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October 10, 2015 / 27 Tishri, 5776
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Posts Tagged ‘tallit’

‘Ptil Tekhelet’ Renews Monthly Tallit Raffle for Engaged Couples

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

Are you engaged to be married, or perhaps there is an upcoming nuptial in your family? If so, the happy couple is eligible to enter a contest to win a prayer shawl tied with the ancient “ptil tekhelet” sky-blue woolen thread.

To enter, just send a wedding invitation to the Ptil Tehkhelet organization at info@tekhelet.com. The Israeli nonprofit group promotes, educates and produces what is believed to be the authentic “tekhelet” of the ancient Hebrews.

The “Ptil Tekhelet” is mentioned in Torah (Numbers 15:37-41), which also comprises the third paragraph of the Shema prayer:

“Speak to the children of Israel and tell them to make for themselves fringes (tassels) on the corners of their garments throughout their generations. They shall include a thread of sky-blue in the corner. These shall be your fringes, and you shall look upon them and remember all the commandments of the Lord and fulfill them. You will then not stray after your heart and your eyes by which you go astray. You will thus remember and keep all My Commandments, and be holy to your God. I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God; I , the Lord, am your God.”

The pilot raffle program created by the organization provides up to 10 tallitot (prayer shawls) per month to engaged couples around the world. Ten winners will be selected monthly to receive a free wedding tallit tied with a ptil tekhelet.

The contest has been extended for six months, beginning with the Hebrew month of Elul which started last Sunday, August 16.

“As these young people enter into marriage,” said Dr. Ari Greenspan, Chairman of Ptil Tekhelet, “it is fitting that they usher in their new life by donning something at once so ancient and so new as the tekhelet strings. It’s the perfect metaphor for marriage itself.”

The practice of including a thread of Biblical blue tekhelet among the white fringes of the tallit was lost over a millennium ago. Its restoration in modern times was promulgated by the vision of rabbis such as Rabbi Gershon Henoch Leiner, known as the Radzyner Rebbe, and Yitzchak Isaac Halevi Herzog, the first Chief Rabbi of Israel. Present-day technologies and Rabbinic responsa, have enabled the identification of the Murex Trunculus snail as the source of this ancient blue dye.

Dr. Naama Sukenik from the Israel Antiquities Authority last year spoke at the Tekhelet Conference on Murba’at Textile, where she discussed new finds from the Murba’at Caves in the Judean Desert.

According to Sukenik, a fabric dated to the second century, dyed with material obtained from the Murex trunculus sea-snail and colored blue, was shown to be of local Israelite origin and it appears that perhaps was colored with the ancient dye known as Tekhelet mentioned in the Bible.

The Ptil Tekhelet organization has now been producing this tekhelet for more than two decades. For more information, please visit the organization’s website.

Female MKs Prayed with Women of the Wall, No Arrests this Time

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

MKs Stav Shafir (Labor), Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) and Michal Rozin (Meretz) participated Tuesday morning in the Rosh Chodesh prayer of Women of the Wall. All three, like the rest of the 300 women present, donned prayer shawls, in violation of a 2003 Supreme Court’s ruling.

This time, however, due to the presence of three legislators, police refrained from arresting anyone. The group noted that this was the first time in 22 months in which none of them ended up in jail.

The Kotel Police did try at first to prevent MK Shafir from entering the plaza, but she insisted on her right to participate in prayer and on wearing a prayer shawl.

This incident was very similar to the attempt, one week ago, of MK Moshe Feiglin to enter the Dome of the Rock, armed with his own MK papers.

Perhaps it is high time that the two groups, the Temple Mount Loyalists and the Women of the Wall combine their efforts…

After the prayer service, MK Shafir said: “They tried to prevent us from entering the Western Wall plaza, claiming we are disturbing the public order, but there is nothing that 100 women armed with tallitot can’t do. Surrounded by male and female police, against the shouting and shofar blowing of Haredi men across the fence – we stood in front of the Kotel and said our prayer.”

If a future prime minister would be looking for a new Minister of Religious Services, perhaps MK Shafir, leader of the social protests of the summer of 2011, would find her true calling there.

“I normally do not wear a tallit, but I feel a duty and a great privilege to stand here and make sure that every Jew in the world can pray as they wish,” MK Shafir stated. “I cannot be that one faction of Judaism take possession of a place which is sacred to all the Jew of the world. While there are genuine disagreements between the different streams of Judaism over the correct way to worship God, we must remember that there’s more uniting than dividing us, and the least we can do is let everyone, male and female, pray to God as they best understand.”

Women of the Wall Chair Anat Hoffman said, with more than a little melodramatic flair: “Today we took one more step in our struggle to liberate the Kotel. Thanks to the members of Knesset, we prayed today with tallit and tefillin, an act which for the last 22 months has carried with it the threat of arrest. We must keep up the pressure to end the oppression of women at the Kotel, to see a day soon when we read Torah in peace at the Kotel.”

Shira Pruce, the organization’s director of public relations, was a bit more prosaic in describing the day’s event, although she, too, sounded elated. Speaking to the Jewish Press, Pruce insisted that the Women of the Wall’s end goal is not to create a new Jewish movement, or promote any particular stream of Judaism.

“There were a lot more Israeli Orthodox women than usual,” she said, referring to the attendance at the Rosh Chodesh ceremony. “Maybe up to 30 percent. I was really surprised. I think in the last few months we’ve started attracting Modern Orthodox women.”

The majority of women, though, were Conservative and Reform.

There were more than the usual number of Haredi women on hand this time, whom, Spruce thought, were there in response to the group’s presence.

“They were screaming and yelling and insulting,” she described, suggesting “there was no doubt” that they came just to disturb the group’s prayer.

On Monday, Women of the Wall announced its concern after Haredi Jerusalem had been plastered with “pashkevilim” calling on Haredim to come in droves to protest the Kotel prayers. But, according to Pruce, “the pashkevilim did not have the desired effect. Maybe we don’t bother the average Haredi person as much as one might think or the government might fear.”

And that’s an expression of hope if I ever heard one.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/female-mks-prayed-with-women-of-the-wall-no-arrests-this-time/2013/03/12/

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