The Kippah and Tallit
Customary Jewish ritual garb is available for those who enter our Sanctuary. Traditionally, the head is covered as a sign of respect, and awareness that God is always above us. The head covering is called a kippah in Hebrew, or a yarmulke in Yiddish. A kippah may be worn by anyone, and at any service.
There are also prayer shawls available. This garment is called a tallit (sometimes also pronounced as tallis. The plural is tallitot ortalleisim.) The tallit goes back to a Biblical mandate and is meant as a symbolic reminder of one’s commitment to the commandments of Jewish life. Tallitot are worn by Jewish worshippers during morning services. (The leader of the service will wear a prayershawl during an evening service, but customarily congregants do not.)
Once reserved only for men, the kippah and tallit are today available to men and women equally. As a Reform synagogue, Temple Shalom views the wearing of these traditional ritual items as optional.