Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Tallit for all
In yesterday's blog posting I wrote about tefillin and the mitzvah of laying on tefillin. Another ceremonial piece used in daily prayer is the tallit or prayer shawl. Again, a piece worn traditionally by men, it can be a work of art by itself.
I have been collecting examples of tallitot and choosing which one to feature first is quite difficult. In any synagogue on any Shabbat morning you will see many identical tallitot. The individual who stands out in prayer, is the one with beautifully woven or quilted tallit. From across the room, one can tell that this prayer shawl was especiallly chosen. One cannot help but to feel holy when wearing such a tallit.
The work of Temma Gentles work is extremely special- the colors and design are simple yet sophisticated. Even RabbiGunther Plaut the co-author of
The Torah: A Modern Commentary commissioned one. You can see the Rabbi wearing his tallit above. Temma weaves her own cloth and also works with applique, beading and silk screen. The tallit on the left was designed to commemorate a young woman's bat mitzvah. It is entitled "Matriarchs and Seasons". On the right is a tallit that Temma designed for her self many years ago.
On a personal note, I recall receiving a copy of Rabbi Plaut's commentary before I graduated from high school. There was a time when I thought I would become a rabbi and my parents, although not thrilled, were recognizing my commitment to Judaism on the same night our temple was recognizing my many years of work in the religious school.