The Tallit Project
Creating a Tallit
Why do we use beautiful ritual objects?
In Judaism there is a concept called hiddur mitzvah (literally, “the beautification of a mitzvah”). While there are minimum requirements for all mitzvot — like in the construction of a sukkah or the number of candles in a hanukkiyah — Jewish tradition encourages us to make such ritual objects not just functional but also pleasing to the eye. When we smell something fragrant, taste something delicious, hear pleasant sounds, and take in striking colors connected to religious acts, the acts themselves become even more beautiful.
Ceremonies and celebrations are enriched when we take time and effort to create or acquire ritual objects that bring meaning and splendor to the occasion, thus fulfilling the principle of hiddur mitzvah.
What should we consider when buying, adapting, or creating a tallit with my grandchild?
The tallit can be tailored to the tastes and preferences of the wearer. The list below gives you a place to start:
Tzitzit — Tied or Untied
Where can I purchase a tallit for my
There are a variety of tallit artisans and vendors online, as well as congregational and independent Judaica shops, depending on where you live.
Start by talking with your grandchild about what they like using the guidelines above. It is also good to do a little pre-shopping online or around town to see what is available, price range, and what appeals to your grandchild.
Vendor Disclaimer: The Jewish Grandparents Network does not endorse or recommend the work of any vendors; we offer them only as possible sources for you to explore.
How do we adapt a family heirloom, inherited tallit, or other item into a tallit for my B-Mitzvah grandchild?
Is there an heirloom of family significance that holds meaning to your grandchild? Perhaps it’s a tallit of a beloved uncle no longer living, a tablecloth that has been used for family holiday celebrations that can’t be used anymore, an old tallit or tefillin bag, or even a special handmade blanket. Any of these items, and certainly others, can be incorporated, either in part or whole, into a tallit.
Another way to adapt an heirloom, even if it is not a piece of fabric, is to use the design, style, theme, or colors in a new tallit. Images of the item itself can appear on the corners, on the atarah, or as the main design element.
How do we create a tallit from scratch?
There are numerous websites that show how to make a tallit.
Here are just a few suggested sites: