Tabernacle Prayer: THE TALLIT
TABERNACLE PRAYER IS:
- An ongoing journey to the Father’s Heart
- A foreshadow of Heaven
This Jewish Prayer Shawl is a type and shadow of the Tabernacle. In fact, word “Tallit” in Hebrew means “Little Tent”. The Hebrew word for tent is translated “Tal”, adding the adverb “Lit” means little. The actual word “Tallit” means “to cover”. This symbolizes our being covered in God’s Presence.
Tallit (the Prayer Shawl) the corner fringes on this ritual garment remind the wearer of all the commandments in the Torah. The (tall-EET) or tallis (TALL-us) is a large rectangular shawl made of wool, cotton or synthetic fibers. In each of the four corners of the shawl are strings tied in a particular pattern, called tzitzit. The origin of the is biblical; the practice is prescribed in Numbers 15. The precept is to put these strings on the four corners of one’s garment — in ancient tradition, with a single strand of blue as well–as a reminder of the duties and obligations of a Jew. Since we no longer wear four-cornered garments, the tallit is worn specifically to fulll the biblical precept.
The Bible does not command wearing of a unique prayer shawl or tallit. Instead, it presumes that people wore a garment of some type to cover themselves and instructs the Children of Israel to attach fringes (????? tzitzit) to the corners of these (Numbers 15:38), repeating the commandment in terms that they should “make thee twisted cords upon the four corners of thy covering, wherewith thou coverest thyself” (Deuteronomy 22:12). These passages do not specify tying particular types or numbers of knots in the fringes. The exact customs regarding the tying of the tzitzit and the format of the tallit are of post-biblical, rabbinic origin and, though the Talmud discusses these matters, slightly different traditions have developed in different communities. However the Bible is specific as to the purpose of these tzitzit, stating that “it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye go not about after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go astray; that ye may remember and do all My commandments, and be holy unto your God”.
Traditionally, men wear a tallit during morning services; in non-Orthodox synagogues, many women also wear a tallit. In some Orthodox congregations, only married men wear a tallit.
To put on the tallit, many will first unfolt it and hold in both hands so the ATARAHis facing them. One may see people gathering the tzitzit in their left hand and kissing them when the paragraph from the referring to them is recited.
Before putting on the prayer shawl, it is customary to say the following blessing:
Baruch atah adonai Eloheinu
melech ha olam
Asher kidishanu b’mitzvotav
Vitzivanu l’hitatef b’tzitzit.
“Blessed are you Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe Who has sanctifieed us with your mitzvot And commanded us to wrap ourselves in tzitzit.”
After reciting the blessing, the person will throw the Tallit over his shoulders like a cape and then position it on his shoulders. After it is positioned, then they will bring their hands together in front of their face briefly and cover their head with the Tallit for a moment of private meditation. Then the Tallit is adjusted on the shoulders.
TWO TYPES OF TALLIT (or Talliot)
Tallit katan – The Tallit katan descends from the Sephardic tradition. Some believe Jesus wore this kind of Tallit. It is a large rectangular cloth with a hole in the middle, worn over the head and under the outer garments. They wear it all during their waking hours, never take it off. Many Orthodox Jews wear this type of Tallit to this day.
Tallit Gadol – This is more of a Prayer Shawl that is draped around the shoulders. This type of Tallit is worn around the shoulders only during the times of prayer and while in service at Synagogue. This comes from the Ashkenazi tradition.
TALLIT IN LIFE CYCLES:
BIRTH – Eight days after birth the male child is circumcised, this is called the “BRIS” or BRIT MILAH. As part of the circumcision rite, the father will wrap his baby son in his Tallit for a few moments and prays for his baby. In doing this, the father is symbolically wrapping the baby in the Word of God and the protective covering of “Hashem” (Adonai). The father then announces the name of his son and holds him on his lap throughout the ceremony as a sign that he will guide, protect and love his son. This is a sign that the Name of God (not the father’s name) will live throughout the generations. There is a similar ceremony for baby girls 80 days after birth. They also are dedicated to God.
