing out among the crowd. One can choose between a solid white background and let the decorations do the talking, like with this Embroidered Tree of Life Tallit, or let the colors of tallit itself impress those around you as with this exciting Handwoven Colorful Tallit.
Tallitot for Women
While traditionally only men have worn a tallit, more women are embracing the mitzvah, and more Israeli designers are creating gorgeous tallitot to meet the demand! We have a wide selection of women's tallitot, featuring feminine motifs and fits designed for women. Many feature floral designs, such as this Custom-Made Blue Tallit and this Embroidered Silk Tallit designed by the renowned Yair Emanuel. For something more classic, check out this gorgeous Gold Organza Tallit.
Tallitot have a tendency to slip off one's shoulders, which can be annoying to fix constantly when praying, but Tallit Clips are designed to solve that problem right away with style! A subtle way to personalize your tallit, Tallit Clips come in a variety of styles and designs, with many featuring Jewish symbols like the Star of David and the Lion of Judah. Other options include these intricate sterling silver Chai clips, while others allow you to carry a piece of the Holy Land with you everywhere, like these Jerusalem Stone Menorah Clips.
Traditional tallitot are square, making it difficult to know which way is up and which is down. Therefore, many chose to put an Atarah along the collar to mark it, while also adding a personal touch to their tallit. The Atarah, which literally translates as "crown," is a beautiful piece of fabric often embroidered with the blessing recited before putting on the tallit, like with this Star of David One, that sits at the nape of the neck. However, one can also choose a beautiful embroidered one with an image of Jerusalem in color or outlined in silver, or designs inspired by the flora of Israel like pomegranates and flowers.
If you've chosen the perfect tallit, you need to pick the perfect bag to store it in too! We have an alluring selection of high quality bags that feature some of the most unique artwork in the Judaica world! Many of these bags also include a matching Tefillin bag, added for convenience. In Israel, one of the most popular styles is this Protective Travel Set, since Israelis are constantly on the go. One can choose between bags that say exactly what's inside like this Velvet Set or go for something more decorative, like this Tree of Life Set or the Pomegranate Bag Set. There are even faux leather bags that still look luxurious, like this Black One.
Once you've chosen the perfect Tallit design and a bag to keep it safe, be sure to check out our informative Tallit Size Buying Guide to help you determine the correct size for your needs. Happy shopping!