In Numbers 15, one is command to attach "tzitzit" (fringes of specially knotted tassels) to the four corners of one’s garment. Since we no longer wear four-cornered garments, the tallit is worn specifically to fulfill the biblical precept.
The tzitzit are to remind us of the 613 mitzvot (commandments).The letters that form the Hebrew word tzistit are numerically equivalent to 600. In a tallit, each of its 15 tassels has 8 strings with 5 knots, together equaling 600. The ancient commandment, instructs us to add a single strand of a tehelet blue – as a reminder of the duties and obligations of a Jew. After centuries, it is believed that the lost art of creating tehelet blue was rediscovered. Our Jerusalem Tallit weaver offers this option.
There are different traditions regarding the age from which a tallit is used. In many communities, it is first worn from bar or bat mitzvah – and states one’s identity as a member of the community. Our artists often work with recipients tailoring the tallit to the wearer.
In some communities, a tallit gadol may be customarily presented to a groom before marriage as a wedding present.
Tallits are very special gifts, sometimes to ourselves.