Arguably one of the most important articles of clothing for a Jewish person is the tallit, or prayer shawl. The tallit prayer shawl is a delicate and sacred object, therefore it is important to protect it, for this reason many choose to use Tallit bags. Protecting the tallit is particularly important as a damaged tallit may no longer be kosher.
Having a bag for one’s tallit is not a requirement, however many choose to use them to help protect the tallit. When you consider the many instances in which the tallit must be taken outside the home, having a place where it can remain safe becomes increasingly important. Tallit bags are primarily used to store the tallit when not in use as well as to protect the tallit from wear and tear during travel. In addition many believe that it enhances the mitzvah to have a beautiful bag for the tallit to rest in.
Despite tallitot being available for use at Temples many prefer to use their own, thus increasing the need for a tallit bag. Many tallitot makers will create bags to match an individual tallit. Individual bags are also available for purchase separately and often have varying designs. Tallit bags can be made in a variety of fabrics, just like the tallit itself. It is very common to see velvet tallit bags, as it is a very soft material and provides extra cushioning to protect the tallit. Tallit bags are also commonly made of silk, leather, faux leather, or other fabrics.
Tallit bags are often embroidered with symbolic designs for adornment. Some common designs include the Star of David, Torah scrolls, the Ark of the Covenant, or simply the word tallit (typically written in Hebrew). In addition tallit bags can be personalized in numerous ways, the most popular of which is having the Hebrew name of the wearer embroidered into the front of the bag in colorful thread.
Regardless of material or design, tallit bags are importing for the care and storage of your tallit. To have a bag to protect your tallit is an act of respect for the Torah’s commandments and the tzitzit.