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  • Halacha
  • Tchelet - The Blue Thread

Tallit

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Rabbi Yoel Lieberman

Nisan 18, 5775
Question
What is the reason for the stripes on the Talit? I see most Ashkenazi Jews and many Temanim don a Talit with black stripes. Also, why do some Ashkenazim don a Talit with white stripes instead?
Answer
ב"ה Shalom The preference of the poskim is that the Talit actually be all white with no stripes according to all the customs. This is because that according to the pasuk in Daniel 7:9 , G-d's Talit when He covers himself with his Talit of mercy is described as being white. According the Shulchan Aruch the color of the tzizit have to be the color of the Talit .The Bach says that even if the Talit is colored the Tzizit should be white. ( שולחן ערוך או"ח ט:ה , ב"ח,מגן אברהם ,פרי מגדים) The Ben Ish Chai also says that the Talit and Tzizit should be white.(נח, י"א ) Nonetheless, a custom began to wear a Tallit with a blue stripe to remind us of the Techelet which is supposed to be on the Tzizit. The blue stripe then somehow evolved to black. However, the poskim say that having some color on the Tallit is negligible since the majority of the Talit is white. The prevalent custom among sefaradim is to wear all white Talitot while among Ashkenazim many wear with stripes. Also the Temanin wear talitot with black stripes to make a pretty Talit.(שולחן ערוך מקוצר, הרב רצאבי ח:ב ) Moadim Lesimcha
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