Tug at My Tallis

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White Prayer Shawl – Tallit, jewish religious symbol tomertu iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Abbie Stein

The High Holidays were always a very special time for my family.

It was a time for togetherness. There was a special calmness in the air. No one was rushing to an appointment, doing homework or running to the TV to watch television programs (although we did listen to the Yankees if they were in the World Series).


Everyone was decked out in special new holiday outfits and we walked to synagogue in Brooklyn as one family unit.

Upon entering the massive doors, my brother and I went to junior congregation and my parents entered the sanctuary. As soon as our service ended, we entered the main synagogue.

I loved the comfort of standing next to my father to hide in his tallis.

It gave a warm comforting feeling.

When boredom hit, I began to braid the strings. When I became truly bored, I “tugged on the tallis,” letting my parents know it was time to go home.

Just as I found comfort in Dad’s tallis, I now find comfort in the tallis of someone else.

It was three months ago when many of us were rummaging around to find answers to a multitude of questions flooding our heads that an e-mail arrived:

 Tug at My Tallis Session Tomorrow Night

You’ve got questions. We’ve got answers. Judaism doesn’t have to be boring or bewildering. Want to learn more about the Jewish topics that have always puzzled you? Rabbi Mitchell Romirowsky invites you to Tug at My Tallis. Our next session is tomorrow night. You’ll be amazed by what you discover.

We have been amazed about what we discovered.

Since that initial e-mail every Monday a group that continues to grow figuratively “tugs on the tallis” of Rabbi Romirowsky of Kesher Israel. Zooming allows for mental “tugging” without the need to safe distance from the tzitzit!

Our conversations have spanned the globe and formed new friendships along the way.

My husband and I anxiously wait for the Tzoom (new Yiddish word?) each Monday night as our priority of the week.

They say that you can’t go back in time however I once again feel comfort from “tugging on a tallis.”

Abbie Stein is a congregant at Congregation Kesher Israel in Philadelphia.

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