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I am a Noahide and I want to wear some kind of shawl during my personal prayers at home, understanding the importance and relevance of the tzitzit fringes to the Jewish people. I would not want to offend anyone or do the wrong thing by wearing them. I saw a nice shawl without the tzitzit fringes, so can I buy and use this one at home? (I don't want to be some kind of imposter and use it outside to possibly confuse someone if they saw the shawl.)

This would be the tallit I am interested in purchasing.

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    Welcome to Mi Yodeya, user6784, and thanks for the interesting and sensitive question. I hope you stick around and enjoy the site. You may wish also to change your username (unless you're attached to the number 6784). – msh210 Jul 24 '14 at 15:40
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The religious significance in wearing a prayer shawl lies specifically in the tzitzit fringes themselves. Technically any garment of four corners can be used as a prayer shawl, so long as it has the tzitziyot on them. As for a non-Jew wearing tzitzit, there is nothing offensive or wrong with your wearing tzitzit so long as you are aware that you do so on a voluntary basis and are not obligated to do so in any way. Rambam, Hilchot Melachim uMilchamot 10:11 states that a non-Jew is permitted to perform most mitzvos for the purpose of receiving reward.

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    With the obvious caveat that without the Tzitzit it's not a Mitzva and hence no reward involved. – Danny Schoemann Jul 24 '14 at 8:18
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    @DannySchoemann I believe that that is the obvious conclusion from the first half of what I wrote... – Jewels Jul 24 '14 at 9:06
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    True. But people not skilled in the intricacies of Halacha, find nothing is obvious when reading technical terms. – Danny Schoemann Jul 24 '14 at 11:07
  • If he's keeping Shabbos, wearing tzitzis (with strings) in a reshus harabbim could be a good idea...... – Shokhet Jul 24 '14 at 16:20
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Considering the wording of the Mitzvah @ Deut. 22:12 "You shall make yourself twisted threads, on the four corners of your garment with which you cover yourself", it appears to imply that there was an already pre-existing garment, which was typical of the era, that did not have tassels or otherwise attached in any form. I think this may suggest that though it is a meritorious commandment to attach Tzitzit as a Jew, a Noachide could achieve some merit from covering himself ritualistically in a shawl, whether it be a Tallit with the Tzitzit removed (such as myself), or your grannies best knitting!

  • Thanks for the thought and welcome to Mi Yodeya. Perhaps you could flesh out the answer for those, like me, who are slow on the uptake: specifically, I don't see how you get from {tasselless shawls were common back then} to {there's merit in wearing a tasselless shawl}. – msh210 Mar 4 '17 at 23:44
  • Noachide are required to cover their heads when praying, so to cover oneself with a Tzitzit-less shawl, entirely over the head, does carry with it this same merit, thought this could of course be achieved with simply a kippah. P.s. this is only the second time I have posted on stackexchange, and some of the responses aren't as constructive as I would have hoped. Terms like "slow on the uptake" are to be honest a bit rude and frankly condescending. I thought this was about discussion, using quoted sources (as I have done), to assert an idea. I don't find flippant remarks helpful... – Stuart Coleman Mar 5 '17 at 10:28
  • I was referring to myself, not you, as slow on the uptake, and I certainly meant no offense to you. Comments (like these) on Stack Exchange posts are ephemeral by design and may disappear at any time, so, if you have some info that helps to answer the question, then I recommend you edit it into your answer. – msh210 Mar 5 '17 at 17:05

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