Take the 2-minute tour ×
Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

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?

share|improve this question
2  
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
1  
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
    
From the shulchan aruch orach chayim siman 10 siff 11 and siman 301 siff 30 and relevant commentaries, one does not fulfill the mitzvah of tzitzis with a taalis worn as a scarf. The item you linked to is not even anywhere close to being in the discussion for a mitzvah as it actually has no tzitzis on it! The one saving grace is it a synthetic cloth so acc to Reb Moshe it does not require tzitzis and whoever wears it is not mivatel any mitzvah. –  user6591 2 days ago

1 Answer 1

from what I have heard the original reform movement made change in in davening both the liturgy and the dress of those leading to be more like the church. This was part of their goal to become assimilated and then so they thought become more accepted by non-Jews. Today I don't think this people today use this tallis for this reason but rather after several generations it simply became popular. The main problems with such tallesim... 1)they often aren't big enough to require tzitzis. 2)even if they are large enough wearing them in such a manner is problematic as each of the tzitzis are to be on the four corners around one's body and not all in the front.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.