What is the tallit prayer? I get asked this question frequently.
First of all, it’s actually not a tallit prayer, but the tallit blessing recited before donning the tallit. And the blessing does not include the word “tallit” at all, but instead focuses on the tzitzits, because the mitzvah is to wear tzitzit, with the tallit serving as the vehicle to fulfill that.
Atara with Tallit Prayer
What is the neckband sewn onto the tallit? The correct term for it is “atara.” Not every tallit has the Tzitzit Blessing embroidered on the atara, but most do. The Tzitzit Blessing reads as follows:
בָּרוּך אַתָּה ה’ אֱ-להֵינוּ מֶלֶך הָעוֹלָם אַשֶׁר קִדְשָנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָנוּ לְהִתעַטֵף בְּצִיצִת
Baruch atah Ado-noy Elo-hay-nu Melech ha’olam asher kid-sha-nu b’mitz-vo-sav v’tzi-vanu l’his-atef b’tzitzis. (Trans: Blessed are you, Lord our G‑d, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us to enwrap ourselves with tzitzis.)
Since Jews are usually familiar with the first 6 words of the blessing, sometimes the atara leaves out the tallit prayer (i.e. Tzitzit Blessing) in favor of a colorful design.
The tallit prayer (Tzitzit Blessing) embroidered on the tallit atara is quite common, but in a strictly Orthodox congregation, many will prefer to have an atara without the blessing, because they recite it every day and have no need to read it.
If you do not not the tallit prayer (Tzitzit Blessing) and do not have it embroidered on the atara, you can always find it toward the beginning of your Siddur.