Our black and silver wool tallits are 42” long and 71” around the shoulders. The crown, which is worn around the neck, reads Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who has command us to wear the tzizit.” The tzizit is the fringe of the garment. The corners read. “God will bring us to Zion joyfully.”
In Numbers 15:38-40 it says:
38 “Speak to the children of Israel: Tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a blue thread in the tassels of the corners. 39 And you shall have the tassel, that you may look upon it and remember all the commandments of theLORD and do them, and that you may not follow the harlotry to which your own heart and your own eyes are inclined, 40 and that you may remember and do all My commandments, and be holy for your God. (NKJV)
The tassel in Numbers 15 refers to the “tzitzit” which is the fringe that is on all four corners of the tallit. The tassels represent the commandments and name of God; they are designed to serve as a constant reminder of God and ones call to observe His instructions.
As clothing needs changed over the centuries and garments with four corners were no longer part of the culture the tallit itself (a rectangular piece of cloth) was designed to hold the “tzitzit”
(tassle or fringes) on its four edges.
Most tallits have an “atarah” (the Hebrew word for crown); the “atarah” is commonly a written form of the blessing that is traditionally used when donning the tallit and is placed on the edge of the forehead. The traditional blessing written on the “atarah” and said aloud is: blessed are You, Lord our God, Master of the Universe, who sanctifies us with His commandments and commanded us regarding the commandment of the tzitzit.
In Judaism, the tallit is worn during “Shacharit” (morning prayers), Torah reading services, special occasion services (weddings, bar mitzvahs, batz mitzvahs etc..), and during burial.
In the New Testament we see mention of Jesus wearing “fringes” (or tassles) in the below references:
* Matthew 9:20:
“And a woman who had been suffering from a hemorrhage for twelve years, came up behind Him and touched the fringe (Strongs #2899) of His cloak”
* Luke 8:44:
“came up behind Him and touched the fringe (Strongs #2899) of His cloak, and immediately her hemorrhage stopped.”
* Matthew 14:36:
“and they implored Him that they might just touch the fringe (Strongs #2899) of His cloak; and as many as touched were cured.”
* Mark 6:56:
“Wherever He entered villages, or cities, or countryside, they were laying the sick in the market places, and imploring Him that they might just touch the fringe (Strongs #2899) of His cloak; and as many as touched it were being cured.”
The Tallit and the Church:
As Christians, we believe that the tallit is a beautiful and symbolic article that the Lord is restoring to the Church who has long since been separated from the Jewish roots of our faith. An understanding of the tallit will enrich your Christian walk and your relationship with our covenant God.
You can use the tallit during your personal times of prayer as “an intimate tent” or as a covering to remind you “that under his wings you can will find refuge” (Psalm 91:4). Jesus/Yeshua wore “tassles” on His garment, and with a tallit you can have a piece of that same spiritual heritage in your own home and as part of your spiritual life.
In Revelations 3, the apostle John prophesies about the Key of David as does Isaiah in Isaiah 22:22.
Revelation 3:7 (NKJV)
7 “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, ‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”
Isaiah 22:22 (NKJV)
22 The key of the house of David I will lay on his shoulder; So he shall open, and no one shall shut; And he shall shut, and no one shall open.
Could it be that part of the prayer shawls symbolism is found in the Key of David? The Key of David opens doors that no man can shuts and shuts doors that no man can open; this is a key that the Church needs! It would be a wonderful restoration if every Church had a tallit so why not start with you and your church?
*Regarding the blue thread: due to the fact that the extinction of the “chilazon” (this fish’s blood was used to dye the thread blue) still remains disputed the blue thread is considered optional and can be purchased separately elsewhere.