Prayer Shawl, Queen Esther, Acrylic
“TALLIT” (PRAYER SHAWL)
“Speak to the Children of Israel and bid them to affix fringes (“tzitziot”) to the corners of their garments, so that you may look upon it and remember all the commandments of the Lord.”
(Numbers 15:37-41) The “Tallit” was created as a garment to hold the fringes. Four-cornered garments were common in ancient days but the development of clothing not having four corners would have rendered the commandment obsolete. To prevent the total disappearance of a mitzvah (commandment) with such great symbolic significance (since it serves as a reminder to observe all the commandments), the sages encouraged the wearing of specially-made four cornered garments so as to provide the opportunity to observe and implement this commandment. The “Tallit”, a four-cornered shawl with the required fringes has thus become the traditional garment worn by Jewish men during prayer services. In English, it is commonly called a “Prayer Shawl.” The more orthodox wear a smaller four-cornered garment under their regular clothing, so they can observe the commandment at all times. It is believed that the woman who touched the hem of Yeshua’s (Jesus’) garment as mentioned in Matthew 9:20-21, had actually touched the fringes of His prayer shawl.
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