Tallit Striping

7th Aug 2018

I've sold a whole lot of tallits during my eight years in the business, but this week I got two orders that left me scratching my head. One was a Yemenite tallit with a request for Chabad tzitzit tying, and the other was a Chabad tallit with a request for Yemenite tying. The second order had this note in the comments:

      Hi Ben,
      Please tie YEMENITE style tzitzit on the tallit. (Yes, a Chabad tallit with yemenite tzitzit).
                                                                                - Marc

I wrote Marc a quick update, including the seeming coincidence: "Thank you for your order. Interesting, we just had an order for a Yemenite tallit with Chabad tying."

Then Marc cleared up the matter for me: "Yemenite and Chabad tallitot have the best stripe design." 

Obviously tallit striping is largely a matter of personal preference. But maybe Marc's right. A few years ago one of my kids fell off a swing and needed some stitches. This was on a Friday, about ten minutes before candle-lighting time. He was released late Friday night, but needless to say, we were stuck at the hospital until the end of Shabbos -- and we had nothing with us.

So Shabbos morning I found myself at the shul of Assaf Harofeh Hospital, looking through the tallits on the tallit rack. And I opted for a Chabad tallit, because I like the striping too. (As I recall, there was no Yemenite tallit to choose from.)

I also have a liking for the striping on other Chassidic tallits, which typically have a slightly more pronounced wide band. 

The most common striping pattern consists of a wide band near the edge, and then closer to the center a series of five stripes, of which the middle one is slightly wider. Note that some tallits, especially small sizes and narrow tallits, have three stripes instead of five.