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Tallit Tugging


Oh the shame of it! I regularly sinned on Yom Kippur each year from 1964-67.

I would stand next to my father, holding onto his Tallit, as I recited the Yom Kippur Amidah and Vidui – Confession. I seem to recall one hand grabbing the corner of his Tallit, the thumb of the other hand in my mouth, and my Machzor – Yom Kippur Prayer book – on a small table in front of me.

He had insisted that I say each word and that I try to understand everything I was saying. Perfect son that I was, I obeyed my great father. He gave me a Birnbaum Machzor to help me understand what I was saying. The problem was that the English was more difficult than the Hebrew. “We acted perniciously!”

I tugged on my father’s Tallit, disturbing his intense prayers to ask him what ‘perniciously” meant. A few minutes later I had to tug again to find out what ‘erratically’ meant. He could be sure of another tug on his Tallit every time he refocused on his prayers from my questions.

I suspect that my father’s Yom Kippur prayers during those years were not his best. Yet, I can still picture the absolute joy on his face each time I tugged on his Tallit. The man must have been a saint; I would have shot my child. I certainly would not have insisted that my child stand next to me when praying. I would have given the privilege to a student (one I didn’t like).

So here I am forty plus years later still feeling guilty for those Yom Kippur sins of my childhood.

Interestingly enough, my father considered those, the best Yom Kippurs of his life. I mentioned those sins just before the final Yom Kippur of his life and he sighed with musical longing as he recalled each and every tug: “Each time you tugged, I remembered that I was doing the same thing to God’s Tallit when I was praying.”

So, my friends tug away at God’s Tallit when you pray. I imagine that His smile will be just as magnificent as my father’s when I tugged at his.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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