Zebra Tallis

Home Forums Bais Medrash Minhagim Zebra Tallis

Viewing 31 posts - 1 through 31 (of 31 total)
  • Author
  • #607837

    Why do many people wear talleisim with black stripes? The inyan to have a white tallis is based on a pasuk in Daniel “His garment was white like snow”. So where did the black stripes come from?

    I’ve heard two reasons given. One makes sense, but does not apply today. One does not make sense.

    1)The priests in medieval europe wore white cloaks so the yidden added black stripes to be different from them. This would explain why the Yidden in Eastern countries (sefardim) never adopted this custom and still wear all-white talleisim. However nowadays this no longer applies as the garb of priests today is totally irrelevant and no yid with a white tallis would look like a priest. (Especially since the many sefardim among us wear all-white talleisim.)

    2) As a zecher for tcheiles. This reason is not correct because a)tcheiles is not black. blue stripes would be better (as some in fact have). b)black stripes down the length of the garment doesn’t remind anyone of tcheiles. c)who said to make a zecher for tcheiles?

    So since it’s not because of a racial issue, Why where a zebra tallis today? We should wear all-white talleisim based on the pasuk mentioned above.


    I always heard that it was “kabbalistic” reasons. But that answer is always vague and who knows if its true. Also, I have heard the opposite, that the reason why Sephardim don’t have black lines is because (I think it’s) the Bais Yosef paskens that the tzitzis have to be the same color as the beged.

    I actually like your first reason though. And even though today priests don’t do it, once we start a custom we don’t stop it even the reason is no longer present. Minhag avoseinu byadeinu.

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    I believe reason 2 is the origin, based on “min kanaf”. They used to be blue, but that changed, to dissociate from the Zionist flag. Kach shomati. You’re right, then, that the reason really is no longer nogea.


    As a zecher and aveilus for the loss of Techeiles.


    They used to be blue, but that changed, to dissociate from the Zionist flag. Kach shomati.

    My Rav posited something similar. Although, to be fair, he said he wasn’t certain of it.

    The Wolf

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    My “kach shomati” was meant as a disclaimer as well.


    A tallit gadol can be any color.

    Many men named Yosef have a multicolor striped tallis, as a zecher of the multicolor coat.


    rd- you just love to make this stuff up, eh?

    the real readson sfardim have white taleisim is because they pasken like the rambam who holds there is a din to have the beged the same color as the tzitzis. im pretty sure black lines have been arounf before tziyonim, or we’d have seen blue lined taleisim somewhere in art or pictures.


    Perhaps it is precisely because of tghe .rambam’s Shita of Min Kanaf, that the strings should be the same color as the Beged. We add black so that if the strings get black it is still the same color.

    I heard the other way around: the Isareli flag was meant to look like a Tallis.

    As far as I know, Galachim wore black, not white.


    RebDoniel, what do people named Nimrod wear, a Tallis with animals?


    Reb D: it was red and yellow and green and brown

    and scarlet and black and ochre and peach

    and ruby and olive and violet and fawn

    and lilac and gold and chocolate and mauve

    and cream and crimson and silver and rose

    and azure and lemon and russet and grey

    and purple and white and pink and orange

    and blue


    “A tallit gadol can be any color.” IMHO, possibly, but up to a certain point. It is possible to say (I would have to check) that color Eino MeAkev. But an argument of Lo Titgodedu could be made if one’s Tallit is sufficiently different from the rest of a Tzibbur’s (e.g., multicolored striped Tallit in the presence of white/white and black/white Tallaitim), such that it stands out.

    Another thought concerning black stripes (vs. white stripes) is that they resemble the Retzuot of Tefillin (which are black, halacha LeMoshe MiSinai), thereby elevating somewhat the degree or seriousness of one’s Tallit, especially during Tefilla.


    im so confused… why dont we were techeiles nowadays? my frends brother has on his tzitiz and hes soo not the hippie type… the rabbanim say not to? i know for sure my father and bros x..


    Is it brought down anywhere that it has to be striped? I’m just waiting for the producers of Spiderman yarmakus to come out with action figure talis gadol.


    If you go into any Judaica store, ask to see a Yosef tallis and you’ll see what I am referring to.

    And I’ve never seen any makor that a tallet gadol needs to be all white.

    And R’ Hershel Schachter says we should wear techeles b’zman hazeh.

    And since when do you respect Rav Schachter?



    I do respect him tremendously. I may think he’s wrong on a few things, like comparing women to monkeys and parrots (although strictly speaking, he was very correct), but this is more the result of poor word choices on his part than any disagreement with his approach to halacha or learning.

