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Prayer Shawl (Tallit)
(234 words)

[German Version]

A prayer shawl (Heb. tallit) is a rectangular scarf, usually of wool but today often made of silk, corresponding to the outer garment worn by men during antiquity; eight tassels or fringes (Heb. ziziot) are attached to its four corners as reminders of God’s commandments. The custom of attaching these fringes is based on Num 15:37–41 and Deut 22:12; it is also mentioned in the New Testament (Matt 23:5). Rabbinic literature contains precise regulations governing the fringes (esp. in the extracanonical tractate Zizit of the Talmud). The prayer shawl is donned before the phyl…

Cite this page
Herrmann, Klaus, “Prayer Shawl (Tallit)”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 05 July 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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