Tallit Expert Sharona Lomberg: Tallit – We all got it wrong!

Why would I say such a thing?

That was one of my AHA! moments. It totally changed my perspective about the Tallit. As an artist who creates Tallitot, I feel more than ever the importance of everyone owning and using their Tallit.

In my mind, I’m trying to understand why I didn’t realize it earlier. To understand change we should look at the past to understand the present.

If I asked you, what’s the first thing that pops into your mind when I say Tallit, what that would be?

For me Tallit equals a big, long and wide wool Tallit with black stripes, a group of men wearing it in the synagogue and praying in unison.  Tallit reminds me of Shabbat service, Yom Kippur, and special holidays. I saw the Tallit only if I went to the synagogue and sometimes at home at the times my Dad prayed in the morning.

Tallit, a prayer shawl, is something we were raised to revere; it’s holy and must be treated with respect. The Tallit has a special Tallit bag to protect it when you take it with you to synagogue or to be stored at home until next time.

The other day while designing, thinking about the Hebrew letters, the connection and meaning and how to translate from an idea to a visual image for my new Tallit collection, my mind strayed away thinking of a friend that is facing challenges at the moment.

At that moment I realized – we all got it wrong!

Everything I just described about my memories are still true for today.

But I think we or at least I am missing the point.

The Tallit, prayer shawl, is not something that you take in and out of its bag only for prayer time. As I came to understand the Tallit is the friend that will never leave you. The essence of the prayer shawl is to be part of your daily life. It is only yours. We don’t usually share it with anyone else. It’s yours only.

When you are stressed, upset, confused, did you ever feel that all you wanted to do at that moment is cradle yourself, hugging your knees, trying to become as small as you can, hiding from the world? This is a time you wear your Tallit, let it hug you, wrap you, you can hide in it, no one will see and more than that, you won’t see the world. It’s only you and your Tallit. You can pour your heart and tears. Your Tallit will help you create your personal space; it creates the boundaries between you and the world.

The Tallit will provide you its warmth and protection while the Tzizit, that you might hold or play with in your hands, can become a source of strength.

May I add that in this era we lead hectic lives? I won’t get into the issue whether we choose it or not. The fact is that’s how we live our lives. Looking at my life, I am always busy and tired, I have lots of responsibilities, like we all have, the family, work, the house, and don’t forget to make time to exercise and eat healthy. I’m trying to make sure I get my 10,000 steps of the day every day. However, life catches up with me. At times I’m working, a thing I love doing, just to realize it’s already the afternoon and I walk only 786 steps … . This is terrible, that means the only things I moved today were my arms and head. That’s the time to say, oy!

By the end of the day I feel literally that my head is full, it’s so full that it starts to spill, and I’m sure some of you will node or smile, and think “Yup, I know what you mean.”

Photo: 39 Names of the Bible by Sharona Lomberg

It’s me time. The time we need for ourselves a moment of silence, serenity.   Whether at home, synagogue, by the ocean or mountains or any other place, you can have with you the friend that will never leave you. I always feel I’m on a different level when I’m wearing a Tallit. Just breathing in and out gets me to a new level of awareness.

Photo: Fringes Of Life by Sharona Lomberg

Isn’t it when we see a person garbed with a Tallit, and for that matter, it  can be anywhere, we become quite, respectful , give that personal space physically, therefore spiritually, just because your saw the Tallit.

At the same time, the Tallit is a source of happiness. We wear it proudly during at monumental time like Bat/Bar Mitzvah, Wedding – Tallit for the groom and also as Chuppah, and other fun celebrations such as Simchat Torah. I believe there is a Tallit that is waiting for each of us. There is a Tallit with your name on it, just waiting to be picked up.

Photo: 54 Portions of Hatorah by Sharona Lomberg

We all got it wrong! The Tallit should be part of our daily life. We should have it with us, not tucked in the drawer for the next occasion. The Tallit is a living thing, something I think we should welcome into our lives.

Creating Tallitot is my passion. When I conceive an idea, I want to create beauty that will please the eye. Yet my intention is to create a bond, a special connection between the wearer and the Tallit that will connect our roots, heritage, values and strength while allowing you the space to connect to G-d.

The Tallit is the glue that connects each individual and us, the people, as one to G-d.

Until now I felt the tag line I resonant with was “It’s the thread that connects us”.  Whether it’s the thread of the garment or it’s the thread of the Tzizit, we are connected.

Realizing the power of the Tallit, more than ever I feel that creating a Tallit is my only way to connect with the wearer. An invisible bond from my mind and heart in the hope it can be of service to all.

Yes, we must take very good care of our Tallit, and at the same time not forget it is a living thing. On the path of our lives we’ll experience some challenges times and happy times, and so will your Tallit.

Photo: 72 Names Of G-d  by Sharona Lomberg

Want to learn more about Sharona? We invite you to read her interview with us here.

Previous Guest Posts:

Tallit Expert Sharona Lomberg on “The Thread That Connects Us”!

Tallit Expert Sharona Lomberg on: The difference between Tallitot.

Tallit Expert Sharona Lomberg on: “No she can’t – Yes she can … No she can’t – Yes she can, Yes she can, Yes she can, Yes she CAN!”

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