The “talit”, in English, (sometimes spelled “tallit”) sometimesspelled“tallit”is a four–cornered garment (“arba–kanfot” in Hebrew) with a special type of, so–called, “fringe” on each corner. In the Sephardic dialect it is pronounced “tah–leet” and in the Ashkenazic dialect it is written as “tales” and pronounced, “tah–lis. The talit should never be called a “prayer shawl” because a shawl is a feminine article of clothing. Scripture prohibits men from wearing any kind of feminine clothing. The talit is not a shawl, it is a “tent”. More will be shared about this concept later in the paper.
It is described for the first time in the Scriptures in the book of Bemidbar (Numbers) 15: 37–39: “And Yahweh (G–d) spoke to Mosheh (Moses) saying, Speak to the children of Yisrael (Israel), and you shall say to them to make tzitzit (a special kind of “fringe”) on the corners of their garment throughout their generations, and put a blue cord in the tzitzit of the corners. And it shall be to you for a tzitzit and you shall see it and shall remember all the commands of Yahweh and shall do them—.” The purpose of the tzitzit is clearly stated that it is to be a reminder to His people to do all of His commands. In other words— keep the instructions of the Torah. (Tying a string around one’s finger to remember something probably originated with the talit with it’s tzitziot, the plural of tzitzit, on the four corners.) Thus, the Israelite males (,although the females are not prohibited to wear tzitzit,) wore the talit every day of their adult lives. It was also an integral part of all important Hebrew ceremonies— weddings, circumcisions, bar mitzvahs, and funerals. It was worn during morning prayers, during group worship services and especially during the “Day of Atonement”.
It may be said that every army has a uniform. The uniform of the army of the Maker of Heaven and Earth is the tzitzit on the four–cornered garment. We call this garment the talit (a personal tent or covering), the “garment of glory”.