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For Orthodox Ashkenazim, the most prevalent custom is to wear a tallis gadol with black stripes. In my area, I've noticed that the vast majority (of non-Chabadniks) wear tallesim with five thick black stripes of even width (on each side), while a smaller number wear tallesim with three black stripes, with the middle stripe somewhat thicker than the other two. (In both cases, this doesn't count the stripe nearest to the edge, which is usually made up of a number of very small stripes). What is the significance of the number of stripes on a tallis? Is five stripes simply the customary number of stripes for Tashbetz tallesim?

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Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/4501 and judaism.stackexchange.com/q/10594. Similar: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/7550 (see the comments on that question). –  msh210 Oct 9 '13 at 4:06

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