Debra W. Smith Every Tallit Tells a Tale

ISBN 13: 9780976811800

Every Tallit Tells a Tale

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9780976811800: Every Tallit Tells a Tale
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Every Tallit Tells a Tale is an inspired and inspiring anthology of never-before-published essays and poems, all focusing on how the Jewish prayer shawl, known as a tallit (or tallis) figures in and enriches each writer¡¦s spiritual life. Every Tallit Tells a Tale reveals how the fringes of the tallit tie together generations within a family and generations within the larger family of all Jews. Tallit designers mesh their spiritual and creative urges as they weave or sew or knit prayer shawls for themselves or their loved ones. And for many writers¡Xwomen especially¡Xdonning a tallit for the first time and uttering the age-old bracha, once exclusively reserved for men, takes on monumental significance. The book crosses generations and looks at the Jewish prayer shawl through the eyes of both younger and older people, Americans as well as Israelis. It conjures up poignant and heartfelt memories. This anthology was compiled by Debra W. Smith, a Jewish life educator who writes about her own journey from the fringe of Judaism to the fringes of the tallit. Joining her in this anthology are rabbis, cantors, and laypeople, who weave stories about the Jewish prayer shawl from generation to generation, including some that survived the Holocaust. Like the individual brushstrokes of an impressionist painting, these individual stories and poems blend into an image with its own meaning, its own contours. The image that emerges from reading these stories together reflects a traditional yet evolving religion. These never-before-told stories resonate strongly in the Jewish community. And for those who are looking to study the Jewish religion, Every Tallit Tells a Tale is a lovely introduction to this ancient faith.

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From the Inside Flap:

As you enter the world of Every Tallit Tells a Tale, you¡¦ll . . . laugh . . . cry . . . remember . . . nod in affirmation . . . smile in recognition This extraordinary collection of never-before-published stories will resonate with your own life, your own experience. Whether the fabric of Judaism has always wrapped you in its embrace, or you have simply touched its fringes, these stories will hold a warm familiarity.· Who could help but identify with the seven-year-old, bored at Shabbat services, trying surreptitiously, with infinite patience, to count the tzitzit (fringes) on his grandpa¡¦s tallit, strands that would sometimes ¡§stick together like spaghetti that has been cooked too long¡¨? · Who wouldn¡¦t be moved by the museum case at Auschwitz, displaying Jewish Fringed Garments with their tzitzit gathered in the dust on the floor? · Who doesn¡¦t have a many-told family story of a grandpa, an uncle, a cousin, who journeyed to America as a frightened teenager, all alone, leaving behind family and friends, with only his tallit to comfort him? Here is a microcosm of the Jewish experience, made of the whole cloth of one of the most recognizable and meaningful symbols of religious observance¡Xthe tallit.

About the Author:

Debra W. Smith, an inspiring Jewish educator, is the winner of the prestigious Leo Brody Award, presented to an outstanding professional in the field of Jewish education. A resident of Long Valley, New Jersey, Debra is Director of the Jewish Education Association¡¦s Hirshhorn Senior Adult Education Program, and a certified lay religious leader through the IMUN Lay Leaders Institute of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. Debra¡¦s passion for Jewish life mirrors that of her biblical namesake (Devorah).

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Smith, Debra W.
Published by Stella Hart Inc (2005)
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