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The Missing Tallit

I recently heard a story from a friend about her husband who lost his very cherished tallit in synagogue one Shabbat. He tried every way possible to find it. He was up on a Bima a few times making announcements to temple congregants about the missing tallit. He put a notice in the temple newsletter and even service programs asking if anyone had seen it. Very distraught about not having it and getting no results from his efforts to find it, he just gave up.

Apparently, the tallit  was not that dissimilar looking from the tallitot you often find in the temple closet for Shabbat and other services.

One day his daughter (in her 20’s) came to services with her parents. There was a basket of tallitot and she decided to go through it. You see, when she was a child she would sit next to her dad in the sanctuary and touch his tallit all the time. Remembering how it felt, she reached in the basket and after touching several tallitot she retrieved her dad’s. After a year of looking, everyone was astonished, and her dad so relieved to finally have the tallit back in his possession.

But the mystery of how it went missing for so long was also revealed.  Apparently a congregant who lives in Florida most of the year attended services.  He was visiting the NY area and by accident took the tallit home with him back to Florida….thinking it was his.

When he returned the following year he returned it to the temple’s tallitot population.

I don’t know about you, but I was so moved by this story….that the tactile experience of young girl in temple could be so meaningful that it stayed with her into adulthood.



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Get Me to The Synagogue on Time

Whenever I go to a Synagogue service I insist on getting there before the service begins. Not sure why – maybe it’s a respect thing or maybe it makes the entire experience complete for me when I’m there at the start.
I also dislike people in the congregation looking at me when I arrive late.
Anyway, this was not a priority for my husband. He would take his time getting dressed and it almost seemed like he was doing it on purpose to aggravate me. And having only one car at the time, we needed to go together since it was about a 10 minute highway drive.
One Saturday morning I was biting my fingernails waiting for him and finally he said, “just go ahead, I will find a way to get there and meet you at the Synagogue.” So I left and arrived on time for the service.
About 45 minutes later I see him walk in and sit 2 rows behind me because there wasn’t a seat next to me.
I mouthed the words to him, “how did you get here?” He showed me a hitchhiker thumb.
Then I said, “How are you getting home?”

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Make Them Stay For Shabbat

When my family comes home on a Friday night, they know they can look forward to the enticing and familiar aromas coming from the kitchen. Most likely, it’s my chicken soup. Not that I want to brag,…. but I have been told that my chicken soup is outstanding.

Here is my secret recipe.

Use the biggest soup pot you have….or size down the recipe.

You will need:

2 chickens worth of any chicken parts. Sometimes I use several turkey wings which I guess will make it turkey soup but you won’t know the difference and they are very flavorful. I always use kosher poultry. It makes all the difference when it comes to flavor. The more poultry you use, the better the soup will taste.

Meat bones – like knee bones.

1 bunch of dill, some parsley, 1 very large or 2 medium onions, 2 large parsnips, 5 carrots, 4 celery stalks, 1 celery root (cleaned) and cut in half.

Knorr Chicken Bullion cubes (kosher varieties available)

Salt and Pepper to taste.



Cut all the veggies into a little larger than bite size pieces. Cut the celery root in half.

Wrap the parsley and dill in a cheesecloth sack or clean rubber band. Set aside.


Put the chicken/turkey and meat bones in the pot and fill it with water.

Wait until it comes to a boil and take off all the stuff that comes to the top of the pot. You will need to take the stuff off several times until the water is clear.


Add remaining ingredients except bullion cubes.


Cover the pot but leave a little space open and simmer the soup for about 2 hours or so.

Add 1 bullion cube about ½ way through and taste broth to see if you need to add another 1 or 2 cubes.


Remove the bones, dill and parsley and enjoy with your favorite matzo balls or noodles.


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Is There a Difference Between a Men’s/Women’s Tallit and a Bar/Bat Mitzvah Tallit?

This is an interesting question I get asked all the time.

For the most part, there is no difference. That being said, style and sometimes size will determine the difference, especially for adults.

In my experience, most Bat Mitavah girls like pastel colors, sheer fabrics and more contemporary styles. I often have adult Bat Mitzvah women who want something a little more mature in color or more neutral colors like gold and white or silver and white so they are versatile with what they wear. The size for women and girls are virtually the same….18”x72” or 20”x80” which are standard sizes. Both girls and women will occasionally overlap wanting similar styles. There are some tallitot made for more petite girls when a 72” length is too long. I do suggest getting a Tallit for “life” not just for the Bat Mitzvah or matching a dress they will wear that day.


As for choosing a tallit for both men and Bar Mitzvah boys there is almost no difference in style but very often a man (because he is taller and broader most of the time) will buy a tallit that is 80” long. A taller Bar Mitzvah boy can also wear an 80” Tallit, but I find that I sell more 72” long for them.


Whatever your style or body type is, it all comes down to an individuals taste and how the Tallit looks on. It is important to buy from a vendor where you can either try it on before purchasing or be able to return it for a refund if it isn’t the right one for you.

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Wearing a Kippah

Traditionally only worn by men, many modern-day women wear the kippah as well. While some individuals only wear this cap while praying, others wear it at all times. Putting on this head covering is a sign of respect; the reason behind this comes from a story in the Talmud. The wearing of a kippah reminds us of our religious beliefs and that we are being watched over by God in all aspects of our lives.

When you wear a kippah, you are sharing your faith with those around you, displaying a commitment to your beliefs. Worn only by those of great stature during the Talmudic times, the wearing of the kippah by all Jewish men became a tradition over the course of many years. Although not a written law, the wearing of this cap has become a universally accepted practice.

The style of the kippah has changed a lot throughout history and different styles and colors can be worn to denote group affiliations. While men almost always wear a cloth or crocheted cap, women wear a variety of styles, including beaded wire options and scarves.

Here at The Tallis Lady, you can create a custom designed wire and beaded kippah, perfect for daily wear or for special events and celebrations. To get started, choose a design here or call us at 201-321-4995.