Idol Chatter

Idol Chatter


Jewish and Scottish? Try the Tartan Tallis

posted by Esther Kustanowitz

scotjewishtartan.jpgThe traditional Jewish tallis (or tallit) is blue and white, a fringed prayer shawl with four corners. But if you’re Scottish and Jewish and looking for a way to express your binational pride, now you can own your very own Jewish Tartan, which is “the only Scottish Jewish Tartan approved and registered by the Scottish Tartans Authority” and was “initiated by” only Scottish-born rabbi living in Scotland Rabbi Mendel Jacobs:

Religious experts and Tartan Authorities worked meticulously to come up with a design that reflected religious values and Scottish history. The colours, weave, and number of threads have all been picked for their importance in Judaism. In the tartan design we have blue and white the colours of both the Israeli and Scottish flags with the central gold line representing the gold from the Ark in the Biblical Tabernacle and the many ceremonial vessels. The silver is to represent the silver that adorns the Scroll of the Law and the colour red is for the traditional red Kiddush wine. There are seven lines in the central motif and three in the flag representations – both numbers of great significance in Judaism.

I don’t think of Scots and Jews in the same context (scotch and Jews, sometimes, mostly at weddings and after Shabbat dinners at my male friends’ houses). But according to the site, the Jewish people have been an integral part of Scottish culture for more than 300 years, with the first Jewish person recorded as living in Edinburgh in 1691. In case you’re concerned, the site assures us the prayer shawl is 100% Kosher– being a non wool-linen mix (a mix which would be prohibited by Jewish law), and incorporating many aspects of Scottish-Jewish cultural and religious history.
You see? Here at Idol Chatter, you learn something new every day.



  • pagansister

    Having a good bit of Scottish “blood” in my veins, I’m glad to know that there is a new and approved Tartan to add to the many already there. It’s very pretty….

  • jestrfyl

    The Scots came to playing the bagpipes late in history. The instrument, once counted as a particularly cruel instrument of war, was known in ancient Middle East long before the Scots appropriated it through India. So I am not at all surprised by a Scottish ? Jewish connection. It is good to see the approved tartan. So will there someday be a tartan yarmulkah?

  • Ben

    There is a Jewish Tartan Yarmulka-kippah avilable at http://www.jewishtartan.com

  • Nell Minow

    We attended a wedding where the groom and ushers wore tallit, kipot, and kilts!

  • fyrchikn

    I was recently in Scotland and found a similarity in both our cultures, we have both been persecuted unmercifully and yet still prevail and if you have ever tried Hagus it tastes very much like Kishka. Family is as important for them as us and they have clans and we have tribes. When you really think about it, it is all the same but different. My trip to Scotland was a magical adventure and I met an entire society of super nice people. I can’t wait to go back and I recommend it to anyone. Maybe when I go back I’ll even find my Jewish Scot.

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