Oct 212014
For those in search of just the right tallit, the striping is definitely a major factor. This week we received the following inquiry from a prospective customer:
Could you please address the customs concerning the stripes on the tallit.
More pointedly the silver or gold stripes. Thanks, Tom S.
I explained to Tom that originally the tallit had blue stripes as a remembrance of the lost techelet (blue) tzitzit. These later morphed into black stripes.“The current custom of black stripes,” writes my friend Rabbi Shraga Simmons, “is in keeping with the synagogue decorum, which has value in and of itself.”Tallit StripesStill, even in Orthodox congregations, not everyone wears a white tallit with black stripes. In a modern Orthodox congregation you’ll find a bit of color, and in non-Orthodox congregations, the tallits can get quite colorful.

I would say black-silver and black-gold is somewhere in the middle, and for the most part tallit striping choice is really a matter of personal preference.

Black-striped, white-striped, white-silver-striped and blue-striped tallits are considered quite traditional, and have a white atara with a subtle leaf and diamond design. Black-silver, black-gold, blue-silver and blue-gold are perfectly acceptable in most Orthodox congregations and have the Tzitzit Blessing embroidered on the atara (neckband).