Tallit Exploratory Quiz

Which of the following appeals to you? Wearing a tallit makes me feel wrapped in God's presence.

There are many beautiful metaphors which describe the experience of encountering God. Our tradition is replete with images of the burning bush, the still small voice, and thunder and lightening; as well as fervent hopes and dreams, such as being carried on the wings of eagles. Being swaddled in the warmth and protection of the tallit is another image evokative for many people of the experience of God.

Many moral lessons have been derived from the simply act of donning a tallit. The story is told of Rabbi Mordeka of Neschiz, who fervently longed to acquire a tzitzis garment made of a special soft wool that was produced in the Holy Land. He ordered the wool and waited and waited for it to arrive. When the piece of wool finally arrived, he gave it to one of his students, who was skilled in tailoring, to sew into a four-cornered garment for him. The student was so honored to be asked to tailor a garment for his rabbi from wool brought over from Eretz Yisrael, that in his excitement and zeal, he folded the fabric twice, instead of once, and cut out two holes rather than the one needed to fit the garment over the rabbi's head. Alas, the prized fabric, for which his rabbi had waited so long, was utterly ruined. With great fear and trepidation, the student mournfully approached his teacher and held up the piece of wool, displaying the two gaping holes. But Rabbi Mordeka smiled and said, "Well, my Tallit Katan is far better with two holes. One is for an opening for my head, and the other is to test whether Mordeka will lose his temper or not!"

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