The Gemara (Pesachim 111b) relates that demons taunted a mistaken Sage by singing, “He dresses like a chacham, but does not even know how to bless…!” We see from this anecdote, one among many in the Gemara, that the Sages could be identified by the distinctive garments they wore. Rav Tzaddok HaKohen zt”l explains that the special garments the Sages wore were an outward manifestation of their inner state. Thoughts, words and deeds are referred to as the “garments of the nefesh, the soul,” and since the Sages were completely immersed in the Torah, the quality of those “garments” was at a very exalted level. This was why their physical garments in this world differed from the common man’s — they symbolized their inner state of attachment to Hashem and their dedication to His Word.
One of the companions of the Saraph of Strelisk once dressed his friend in the type of beautiful garment normally reserved for a Rebbe. Their master, Rebbe Shlomo of Karlin Hy”d, sensed that this change of clothes had caused a deterioration in the quality of his disciple’s prayers, and ordered that he change back to his usual clothing.
Some of our customers put a lot of thought and consideration when deliberating which tallit to choose. Perhaps they sense that the tallit resting on their shoulders reflects their spiritual state, to a certain extent, or want the tallit to help them create a special “space” for prayer and connecting with Our Father in Heaven.
Based on remarks by Rabbi Micha Golshevsky cited by A Simple Jew