Can a non-Chassidic Jew wear a Chassidic tallis?

Posted by Ben G. on 13th Dec 2019

This week we received an inquiry from a customer apparently looking for a stately, distinguished tallis for Shabbos. His main question is whether it's reasonable for a non-Chassic Jew to opt for a Chabad or Turkish tallis. Since his questions could well be applicable and helpful to other tallit buyers, we've opted to post the questions and answers in full.

1. Is it common or at least possible nowadays for non Chassidic Jews to choose a Chassidic tallit (like Chabad or Echt Turkish) just because they like it?
I'd say it's legitimate, but a bit unusual for a non-Chassidic Jew to wear a Chabad tallis. Regarding the Echt Turkish, what makes it stand apart is not so much the striping, but the heavy thick fabric. It's probably 30% more fabric that a typical tallit. Personally I like the striping, and my own Shabbos tallit has the same striping pattern (but not the other features). I think Hamefoar Prestige is marketed both to Chassidim and non-Chassidim. It's quite similar to the Echt Turkish, except for the fabric. Perhaps our choice of wear to classify it on our website is somewhat telling. We could have opted to put it in the Chassidic Tallit category, but in the end we wound up putting it in the general black-striped category.

2. Isn't is strange to combine an Echt Turkish tallit with Ashkenazi tzitzit? Are they strict rules for combinations?
The vast majority of Chassidim have exactly the same tzitzit as other Chassidim. Only Chabad, Breslov, Radzyn and a few other Chassidic groups follow a different tying custom.

3. Will I feel easily hot in the Echt Turkish?
Quite possibly!

4. Do I need to buy a tallit bag right now or there's at least a plastic one sold together with the tallit?
Just about every tallit we sell comes with a sturdy plastic bag with a zip-lock closure. Whenever you do buy a tallit bag, make sure it's roomy enough. You're looking at a fairly large size, probably a tallit that folds up big and may have a somewhat bulkier atara. All that means you want the tallit bag to be big enough. Most velvet and linen tallit bags are a standard size that should be big enough.

5. Last but not least - I'm 192 cm tall and weight 78 kg (so not skinny but rather thin than very large :)
For full size tallit, would you still recommend size 80 rather than 70? Will tzitzit not touch the floor with size 80?
I'm a bit uncertain which size to recommend. Most people your height would go with a size 80. I estimate it would hang down to the back of your knees and the tzitzit won't touch the floor. If you want a more manageable fit, you could choose a size 70, which will hang 10 cm higher.