Posted on April 14, 2016
We often get inquiries from Jewish brides preparing for their wedding, and asking about a tallit for their cherished fiancé. Here's an inquiry we got from a kallah by the name of Tara.
Hi, I am looking for a tallit for my fiancé and I don't know where to start, except that we are following the Sephardi tradition. As of style I know my fiancé wants to be traditional and he wants it to be able to go over his head. He is 5'8" and around 150 pounds. I would love it if you could assist me on finding the perfect tallit for him. Thank you very much and have a wonderful day.
I explained to Tara that really the main question is which striping color her fiancé would prefer. In very traditional Orthodox congregations, Ashkenazim almost always wear a tallit with black stripes, and Sephardim go with black stripes or, more commonly, with white stripes (i.e. white-on-white). In Modern Orthodox congregations just about anything goes: some people stick with the traditional black or white, whereas others will opt for blue striping or even colorful striping.
For Sephardim the critical difference is the tzitzit tying, which is like traditional Ashkenazi, only the long "shamash" string spirals around the core. On just about every product we sell you should see a Sephardic tying option, so that's quite simple.
As for size, I estimated Tara's fiancé would do well with a size 60, which would drape down in back to around mid-thigh on him. If he would like it really long, he could even go with a size 70, or if he likes short and manageable, a size 55 would work.