Tallit Buying Guide
The idea of wearing a tallit 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 of this 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.
If you close your eyes and imagine what Jewish prayer looks like, the archetypal image that comes to mind is that of an older, bearded man, praying as the sun rises while wrapped in a prayer shawl. These shawls - or tallitot in Hebrew and talleisim in Yiddish - are worn by Jewish men (and a growing number of women) during prayer services, and are an iconic and integral part of Jewish clothing and image. After all, they are worn under the chuppah (marriage canopy), throughout the whole of Yom Kippur, and eventually, for burial. In some communities, boys begin wearing a tallit when they reach Bar Mitzvah; in others, men begin donning the garment at their weddings. In either case, the tallit is often given as a special gift from the boy's parents or the man's future bride.
Traditionally, talleisim 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. These talleisim feature a classic striped design with decorative corners and collar, and are available in a range of colors and sizes. Want something a little more contemporary? There are plenty of colorful options as well!
Our range of modern talleisim includes talleisim made of a blend of synthetic fibers, suitable for vegans who avoid animal products like silk and wool. These are relatively simple talleisim but also feature the traditional striped design, in a range of colors, finishes and sizes. These tallitot are ideal for everyday use, and for stockpiling in the back of synagogues for members who may not have their own.
We carry a huge selection of his artistic tallitot, which includes a vast array of vibrant colors and a fantastic display of techniques, including painting on raw silk, embroidery and applique. These designs feature stunningly decorated collars and yokes, and truly beautiful shawls which will make anyone feel special and loved! These brightly colored talleisim are almost made for someone who enjoys making a statement and standing out among the average.
Talleisim have a tendancy to slip off one's shoulders, which can be annoying to constantly fix when trying to pray. Tallit clips will solve that problem right away! A subtle way to decorate your tallit and make it a little more special, tallit clips come in all different styles and colors that are sure to match your tallit perfectly. Don't miss out on our exciting collection clips made from shining silver, colorful enamel, Jerusalem Stone and more!
Traditional talleisim are a square, making it difficult to know which way is up and which is down. Many chose to put an atarah along the collar to mark just that, while decorating their tallit. Atarah, literally translating to crown, is a beautiful piece of fabric often written with the blessing for the tallit, that sits at the nap of the neck unless one wears their tallit over their head, then it really sits as a crown. While it is not necessary to have an Atarah, and many do in fact come with one, it can really add to the tallit by making it extra special.
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 bags crafted from the best-quality materials and featuring some of the most unique artwork in the Judaica world! Many of these bags also include a matching tefillin bag, added for convenience.