By Nathan Wertheimer
Apopka, FL – On Sunday, May 23, 2021, for the first time in ages, I ware my Jewish Tallit (religious prayer shawl) that I ware at my Bar Mitzvah when I was a kid to Pentecostal of Apopka (POA) Church. This was something I had on my mind for a while. I did not how the church would react and how my fellow congregants would receive me. Before wearing my Jewish Tallit I asked permission from the POA Pastor Caleb Hill. He said he had no problem with me wearing this Jewish Tallit into the worship Service. He had seen them before and knew what they were about.
What are a religious prayer shawl and or Jewish Tallit? This is an article of clothing worn around the shoulder and neck for usually men. On the Jewish Tallit contain eight threads with five knots each on each on each of the corners, bringing the total to 613, which refers to the number of commandments in the Torah. On the long side is a Hebrew scripture, which is translated in English states, “Blessed are You L-rd, our G-d, King of the universe, Who made us holy with His commandments and commanded us to wrap ourselves in a tallit.” The Judeo-Christian Tallit is different.
Some Christians believe that Jesus Christ wore a religious prayer shawl. There are some articles on the Internet has confirmed this. What is interesting is that some Christians within the Pentecostal Church may wear them as well. Currently, I’m the only one at POA wearing one. Hopefully, more churchgoers will inquire about buying and wearing a religious prayer shawl.
Upon arriving to the church, I put the Jewish Tallit on at my vehicle then walked into the church. Many people noticed me walking in the door wearing one. A few people asked about the Jewish Tallit because they have never seen one or just curious about it. I was well received by my church congregation. No one had a problem with it. I explained to a few people that I worn this one to my Bar Mitzvah and was proud of it. For myself, I have never seen anyone wear a religious prayer shawl or Jewish Tallit to a Christian worship service before. All that has changed my life. I have a new respect for religious prayer shawl or tallit.
For people who attend this church it was a sight to see. There reaction was priceless. Yes, I would wear my Jewish Tallit again. However, I ordered on eBay a new Black and Gold Covenant Messianic Jewish Tallit. This new cotton tallit has three religious symbols on it. They are a Tabernacle Candleholder, Star of David, and the Christian Fish. Plus, there are four prayers placed on the four corners on the tallit, which are in English. It measures 72” long by 22 wide.”
Finally, I would encourage other religious people not to be afraid when wearing a religious prayer shawl or Jewish Tallit. It is a symbol of being one with God and it helps. It will bring you comfort during a prayer service. For today’s Christians a religious prayer shawl is not required but it may help exploring your own faith. The only reason now I’m wearing a religious prayer shawl to bridge the gap between the Old and New Testament. It is a personal choice. However, I think there is something spiritually about it. You’ll have to see for yourself.
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