Tuesday, September 10, 2013

An unexpected dividend

You may remember that our local Conservative synagogue finally went egalitarian about two and a half months ago.  The first woman to have an aliyah on a regular Shabbat (Sabbath)--a woman easily old enough to be my mother--surprised me some when she put on a tallit before having her aliyah.  The following Shabbat, another woman who had an aliyah, following her example, did likewise.  A Shabbat or two later, a third woman went up for an aliyah, and Olah Number One insisted that a tallit be brought from the rack to the reading stand for her.
When the Ritual Committee voted to have our synagogue go egalitarian, we never made a ruling requiring women to wear a tallit when having an aliyah.  The precedent was set by the women themselves.
The next surprise was that a couple of the women who'd had aliyot stopped taking off the tallitot after their aliyot, and began wearing tallitot as a matter of course, from the beginning of the service.
The biggest surprise of all, though, occurred when Olah Number One showed up in shul one Shabbat morning a few weeks ago wearing her own tallit.  After having usually been the shul's lone female tallit wearer for more than a quarter of a century, I was tickled to see someone else leading the way.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

For what it's worth, in an Ashkenazi Synagogue, unmarried men do not wear a Tallit. When called for an Aliyah, a Tallit is put on them for it, and it's removed afterwards. It's worn to show the Torah respect.

I don't have a strong feeling on women wearing a tallit, but I think it's appropriate to don one for an aliyah unless the synagogue has a stranding the tradition that women don't wear them.

Since you wear one and are accepted in ritual leadership, it seems appropriate to wear one.

Wed Sep 11, 09:57:00 PM 2013  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Actually, Miami Al, there are some Ashkenazi synagogues in which every male of Bar Mitzvah age or older wears a tallit. That's the German Jewish minhag/custom, which is why it became the minhag in Conservative synagogues--Conservative Judaism was a break-off from the Reform Movement, which originated in Germany.

I certainly agree that it's appropriate to wear a tallit for an aliyah, to show respect for the Torah.

Fri Sep 13, 09:23:00 AM 2013  
Blogger Unknown said...

I watched your post. It has very interesting and wonderful discussion on modern tallit. modern tallit is an israeli item, which is used as Jewish gifts on the occasion of Jewish festivals.

Tue Oct 08, 06:21:00 AM 2013  

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