Request Prayer shawl/ tallis pattern

Hi Friends- I searched the archives and I’m getting more confused. (and feeling a little uneducated!)

My dearest friend from college has just been accepted to rabbinical school. (reform) I wanted to make her a type of shawl I’ve seen Rabbi’s wear during services. I assumed it was called a prayer shawl. Now I think it is called a tallis. (I am not Jewish, if that matters)

Here’s the question. All the patterns/ discussions/ links have been about Men and tallis-wearing. Do women Rabbi need the same thing?

Do you have any favorite places to look for a pattern to make one of these? (book, on-line, etc)

Thanks, MKZ

I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that I couldn’t find a pattern either. The good news is that really allows you to let your imagination run wild. There are some traditional looks to tallitot. However, there are some very popular looks that are not at all traditional. For instance, I own a tallit that features the seven species that the land of Israel is known for. There are other tallitot that have many colors associated with them. I have seen very feminine tallitot made especially for women. The key thing to remember is that there are two basic things that make a tallit a tallit. First, that it have four corners. Second, that tzitzit are tied on these corners. This is in conformance with the Biblical commandment to put these fringes on every four cornered garment. Here is a link which shows you how to tie them

PS Women rabbis do usually wear a tallit. But IMHO, if she wants one like everyone else wears they are easily available in stores. Good Luck

I personally thing the more individual this tallit is the more she’ll like it. It could incorporate her Hebrew name, a scene from Israel or whatever you like. Sorry I couldn’t be more explicit but I’m here if you need someone to bounce ideas off of.

An interesting fact: back in the days when women were not allowed to wear tallits the would often wear knitted shawls both in order to emulate wearing a tallit and because the guys couldn’t tell them that they couldn’t wear shawls!

As Jeremy says, a lot depends on what your friend wants. A traditional tallit is white with blue horizontal stripes near the ends. But if your friend is a funky sort of gal, then you can have some fun with it! You can really do anthing; I have a friend who has a gorgeous tallit which was made in a very open, lacy pattern with a cream colored yarn.

One other thing which a tallit must have, in addition to the fringes at each corner (and it is a very good idea to reinforce the corners where the fringes are), is a band on the top called an atarah. It traditionally has the prayer over the tallit written on it but I think that the writing is optional. The atarah is usually (very roughly) only about four inches wide and 2 and a half feet long.

You also might want to consider what dimensions the tallit should be; some people like thin tallits; about a foot wide or so. Others like really really wide tallits, the width of a regular shawl or even several feet wide! As for length, I measured my tallit and it is 5 feet 7 inches long (which, interestingly enough, is how tall I am!); that is a good length.

There are also other options besides a tallit if I have scared you by this message. A tallit bag is a wonderful present; it’s usually at least a foot square but usually somewhat bigger. Also, a knit kippah is always a wonderful gift (see this thread:!

Good luck with everything!

thank you so much!!! and for the knot tying link- I knew it was special and didn’t want to screw it up. I really appreciate the effort!!! xoxo mkz

I’m also looking for a “pattern” for a tallit (or tallis, spelling varies with the pronunciation of the Hebrew vowels) but I do know that the knotted threads in the corners have to be very specifically knotted; I believe there are 613 knots to correspond to the 613 Talmudic injunctions for living a Jewish life. The good news is that these can be purchased separately and attached to your tallit!! If any one knows where to find charted symbols for the Hebrew alphabet and has suggestions on a yarn for this project, please let me know – I only have 18 months until my granddaughter’s Bat Mitzvah!

I would like the tallis pattern ,

Welcome to KH!
It looks like there is at least one very beautiful tallit pattern at Ravelry: