In a recent email, I received the following inquiry:
Hello and good morning. I am looking for a tallit for my son. Do you have anything that is 18 by 64 inches?
That was actually the fourth time in the past few weeks that I received a request for a tallit less than 70 inches long, for bar mitzvah boys around 4’8″ or 4’10”.
One aunt buying a bar mitzvah tallit for her nephew, worded her inquiry as follows:
The bar mitzvah boy is on the small side, about 4’8” and 80 lbs. So, that was why I thought an 18 x 64 would be the best fit for him. Do you agree or do you think he would be OK with a 20 x 72? I don’t want him to feel like he is swimming in a too big tallit, but I also don’t want him to outgrow it within months.
Another customer said she didn’t want the tzitzit dragging on the floor, and recalled that she once saw a bar mitzvah boy trip over his tzitzit while walking down the aisle. “It was not a pretty sight,” she added.
As far as I’m aware, the tallit makers in Israel do not make shorter lengths in the narrow (i.e. 18 to 36 inches) type of tallit.
However, I have longstanding relations with three of the tallit makers I work with (Gabrieli, Galilee Silks and Mishkan Hatchelet), and each of them has made arrangements to provide me special order tallits in shorter sizes, e.g. 18 x 64 inches, 18 x 65 inches, 20 x 64 inches, etc.).
For options for bar mitzvah boys under five feet tall, click here>>>