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mrenziboi



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PostSubject: waering a Tailit   Sun Jul 08, 2012 4:09 am

so in my meeting on Thursday with my rabbi suggested that i try wearing a tailit during prayer services. this is exciting and seems really important to me / makes me extremely nervous. for folks who have worn a tailit was this a big deal? how did u feel when u did?
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James

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PostSubject: Re: waering a Tailit   Sun Jul 08, 2012 9:14 am

I love it.

Being in a Conservative community, I didn't wear mine until the Shabbat after my conversion was complete. There were a couple of other guys there when I arrived, and we all said the prayers and blessings together, same when rabbi called me the Torah.

Putting on my tallit is what makes its real for me; it hits me that I'm actually a Jew when I say the blessings and wrap it around me.
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mrenziboi



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PostSubject: Re: waering a Tailit   Sun Jul 08, 2012 11:34 am

thanks James i am apart of the reformed community my rabbi says he does not think a casual person exploring Judaism should wear one but thinks i should try it since i have been exploring different levels of observance
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tamar

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PostSubject: Re: waering a Tailit   Sun Jul 08, 2012 11:58 am

mrenziboi wrote:
so in my meeting on Thursday with my rabbi suggested that i try wearing a tailit during prayer services. this is exciting and seems really important to me / makes me extremely nervous. for folks who have worn a tailit was this a big deal? how did u feel when u did?

I bought a Talit a few months before my conversion and put it away until my conversion was complete. I wore it the first service I went to after my conversion was complete.

When I say the blessings then put it on I feel covered and protected. It was a really big deal for me to wear it as a Jew.
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Dena

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PostSubject: Re: waering a Tailit   Sun Jul 08, 2012 1:40 pm

I've actually not heard of someone wearing one before their official conversion but if that is the way your Rabbi does things...then I guess it's fine? I don't know. I guess my personal opinion is that you probably should wait but that really isn't any of my business.

That being said, I have never worn one and don't feel at all inclined to do so. I guess I still think of it as something men do and can't seem to get past it.
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Sarit

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PostSubject: Re: waering a Tailit   Sun Jul 08, 2012 2:22 pm

I would love to have the experience of wearing tallit (I still don't really know if I would wear it regularly, since I also usually think of it as something men do, like Dena said, although it is a debatable issue very opened to different interpretations!), but I would wear it after conversion - although I see that there are different approaches to that issue too (whether or not to wear the tallit before the official conversion). I feel that it would be more appropriate and that would be of more significance to me if I wore it after my conversion. It would somehow feel really complete and meaningful at that moment.
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Mychal

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PostSubject: Re: waering a Tailit   Mon Jul 09, 2012 11:01 am

I tried wearing one during Yom Kippur last year (Reform synagogue; when the rabbi eats bacon, who's to tell me I can't wear one?). For me, I think it could take a little getting used to.

But now that I'm converting Conservative, I'm sure I won't get to wear one until I convert. But I'm making my own. I have most of the beadwork done for it, and it's already cut and hemmed; I just have to apply the beadwork. One feature will be 13 stars of David--one for each tribe, plus one to represent converts, since we have to be our own tribe.
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James

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PostSubject: Re: waering a Tailit   Mon Jul 09, 2012 11:49 am

Are you planning to tie the tzitzits yourself, or have someone else do it?

I've been thinking about having my wife make me one, but I don't know where to start with the tzitzits. I don't think there is anyone locally that does it.
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Mychal

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PostSubject: Re: waering a Tailit   Mon Jul 09, 2012 3:05 pm

Believe it or not, there are how-to-videos on YouTube. You can also find the words to the prayer and the minimum length measurements if you Google "tie tzitzit." Because the tzitzit must be replaced if they are torn too short (easy to do if you step on them!), a lot of people end up replacing them long before they replace their tallit.

You can order pre-cut tzittzit and save yourself most of the measuring (and Orthodox belief is that tzitzit thread must be made with the sole intention of being tzitzit thread; no picking some thread up at Hobby Lobby). Just remember that if you have a linen tallit (like mine), you can't put wool tzitzit on it, or visa versa.
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James

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PostSubject: Re: waering a Tailit   Mon Jul 09, 2012 3:40 pm

Heh, I hadn't thought of looking on you tube. Thanks!

