Nov 282017

We get a lot of customers who are regulars at their local Chabad shul, but are not necessary Lubavitch themselves. They often follow Chabad customs, but not always down to the fine details. This week we received an inquiry from a prospective ger who seems to be debating whether to go with a bona fide Chabad tallis, or maybe a slight departure from a true Chabad tallis instead.

Shalom Ben,
Quick question. I am in the conversion process with Chabad for about 6 months now and I think I am ready to buy my first “real” tallit. I have been looking at your Chabad wool ($94) but I wanted to get your opinion before I purchased. What would you recommend for a Chabad ger? I dont want to make a huge initial investment but I also do not want something that would not be in lines with Chabad tradition or that would get looks at beit kinneset-know what I mean. I guess you can say I am looking for the “middle of the road” tallit that is true to tradition but not a huge cost. Any suggestion would be appreciated. Todah Rabah

I explained to him that there are a lot of options for him to choose from.

You’ve probably noticed that there are different levels of adherence to Chabad customs, I wrote. Any of our standard black-striped talleisim should fit in fine in a Chabad shul.

Chabad talleisim are unique in several ways:
  • unique striping pattern with more striping than most talleisim (except Yemenite)
  • no atara
  • silk lining
  • double tzitzit holes
  • Chabad tying
For example, some customers want a Chabad tallis, but with cotton lining (which stays in place better and is less prone to tearing), and have us sew on a fairly plain atara (neckband). Others might go with a regular black-striped tallis, but they will select the Chabad tying option, even with single tzitzit holes. The tzitzit tying might sound like a minor matter, but really it’s not, since the tzitzit are the essence of the mitzvah.
See also:

The History of the Chabad Tallit