The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Sunday, April 22, 2007

What's Pshat: Talis Edition

1. Among the many things that drive me crazy is when guys wear taleisim to shul on Shabbos and (even worse), Yom Tov. I think it is not tznuah. If you don't 'hold by' the eruv (despite the fact that every rabbi in the community does), make arrangements to bring your talis Friday night, or at least, wear the talis under your jacket. And, what's up with yom tov? We aren't in Israel and we aren't in a yeshiva town.

2. What's up with Avi Weiss wearing his talis to demonstrations? If he wants to get arrested, gezunter height, and kol hakavod, I support him 100%. But, please, ditch the talis thing. It's gotten very old already. I recently read the following explanation from Steg:

If I remember correctly, I read somewhere that Rav Avi Weiss came up with the idea of wearing a tallis while performing acts of activism in order to demonstrate that the acts are motivated by a specifically Jewish religious moral ethic. And so, many of the participants (who, remember, are mostly rabbis and rabbinical students) were wearing talleisim, some tied so that they wouldn't fall off during the arrest process.
Nevertheless, I think it's silly.



  • At 11:30 PM, Blogger uberimma said…

    What's the difference between a tallis and a black hat, or a sheitel, or a shtreiml? Is it not tznua to wear a tallis beacuse it's in-your-face Jewish? Or because it's in-your-face not holding by the eruv when others do?

    My husband, who doesn't hold by the eruv, along with a lot of the other rabbis in town, wears his to shul (under his coat if he's wearing one, but over his suit jacket if it's warm). He gets home from work Friday afternoon, watches the kids for me while I finish getting Shabbos ready, and since we don't have a car wouldn't have time to get his tallis to shul before licht. He just wears it. Doesn't seem like a big deal to me.

  • At 12:01 AM, Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der ┼íteg) said…

    tallis-wearing protestors may be old to you, but it's new and exciting to me :-P thanks for the link!

  • At 2:01 PM, Blogger Fern said…


    I don't understand why wearing a talis to shul is a problem? Also, I read through your other it okay if I say "Good Shabbos" and I am under 40 and my family comes from Poland and Ukraine? ;-)

  • At 2:51 PM, Blogger MoChassid said…


    Wearing a talis IN shul is OK. Wearing a talis TO shul is not ok.

    If you are under 40 chances are you went to a yeshiva that taught you to say shabbat shalom rather than good shabbos so it's not on you, it's on the yeshiva. If you are over 40 it's on you.


    Just because wearing a talis to shul drives me crazy doesn't mean it's wrong; it just means it's on my list of things (ok, nearly everything) that drive me crazy.

  • At 3:05 PM, Blogger Dataman said…

    If I had the nerve, I'd go up to one of those "Talis wearing to Shul guys" and say What gives? Get a life! But.....I don't have the nerve!

  • At 4:24 PM, Blogger lawyermom said…

    Oh Boy - when I first got married we lived in Washington Heights on the Breuers side and our first shabbos after sheva brachos my husband made the mistake of walking to shul with his tallis on(because, as a newlywed he forgot to bring his tallis before shabbos). He got so many comments (nicely for the most part) because apparantly R' Schwab was vehemently against tallis wearing on the street. Needless to say he was looked at as the crazy YU guy until people got to know us!!

  • At 8:59 PM, Blogger uberimma said…

    Okay, the honesty I respect. : )

  • At 10:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What happens on a rainy day? Do these talleisim repel water? Do the usual wearers make other plans?

  • At 12:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Anonymous at 10:27, you may have hit on something. You may want to start a new venture: Water repellent Talaisim, hey you never know, it could be a great seller here in the 5 Towns!

  • At 1:32 PM, Blogger MoChassid said…

    You could make MILLIONS!!!


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