Shraga's new tallis: Letting the wife do the choosing

29th Sep 2021

On Erev Rosh Hashana 5782, just as I was closing the office, I heard Shraga, a local locksmith, at the gate. He said he needed a tallis for Yom Tov. About 99% of our sales are sent abroad; only a handful of people from the neighborhood happen to know about the business, and they usually pop in close to Shabbos and Yom Tov.

I knew Shraga would want a black-striped tallit with a conservative look, so I showed him Hamefoar and Tashbetz. He couldn't decide, so he asked if he could take them both and run home to ask his wife which one she liked best. Before he stepped out he asked if we had a tallis with a lining. I replied that we don’t keep them in stock, but have them sewn on, which takes at least a day or two.

"Hey, what's that tallit over there?" he asked. 

"Oh, that Mefoar Prestige, but it’s a lot more expnsive. It's Talitania’s top-of-the-line product. Plush weave, superb finishing work, double-knotted fringes, and it comes with lining and side bands. What do you need the lining for?" I asked. 

"I have a hefty atara to sew on. Lemme take this one, too, and we’ll see what my wife has to say."

Ten minutes later he was back. "Of course she liked the most expensive one," he said with a grin, pulling out his wallet.

A few days later I saw Shraga during Shacharis on Shabbos, wearing the new tallis. Later I went up to Shraga to tell him his wife was right. He had sewn on a very stately looking atara with silver squares surrounded by a unique black frame, and indeed the atara looked quite weighty, so it definitely needed a tallit of substance.