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The prayer shawl is a staple among religions today, including Judaism and even Christianity. It is an integral part of faith. One might think it is merely a piece of clothing; however, the prayer shawl serves many vital religious roles.
But before we delve into the religious and cultural significance of the prayer shawl, let us first look at what exactly it is.
The Prayer Shawl
The prayer shawl is a piece of clothing used by religious individuals during prayer. In Judaic religion, it is referred to as the tallit. It’s a large rectangular cloth made from wool, cotton, or synthetic material, with tassels called tzitzit on the four corners.
Traditional Jewish prayer shawls would contain four corners, unlike todays’, which do not have four corners. The Jewish prayer shawl’s tassels serve a particular purpose as a reminder of God’s commandments to His people and his ever presence in their lives.
It is evident in Numbers 37 in the Torah;
Customs Surrounding The Prayer Shawl
The tallit prayer shawl is made in various fabrics; the popular ones are wool, silk, and sometimes rayon. It is often decorated using intricate patterns.
The prayer shawl is removed when going to the restroom due to the item’s symbolic nature. It represents God’s commands, and as you know, it is improper to take sacred scripture to the bathroom.
The Blue Thread
The Jewish prayer shawl incorporates the use of blue thread; this is according to the Torah. The blue thread was unfortunately phased out in some Jewish divisions after the jews scattered upon leaving Israel.
One must recite the following prayer before putting on the Jewish prayer shawl:
“Baruch atah Adonai
Eloheinu melech ha olam
Asher kidishanu b’mitzvotav
Vitzivanu l’hitatef b’tzitzit.”
Blessed are you, Lord our God.
Ruler of the Universe
Who has sanctified us with your mitzvot
And commanded us to wrap ourselves in tzitzit.
Women And The Prayer Shawl
Women are not allowed to wear the Jewish prayer shawl, according to Jewish law. Modern orthodox synagogues forbid women altogether wearing the tallit prayer shawl. However, this is not the case with non-orthodox.
The issue of women wearing the prayer shawl is a rather sore spot in the Jewish religion. While the non-orthodox do not prohibit women from wearing the piece, the more traditional jews frown upon the practice.
Parting Shot (Prayer Shawl Tallit)
The prayer shawl also referred to as the tallit, is a piece of clothing used in the Jewish religion. It serves as a reminder to follow the commandments passed down in the Torah. Besides, the Jewish prayer shawl symbolizes God’s presence, making it an essential aspect of Judaism.
It is used to mark special occasions such as Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement. The tallit prayer shawl is also used during weddings where the groom drapes it over his shoulders while standing under the wedding company.
You can check out the Judaica Store. You’ll find loads of items to choose; from shofar accessories to ram horns. You might even find a Jewish prayer shawl for sale.
It makes the perfect gift for your loved ones; what better way to show your love and appreciation for your loved ones than to get them their very own prayer shawl?