Jul 102014
 

Not everyone buying a Chassidic tallit is Chassidic. Sometimes it’s someone who is connected with a Chassidic kehilah or someone who traces his family lineage to Chassidic roots and wants a tallis close to what his zeide or alter zeide must have worn.

The Echt Turkish tallit used to be quite common among many chassidim, but today it is becoming much more rare and the leading tallit manufacturers no longer produce it. However, a less heavy version is the Kmo Turkish, which does not have such a heavy fabric, but it’s definitely not a lightweight tallit and it has the same striping, lining and sidebands as the Echt Turkish.

Often tallit buyers will have a standard white atara on their weekday tallis and a decorative atara (e.g. gefluchtene) on their Shabbos tallis.

Until recently Talitnia was making a Vizhnitz tallit, which I personally liked a lot, but it is no longer in production, apparently because the market for it was so limited. Mishkan Hatchelet now makes a Belz tallit, which actually has very, very dark navy striping. The Belz tallit seems to have replaced the Echt Turkish among Belz chassidim.

Chabad tallit

The unique striping pattern on the Chabad tallit

And of course there is the inimical Chabad tallis, with extensive striping and a second tzitzit hole on each corner. Those who adhere closely to Chabad minhagim insist on silk corners, silk and no atara. The Chabad tallit now comes in a nonslip version, which is gaining popularity among younger Lubavitchers. But be aware that if you put a silk lining on a nonslip tallit, you essentially wind up with a slippery surface covering the part of the tallis that rests on your shoulders. The Chabad tallit is available with a cotton lining, upon request.

Tzitzit

The vast majority of chassidim will put thick, handspun tzitzit tied according to the regular Ashkenazi custom on their tallit. Among Radzyn and Breslov chassidim, techelet is quite common. Some choose Radzyn techelet, but many Breslovers seem to be switching to Ptil Tekhelet instead. Arizal tying is probably the most common for chassidim who use techelet, but Breslov also has a tying method that is sort of a hybrid of regular Ashkenazi and the Rambam.

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