Back to Prayer Shawl Category
How to Wear a Tallit
Open the Tallit carefully and hold with both hands so you
can see the blessing on the collar in front of you. (raise awareness)
Recite the blessing (bellow) before wearing the Prayer Shawl.
(Some people also hold the Prayer Shawl over their head first,
to create a private space for a quiet moment of reflection or meditation for prayer.)
(In Hebrew): Baruch atah adonai eloheinu melech ha'olam asher
kid'shanu b'mitvotav v'tzivanu l'hitatef batzitzit.
"Blessed are You, Lord, our God, Ruler of the universe,
who makes us holy with commandments,
and has commanded us to wrap ourselves in the Tzitzit".
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Hold the Prayer Shawl over your head with both hands like a cape and bring your hands
together in front of your face briefly,
(some practices: Kiss the end of the collar where the last word of the blessing
is embroidered and then kiss the first word that is embroidered on the collar).
Wrap the Tallit over your shoulders and adjust the garment
so is sits comfortably on your shoulders.
The Tallit should be draped over the shoulders like a shawl or a cape, not around
the neck like a scarf). Make sure that the tallit's corner threads are visible,
as they are meant to remind us of the Torah's commandments.
What is a Talit (Tallit)? It is a prayer shawl, the most authentic Jewish garment.
It is a piece of linen or wool with special Fringes on each of the four corners.
Why wear a Tallit? The Lord said to Moses: "Speak to the Israelites and
instruct them to make for themselves fringes on the corners of their garments
throughout the ages; let them attach a cord of blue to the fringe at each corner.
That shall be your fringe; look at it and recall all the commandments of
the Lord and observe them, so that you do not follow your heart and eyes
in your lustful urge.
I, the Lord, am your God, who brought you out of the land of
Egypt to be your God" [Numbers 15:37-41].
The Talit is worn for morning prayer, during the week as well as
on Shabbat and other Holy Days.
The fringe tassels themselves are called tzitzit.
Their strings and knots are a physical representation of the Torah's 613 do's and don'ts.
It works like this: Each letter in the Hebrew alphabet has a corresponding numerical value.
The numerical values of the five letters that comprise the Hebrew word tzitzit add up to 600.
Add the eight strings and five knots of each tassel, and the total is 613.
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