Non-Wool Tallit Alternatives

 Tallit  Comments Off on Non-Wool Tallit Alternatives
Nov 222012

In general, the tallit has traditionally been made of wool for centuries, and today, most quality tallits are made of 100% virgin wool. It looks good, hangs well, lasts and is the fabric of choice from a halachic standpoint. But what do you do if you happen to be allergic to wool?

Silk or Acrylic Tallit: Is It Kosher?

Only wool and linen garments require tzitzit according to Torah law, whereas other fabrics require tzitzit according to Rabbinic law. That means wearing a cotton tallit or one made of silk or acrylic is a mitzvah, but at the Rabbinic level, not the Torah level.

You might conclude that the obvious solution for someone with a wool allergy is to wear a linen tallit. But the halacha clearly states that linen should be strictly avoided today. The reason has to do with shatnez (forbidden fabric mixtures) and techelet. The topic is quite complicated, so we will not delve into it in this post.

Cotton Tallit

However, it should be noted that certain preeminent halacha authorities (e.g. the Vilna Gaon and the Chazon Ish) held that a cotton tallit requires tzitzit according to Torah law, just like wool.

In practice, handwoven tallits are often made of cotton. Gabrieli also offers silk, which creates higher sheen.

Commercial tallit manufacturers generally use wool, but offer acrylic options as well. An acrylic tallit can be lightweight, soft, and warm, with a wool-like feel, and the price of an acrylic tallit is about half of the wool equivalent. An acrylic tallit takes color well, is washable, and is generally hypoallergenic, although it may cause irritation in people with certain dermatological conditions (e.g. eczema).

If you are interested in an acrylic tallit, take of look at any of the synthetic tallits shown on this page. (To view them clearly, click on any image, and then when the page changes, click on the image shown. You should see a full-screen image.) Prices range from $30-$60, depending on size.

Another option is a handwoven cotton tallit by Gabrieli, Kedma or Weaving Creation. Since their tallits are almost all custom made, any of these tallit makers can use whichever colors you choose. All of them work in cotton (Gabrieli also has a silk option).

Tallit Hamefoar

 Tallit  Comments Off on Tallit Hamefoar
Feb 122012

Tallit Hamefoar can be roughly translated as Tallit Splendor. It is among the top-of-the-line tallits made by Mishkan Hatchelet, one of Israel’s leading tallit manufacturers.

Chatanim Tallit

Tallit Chatanim

Until a few years ago, Mishkan Hatchelet, like its leading competitor, Talitania, had a standard quality wool tallit called Prima A.A. and a deluxe wool tallit called Chatanim. (In Hebrew, chatanim means “grooms,” and it can also be used to refer to bar mitzvah boys.)

The Chatanim Tallit features a high-density weave, so discerning tallit buyers will notice that it looks nicer up close and falls straighter. The fabric is treated to repel stains and retain whiteness over time. And the corners are made of stiff wool to help the tzitzit stay in place, i.e. not slide over around the corner (tzitzit are supposed to stay on the side with the fringe, so that they hang down right on the corner).

Hamefoar Tallit

Tallit Hamefoar

Then both Mishkan Hatchelet and Talitania introduced a non-slip tallit made of an airy weave. This type of wool fabric has more body to it, so the wearer feels it on his shoulders, unlike a lightweight tallit.

Tallit Hamefoar essentially combines the features of Tallit Chatanim with the non-slip tallit fabric to create a very high quality tallit with a soft, luxurious feel, making it the ultimate non-slip tallit.

At Ben’s Tallit Shop we offer a complete line of Mishkan Hatchelet tallit designs, including the Chatanim Tallit and Tallit Hamefoar. Both are available with either black or white striping and a range of tzitzit and atara options. And our prices are guaranteed to be the best you’ll find online.

Tallit HaMefoar – More Info>>>

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