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Non Jews wearing a Tallit

Rabbi David SperlingKislev 2, 5777
188
Question
1. Can a non Jew especially Catholic wear a tallit as means ospirituality or being with Jesus as a sign that We are His followers by means of His tradition too? 2. Can one wear a tallit in the afternoon? If not, what if a person is proned to any occasion of sin?
Answer
Shalom, Thank you for your question. Whilst I can appreciate a non-Jews desire to increase their spirituality, using expressions that come from the practices of Judaism is not the correct path to follow. Judaism believes (unlike Christianity) that not all people need to serve G-d in the same way. The Jewish people were given their own laws and tasks, while the nations have their particular obligations and way of reaching a closer relationship with G-d. Based on this belief, as Jews we discourage non-Jews from practicing particularly "Jewish" commandments, such as wearing a tallit. (Beyond this, most Jews find it offensive that our traditions are "usurped" by another religion, as I'm sure a Catholic would find it troubling to see a cross or a statue of Mary being used in a synagogue as a Jewish symbol). Rather, if I may suggest, if a Christian really truly desires to come closer to G-d, and to follow the path of Righteousness, they should increase their acts of love towards all mankind, and in particular towards the Jewish people. By helping stamp out antisemitism and hatred towards Israel – by spreading the belief (recognized by the Vatican in recent years) that the Jewish people have a special relationship with G-d and should be supported as His children. Through this one will merit to increase the Light and Love of G-d in the world, and, together with the Jewish people, bring Holiness and Goodness to humanity. Blessings.
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