However I wear it, I find the tallit garment to be a physical reminder of the holiness (and wholeness) we are all seeking. Unlike most other elements of Judaism, there aren’t a lot of rules about a tallit. But having designed and sewn nearly 1,000 of them, I can say I’ve learned a few things since the first one.
It bridges time and circumstance, uniting us with ancestors who have similarly marked their homes for more than 3,000 years, through peace and prosperity and, often, adversity. It brings me comfort to recognize that while times change, some traditions don’t. In uncertain times, I appreciate that a mezuzah can even feel a little bold. It is a symbol, to ourselves and others, that we wear our Jewish identity with pride—an assertion of belief. And who doesn’t need a joyful daily reminder to live fully, authentically and without fear, in every situation?
As a young mother who did not grow up immersed in Judaism, one of the most daunting tasks was conveying a strong sense of Jewish identity to my children. I didn’t have the lived, communal experience that so easily informed my husband’s observance…I was determined that my children would always ‘belong.’ One of the simplest points of entry was Shabbat dinners.
I share this blog as a chronicle of my imperfect Jewish journey, in the hope that I might provide a few short-cuts to someone else treading the same path. I can't offer a reflection of your own experience. Hopefully, it's more of a refraction...the way a rainbow provides shared beauty from countless differing perspectives. Mine is just one of the millions of ways in which people 'do Jewish.'