BAR/BAT MITZVAH – The Tallit is presented to the young girl or boy as they reach the age of 12, the age of manhood or womanhood. The new adult will then read publicly from the Word of God wearing his/her new Tallit. The new adult is now taking on the responsibility of following the Word of God by becoming the son or daughter of the Commandments. The child is now recognized as an adult and is responsible for his or her words and actions in the community.
TALLIT IN MARRIAGE – The Tallit is again used in marriage. It is place on poles and creates a canopy over the couple, calling it the “Chuppah”. The man and woman come together as husband & wife – one flesh – under the protection of God. Marriage represents the completion of the Image of God. Marriage also reflects our walk with Messiah, a foreshadow of Christ and His Bride. When the man & woman bond together in marriage, it is no longer “him” and “her”, it is about them as a couple. As the couple stands under the Tallit, or the Chuppah, they stand together as a three-strand cord with the Lord. This is the beginning of a New Creation, their “oneness” with each other with God. The Lord’s powerful will stands between this New Creation called marriage and the couple must realize the Lord will lead them, guide them and protect them.
TALLIT IN DEATH AN BURIAL – The man or the woman is to be buried with their Tallit only if they spent their lives walking with the Lord. When the Tallit is used in burial, we remember that this is a sign of holiness and sanctification. In life, the wearer of the Tallit is known to be one who is set apart for God.
PRAYER CLOSET – When a person covers himself with this prayer shawl, he shuts out the world.
Matthew 6:5-6 – “When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by others. Amen, I tell you, they have their reward to the full! But YOU….when you pray, go into your inner room and when you have shut your door, pray to the Father Who sees you in secret, shall reward you.”
Some of the versions use the words “…..go into your CLOSET….”
We have to realize that in ancient Israel there was no such things as “closets”. In fact, in most houses, they might have had only one room, not an “inner room”. So what did Jesus mean when He said that?
The “inner chamber” is the Tallit. Whenever someone had their Tallits over their heads, the other family members knew enough not to bother them. They knew they were praying. The one wearing the Tallit had “gone into his inner chamber and closed the door”.
Every observant Jew prayed 3 times a day:
- Morning Prayer – Shacharit
- Afternoon Prayer – Mincha
- Evening Prayer – Maariv
Jesus was an observant Jew Who practiced every one of the jewish customs and observed every one of the Feasts.
This morning I was meditating on Jesus, His early morning prayers, which was called the “Shacharit”.
“Very early, while it was still night, Yeshua got up, left and went away to a place in the wilderness, and there He was praying.” Mark 1:35
So here Jesus our Lord and our Messiah, the King of Kings, Lord of Lords is praying early in the morning under this “tent”. Not only did He pray in the early mornings, Jesus prayed 3 times a day! Can you imagine the Glory that filled that Tallit? The anointing this piece of cloth carried?
READ: Exodus 33:7-11
Now if the Glory was so heavy upon Moses as He met with the Lord face-to-face under a tent…..so much so that Joshua wouldn’t leave even after the prayer was over…..what was in Jesus’ Tent?
READ: Matthew 9:20-22, Matthew 14:35-36
The people KNEW Jesus was their Messiah. Jesus is the Promised One.
Malachi 3:20: But to you, who fear My Name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will break out leaping like calves released from the stall”.
Every observant Jew knew in this Scripture the Sun of Righteousness refers to their Messiah. Also, every observant Jew knows the “Tzitzit” on the 4 corners of their garments always are called the “Wings”.
Every common person KNEW Jesus is Messiah. Even though the religious elite and the Levitical priesthood never recognized Him….they did. The common people did.
There is still so much more, but it is my goal for you to get a glimpse of this thing we call the “Prayer Shawl”, the Tallit. Get a picture of Jesus wearing this Prayer Shawl around His shoulders and on His head during prayer. Then get a glimpse of the crowds of people clamoring all over Jesus, wanting to just touch this Prayer Shawl, especially the 4 corners of the garment.
Jesus’ Prayer Shawl is available to all of us, in Spirit. We can also come running to Him and beg to touch the “hem of His garment”, His Prayer Shawl. Healing is still in His Wings. We can touch Him….even today.