- The sacred aspect of Jewish worship is the donning of a prayer shawl when one enters the sanctuary, prepared to worship. In Torah, the Jewish Bible, we are instructed in the Book of Numbers 15: 37-41
- Picture a wide scarf, finger-tip length, made from a light fabric, draped over one’s shoulders and hanging down loosely within the folds of one’s forearms.
- Some Christians believe that Jesus wore such a shawl and enjoy following His example
- A prayer shawl certainly has biblical significance, and the symbolism within it is interesting to explore, but it is not a requirement for believers today.
- The sacred garment called a prayer shawl and what the significance of this garment was
- These shawls were not only worn at times of prayer but were also worn throughout the day. Men would place them around their necks or under their outer garments.
- Use the prayer shawl to connect to God faster and more intimately.
- It gave God’s people a sense of power and authority.
- Wearing a prayer shawl during times of prayer is like having a tent meeting with the Lord.
Blessed are you, Adonai our God,
Sovereign of all,
who hallows us with mitzvot,
commanding us to wrap ourselves in the fringes.
- The shawl represents a sense of personal space. It can feel like you are wrapped in the arms of God
- Your cloak with tassels was a holy piece. It signified your beliefs and love for the one true God. Before Jesus came to Earth, the prayer shawl was a requirement for His people.
- Once Jesus died on the cross for us, we no longer had that requirement. We were free from the law.
- They are beautiful and sacred garments always worn during daylight hours. The tallit is not worn at night because we are supposed to “see” the ritual fringes by daylight.
- “Hem” in English is a translation of the Greek word kraspedon. In Strong’s Concordance, word # 2899, kras-ped-on is of uncertain derivation: a margin, i.e., (specifically) a fringe or tassel.
- This is one of the reasons that the tzitzit with the techelet (blue dye) were removed from the tallit before it was used to wrap the head of the dead for burial and was often passed on from father to son as an heirloom and precious legacy.
- Matthew 23:5 records Yeshua’s words: “But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries [amulets] broad and enlarge the borders of their garments.”
- We read in Ruth 3:9: “And he said, ‘Who are you?’ So she answered, ‘I am Ruth, your maidservant. Take your maidservant under your wing, for you are a close relative.’” The Hebrew word for “wing” is kanaph. It is most often translated as “wing” but is also translated as “skirt” or “corner.”
- Then they shall put on it a covering of goatskin and spread on top of that a cloth all of blue, and shall put in its poles. (Numbers 4:6)
Prayer shawl protocols:
- The tallit must be removed before using a restroom.