I’ve hardly stepped foot in Chicago over the past 40 years, but I have a soft spot in my heart for the city, because I lived there for two years as a child. Not in Evanston, Skokie, Buffalo Grove or Lincolnwood, where most of my Chicago-bound tallis, tzitzis and tefillin orders seem to come from, but in a little apartment on Waveland Avenue, where my mother painted a charming forest scene on the walls of my bedroom.
What are our Chicago customers buying? Traditional wool tallits, Sephardic white-on-white tallits, black-striped nonslip tallits and hefty, thick Chassidic tallits. In the tzitzis department there are a lot of purchases of boys tzitzis, cotton undershirt tzitzis and wool tallis katan. From what I’m seeing, not many are opting for techelet. Also of note is a fair number of Chabad tallis and tzitzis products.