Tallit & Tzitzit Buyers in San Francisco

12th Mar 2018

For a few years tallit and tzitzit orders from San Francisco, California trickled in slowly, but in the past several months there seems to be a significant uptick. Also, based on what I can surmise from the order details, there are a number of frum tallit and tzitzit buyers in San Francisco.

Two decades ago, about a year after I got married, my wife and I traveled from our home in Betar, Israel to my parents' home in Portland, Oregon. It was the first time my wife had ever been in the US. When we landed and got into a taxi, she gazed out the window in wonder, and marveled out loud. "So many goyim! You just see more and more. Just like in the movies."

Golden Gate Bridge - San Francisco

But when we passed through San Francisco overnight (where I met up with an old friend from Berkeley), the tables were turned. 

We had some time on our hands, so I took my wife for a stroll around Fisherman's Wharf. (Had I told her what those people were standing in line to buy at the food stands, she wouldn't have believed me that respectable Americans eat such things.) Then walking down the street I noticed that two young ladies, probably around the age of 19, had stopped a few feet behind us. One of them pointed to her friend and said in a loud whisper, "Look, they're Jews!"

Was it my dark suit and fedora that gave us away, or my tzitzit?

I've never spent much time in the City (the closest I ever lived to San Francisco was Santa Cruz), but I get the idea that back then there were not a lot of people wearing tzitzit there.

Now that may be slowly changing.

Looking over recent orders from San Francisco I see several professionals buying tzitzit, a young man getting married who purchased a kittel, a tallit for a bar mitzvah and several black-striped nonslip tallits, an Israeli in exile and a number of techelet wearers.