Feb 242011

During a visit to Eretz Yisrael, the previous Chabad Rebbe came across a striping pattern in which the second stripe was wider, rather than the third stripe as in typical talleisim. He liked the pattern, bought the tallit and gradually many Lubavitch Chassidim followed suit and this design came to be known as the Chabad Tallit.

Chabad tallit stripes: The inside story

The concept of stripes on the tallis is not universal and according to Kabbala the stripes are white. For this reason the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s father wore white stripes, and since the previous Lubavitcher Rebbe wore black stripes, the Rebbe came up with the idea of rolling the tallis on his shoulder so that the stripes would not show, thus following both his father and father-in-law’s respective customs.

Chabad tallit with double tzitzit holesThe Baal HaTanya added the second hole in the tallis gadol since the tzitzis have to hang on the corner. Many one-hole talleisim are tied in a way that the tzitzis are pulled tight, folding the cloth slightly so to keep the tzitzis firmly in place. Since the Baal HaTanya considers any folded cloth to be as if it’s not there, he proposed this novel idea of adding that extra hole and one threads loops through it to hold it in place without folding the material.

The Chabad tallis today

The tzitzit on the Chabad tallit, like the Yemenite and Sephardic tallit, is tied according to a special custom (“chulyot“). According to Lubavitch, the tzitzit are attached to two holes in each corner. (The custom among most Chassidim is to use two holes in the tallis katan, but not in the tallis gadol.) Also, the corners of the Chabad tallit are lined with genuine silk, though the tallit itself is wool.

100% wool Chabad Tallit with silk corners>>>

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