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Who wears a tallit during prayers?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg

  

Library » Shabbat » Reading of the Torah » Torah Reading | Subscribe | What is RSS?


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In most Ashkenazi communities, men begin to wear the Tallit only after marriage. Once one begins to wear a tallit during prayer, one doesn’t stop doing so even if the person becomes (G-d forbid) widowed or divorced. According to Sephardic tradition, boys begin wearing a tallit at the age of bar Mitzvah or even earlier.

In most communities, any person who is called up to the Torah for an Aliyah—even if he is a bachelor or if he isn’t praying with this Minyan—dons a tallit out of respect for the congregation. Similarly, the Chazzan always wears a tallit, even if he isn’t married, and even during the afternoon and evening services, when he is the only one who wears the tallit. According to Chabad custom, an unmarried person need not don a tallit for any of the above occasions, and a tallit is only worn by a (married) chazzan for the morning services. According to the teachings of Kabbalah, it is especially important that a tallit not be worn by the chazzan during the evening services.


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RELATED CATEGORIES

Mitzvot » Tallit and Tzitzit
Daily Life » Clothing » Tallit and Tzitzit

Mitzvah
(pl. Mitzvot). A commandment from G-d. Mitzvah also means a connection, for a Jew connects with G–d through fulfilling His commandments.
Torah
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
Chabad
Chabad, an acronym for Wisdom, Knowledge, and Understanding, is the name of a Chassidic Group founded in the 1770s. Two of the most fundamental teachings of Chabad are the intellectual pursuit of understanding the divine and the willingness to help every Jew who has a spiritual or material need.
Ashkenazi
(pl. Ashkenazim). A Jew of Northern or Eastern European ancestry.
Kabbalah
Jewish mysticism. The word Kaballah means "reception," for we cannot physically perceive the Divine, we merely study the mystical truths which were transmitted to us by G-d Himself through His righteous servants.
Aliyah
Literally means to rise up. Has two popular meanings: 1. Being called up to the Torah scroll and recite the blessings when the Torah is being read. 2. To emigrate to the Holy Land.
Sephardic
(adj.) A Jew whose ancestors stem from Southern Italy, Spain, Portugal, North Africa or the Arabian countries.
Tallit
A prayer shawl. A large four-cornered woolen garment with fringes attached to its corners in a specific manner. This garment is worn by males during the morning prayers, fulfilling the Biblical obligation of attaching fringes to four-cornered garments.
Chazzan
A cantor, or any individual who leads the congregation in prayer.
Minyan
A quorum consisting of ten adult male Jews. A minyan is necessary to recite the kaddish or to publicly read from the Torah scroll.
G-d
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.