Eva wearing the Whimsical Jerusalem Tallit
A tallit, also known as a tallis, is a Jewish ritual prayer shawl. It is first worn on the occasion of a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, when a Jewish child is formally welcomed into the adult Jewish world and begins to take part in the mitzvot, or commandments. A tallit is often gifted to a child on the occasion of the Bar or Bat mitzvah by a family member, and it is kept throughout their lives as a treasured heirloom and often passed down to future generations.
Can a girl wear a tallit? Absolutely! It is true that for a long time (centuries in fact) Jewish prayer shawls, known as tallits (tallitot in the plural Hebrew) have been worn exclusively by men. But times have changed and so has modern Judaism. In the diverse Jewish world of our time, the beautiful custom of wearing a tallit and tzitzit by women and girls, especially on the occasion of their Bat Mitzvah, has been embraced by Conservative Judaism, Reform Judaism and other modern denominations.
Why Give a Girl a Tallit?
Alma wearing the Flowers Tallit and matching kippah
A tallit for a girl is an especially meaningful gift because it is a lesson in both Judaism and feminism (not to mention a fashion statement!). Wearing a tallit shows the Bat Mitzvah girl that women are an invaluable part of the Jewish community and that they can take part in keeping the commandments along with their brothers, parents and husbands when they grow up. For three thousand years Jewish life and tradition has been supported, upheld, and celebrated by strong, brave Jewish women. A tallit is a beautiful way to welcome a Bat Mitzvah girl into the Jewish community and to continue the strong feminist Jewish tradition.
About the Bat Mitzvah Tallit
Lina wearing Whimsical Jerusalem Tallit during her Bat Mitzvah ceremony
Every tallit in my Wearable Art Tallit Collection can be worn by folks of any gender or size. All the tallits in my collection are available in a petite size (approximately) 15 X 62 inches and a standard size ( approximately) 19 X 70 inches. The petite size is great for girls and women who are on the shorter size (I myself about 5’ 2” and wear a petite tallit). It is important to think about a child growing into her tallit, so that she can keep wearing it into adulthood.
All of the tallits in my shop come with a set of kosher wool tzitzit, which can be tied onto the corners by me or you can do it yourself. My tallit are especially designed to work well for booth teenage girls and women, with vibrant colors and a high quality Duchess Satin fabric that feels soft to the touch and is comfortable to wear. Every tallit comes with a matching velvet bag and the option of a matching kippah as well.
I highly recommend letting the Bat Mitzvah girl select her own tallit. I offer many vibrant colorful tallit designs to suit many a teen girl style. As the mother of two girls, one of whom is soon to become a Bat Mitzvah herself, I am keenly aware of how important a girl’s sense of self-determination and identity is at this age, and letting a girl select her own Bat Mitzvah tallit is sure to be a meaningful and empowering experience for her.
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