    I will be the first to say that he’s the gadol hador. I listen to thousands of shiurim of his and even go through his bechinos for the sake of chazara and esting myself in learning.

    Be kitzur: the man is a giant in all areas of torah, but bad at P.R.

    Are you still unaware that he did not compare anyone to monkeys?

    Are you still unaware that he was merely repeating the gemara’s terminology for certain types of actions?

    Why are you still repeating that ridiculous canard?


    whos hershel schacter? is he like asher schecter? does he give hashgachas?


    i hereby nominate purple for the best post since sliced bread.


    bump. you guys gotta see this.


    RebDoniel, the Rambam holds that the Tzitzis has to be the same color as the clothing. The Beis Yosef brings this. I don’t know about all white, but white.

    By the way, RT, I don’t think you can apply Lo Sisgodedu to something that is not a Halachic type of Hanhaga, or Das Yehudis. Since there is no Kepeida on these stripes, it shouldn’t be Lo Sisgodedu if you don’t have it. We all have it but it’s not a Minhag.


    I thought that black stripes are used because we don’t know the color of teicheles. If, by chance, we happened to have the right color, then we are wearing false teicheles since it is not valid when made from a substitute.


    I heard from reliable sources that it is because originally they wanted to have a blue dye, somewhat as a zeicher to techeiles and somewhat because part of the svara of the blue color of the techeiles is to remind us of the ocean, which reflects off the sky which reminds us of the kisei hakavod so it is good to have something blue on the Tzitzis. However the blue dye did not stay well and used to run a lot so the closest thing they had was the black dye. they have not changed back since, feel free if you would like to. it may not be a good reason but I believe it is true. As for the techeiles issue when the question was posed to the beis halevi supposedly he responded “I don’t wear techeiles (or what was then considered to be techeiles) because my father didn’t and my grandfather didn’t” bkitzur, we don’t have the mesora for it. Obviously there are different shitos regarding this approach, according to this story, this was the approach of the beis halevi.


    @not2bright please tell me who this reliable source is. I’m in the middle of doing a write-up/report about this!


    “They used to be blue, but that changed, to dissociate from the Zionist flag. ”

    This is definitely not true. Most taleisim had black stripes for centuries before there was a zionist flag (which is in fact based on those taleisim with blue stripes, but they were a minority).

    I read somewhere a suggestion that the stripes on a talles come from the Roman toga, which had stripes on it. Thus it would make sense that sefardim, whose ancestors and traditions did not come from the Roman empire, would not have this custom.


    1) The Mishnah Berurah brings that the stripes are zeicher to the techeilis. I believe he says they are blue.
    2) Many of the real Turkish talleisim worn by Belzer Chasidim (and perhaps others) have bluish stripes.
    3) There is no reason to differentiate between a talis gadol and a talis koton as far as stripes goes.
    4) Indeed the RaMBa”M is the source for the halachah that the beged must be the same color as the tzitzis (not the other way around as stated in one post).
    5) It is oft repeated that the Israeli flag was designed as a “substitute” for the talis (i.e. We don’t need a talis, or any mitzvos, anymore since we have our own country.


    Milhouse: On what basis do you assert that the Bnei Sephard do not descend from the Roman Empire whereas Bnei Ashkenaz do?


    Nottobbright and shuali have it right ask any older person ho is in to yidish stuff will Tell you that after having difficulties with blue it was changed to black ( before Zionist flag) but once done by somany yiden for generations you don’t stop it any more . Besides if you keep on adjusting yidishkiet to your own convenience .


    I have a reason that the טלית represents אש שחורה על גבי אש לבנה

    The belzer chassidim definitely wear a blueish stripe, however most of the world wears black – including many groups who were not at all careful to distance themselves from the ציונים


    Your tallis should not look like a shower curtain

    anonymous Jew

    At the time of the Roman Empire, there was no such thing as Sfardi or Ashkenazi Jews in Judea, although the ancestors of both had origins as Roman traders. The Roman control of the Mediterranean enabled easy and safe travel for merchants, among whom were Jewish traders who settled in what became Spain. At the same time, the Romans developed a sophisticated network of paved roads in Europe that Jewish merchants ( and ancestors of the Ashkenazis ) used to travel to and settle in the Rhine area.


    @milhouse that statement about the stripes is 100% false! I will not go into detail about it in this forum.

    the tallesim we wear are not according to the pisokim of the RAMBAM or Bais Yosef (seforad)!

Viewing 31 posts - 1 through 31 (of 31 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.