I had found the blessings, but never thought to look for a video for tying them.
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Dena

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PostSubject: Re: waering a Tailit   Mon Jul 09, 2012 6:52 pm

We have a video over here though I'm not sure how detailed. It's been a while since I looked at it. http://www.jewishbychoice.org/t27-how-to-videos
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Debbie B.

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PostSubject: Re: waering a Tailit   Mon Jul 09, 2012 7:30 pm

For those who have not yet converted and are thinking of making their own tallit, if you intend do a Conservative or Orthodox conversion, you might want to consider that sources in the Talmud forbid the tying of tzitzit knots by non-Jews. These sources are referenced in the Rabbinical Assembly (Conservative) responsum: "May Women Tie Tzitzit Knots?" So you might want to wait to tie your tzitzit until after conversion, or have a Jewish friend tie your knots for you.

I think that only a Jew should wear a tallit. A benefit of not wearing one before official conversion, even if it is allowed by your rabbi/congregation, is that it will then be a more special privilege for you as a new convert to be able to put one on for the first time. It is worth the wait---and I should know about waiting, having participated in Jewish life for almost 25 years before converting.

I used putting on a tallit in shul as the way I "announced" to most members of my congregation that I had finally converted. (I had kept the fact that I was studying for conversion secret from all but a very few.) But I'd been an active participant in my congregation for over a decade, so that even those members who definitely knew I was not previously Jewish didn't really notice. (One member had been really shocked just a few years earlier when he found out I wasn't Jewish since I was such a regular and active participant and I knew the Hebrew services well.) I guess it was kind of like how after you've known a person with a very obvious disability for awhile, you just get used to it. Those who knew I wasn't Jewish would never have offered me a "honor" like an Aliyah, but otherwise they treated me as a valued member of the community who simply didn't count towards a minyan (but neither do minors). My being a non-Jew was seen as kind of like a minor disability. How funny that I had so carefully planned this "stunt" and yet nobody seemed to notice!

So I had to stop a rabbi friend as she was returning to her seat after reading Torah and whisper to her "Do you see what I'm wearing and do you know what that means?" THEN her eyes widened and she broke into a huge smile and gave me a big hug. When I went up to take the third Aliyah (the first two being reserved for Cohanim and Levi'im in my minyan), then the rest of the members who had not noticed realized the significance. They all sang "Mazel Tov, u'Siman Tov!" to me after my Aliyah. After services, one friend said "I thought vaguely that something seemed different, but I thought maybe it was that you were wearing a hat."

Some of my friends told me that they and others were moved to tears that morning. I didn't notice because I was so overwhelmed by joy and amazement at having finally "done it" that I was a bit like a "deer in the headlights".
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mrenziboi



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PostSubject: Re: waering a Tailit   Mon Jul 09, 2012 7:44 pm

Debbie i appreciate your thoughts and sharing your experience. I love how everyone's journey is so different. i am aware that if wearing a tailit is more about what others would think it would not have as much of a meaning. what i mean by that is because i attend a reform schul some wear tailits and some people do not. for me i will try /practice wearing a tailit at the thursday morning minyan i go to. but will not wear it on shabbat untill conversion i think that will be my plan anyhow :-)
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Mychal

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PostSubject: Re: waering a Tailit   Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:29 pm

Most people do the beit din and mikvah before they go to synagogue for any sort of ceremony or aliyah--sometimes several days before--so it's possible that you can tie your own tzitzit post-mikvah but before your first Shabbas wearing of the tallit.

In fact, I think that would be a wonderful thing to do post-mikvah with a group of friends present, because what better symbol than tying yourself to the Jewish people?
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mikedoyleblogger

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PostSubject: Re: waering a Tailit   Wed Aug 22, 2012 6:09 pm

Debbie makes a good point that has real resonance depending on your community (and I refrained from tallitot before my conversion.)

I wear a tallit katan (again, after laying off the practice for awhile) during the day. Not the same as a tallit gadol, but the tzitzit are. I tied my own strings and it's a fairly easy though somewhat time-consuming process. As others have said, there are some great string-tying videos on YouTube. Just search for them--they're how I learned. Plan a couple of hours to tie all four sets the first time you do it.
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