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I've noticed that Reform and Conservative often use small "scarf" talleisim (here's an image). Where did this practice originate? (Is there any connection to the scarves that some Christian priests wear, and if so, could there be an issue of chukas hagoyim)? Is there some ideological reason why Reform and Conservative continue using "scarf" talleisim b'davka, or is it just something that they are used to doing for historical reasons?

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The "scarf" tallit is not related to Reform or Conservative Judaism specifically. I know a lot of conservative and reform Jews (especially the rabbis!) who wear a "larger" tallit gadol. It actually arises from the German Jews, not a specific movement. –  Jason Nov 12 '13 at 12:09
@Jason – Do you have a source for that? –  Adam Mosheh Nov 14 '13 at 1:17
@Jason, in Reform and Conservative congregations they are used as standard today, whereas they are exceedingly rare in Orthodox congregations among those who own their own, and the synagogues themselves generally have the larger size only (for general use) on hand. The question seeks their origin, not their affiliation. Their affiliation today is Reform and Conservative (and perhaps others, but those being the largest movements, and both being movements where these are a common feature, I think the question is appropriate. However, with a source, you've got a valid answer. –  Seth J Dec 5 '13 at 0:10
Here is an interesting article on Jewish and non-Jewish liturgical garments, though it doesn't directly answer the question. See especially the paragraph beginning with "Ministerial vestments are sometimes called chukkat ha-goy, gentile usage." oztorah.com/2012/03/robes-the-rabbis –  Malper Dec 9 '13 at 20:39

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