A few Purim Challah Covers are now available in our Etsy Shop.
See the Link to Etsy at the Left.
The Woven Judaica Line of Ephods and Pomegranates is excited to introduce a new “slim-line” contemporary Tallit woven by Will Melnyk. This prayer scarf measures about 7.5″ x 72″ plus fringes, but can be ordered in smaller custom sizes as well, and is available in many colors. The fabric is 100% mercerized cotton, with available gold or silver metallic yarn available.
We understand that this design will not be chosen by everyone, but it offers a contemporary look especially for Reform or Conservative use. It is also ideal for travel, and for personal at-home use.
The tallit has been made and worn in many sizes, styles, and designs over the centuries. Indeed, Torah does not specify the size or shape of the prayer shawl. What is specified is that there be fringes, called tzitzit, tied to the four corners of the garment:
15:37 And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying:
15:38 ‘Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them throughout their generations fringes (tzitzit) in the corners of their garments, and that they put with the fringe of each corner a thread of blue.
15:39 And 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;
15:40 that ye may remember and do all My commandments, and be holy unto your God.
It is the tzitzit we are to wrap ourselves in – whatever the size of the four-cornered garment we wrap around us.
The blessing we say when donning the tallit is:
Ba-ruch A-tah Ado-nai E-lo-hei-nu Me-lech Ha-olam A-sher Ki-de-sha-nu B’mitz-vo-tav V’tzi-va-nu L’hit-a-teif Be-Tzi-tzit.
Blessed are you, Adona our God, Ruler of the Universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and instructed us to wrap ourselves in tzitzit (fringes).
Our line of scarf style tallits is available in a range of colors, and stripes can be designed to your wishes. They include hand-tied tzitzit, and have the option of a machine woven atarah (the “crown” or neckband with the tzitzit blessing.)
We usually use a zigzag twill pattern, which gives a nice drape, and accents the colors.
This item is special order only, and typically can be made in 3 -5 days. Shipping from our Etsy Shop is free within the United States, from Monteagle, Tennessee. The price is $125.00.
If you have questions about this custom order, write to Will at email@example.com
I have just finished two copies of my “Mizpah” Tallit, inspired by the Mizpah Covenant between Jacob and Laban in Genesis 31:49, popularized as a romantic pledge between two people – “The LORD watch between me and thee when we are absent one from another.”
The colors represent the map of the hill country of Gilead and the Jabbok River valley where the Mizpah Covenant was made.
This lush tallit as 108″ long plus fringes, and 21″ wide. It is made from 100% cotton (exclusive of the atarah), and includes the atarah and hand-tied tzit-zit.
There are currently two available, and they would make a fine Bride and Groom wedding pair.
Use links to our Etsy and Amazon Shops on the left.
Six “Hatikva” Challah Covers have just come off my loom here at the Woven Judaica division of Ephods and Pomegranates. They are about 16″ x 20″, handwoven from 100% cotton.
The price is $40.00 each, in our Etsy Shop: https://www.etsy.com/listing/631408775/challah-cover?ref=shop_home_active_1
“Hatikva” which means “The Hope,” was the song of the early Zionist movement, and is now the national anthem of Israel. The design of the Challah Cover is “woven music” – the bands represent the first 8 measures of “Hatikva.” The different colors are different notes, and the width of the bands is the length of the note. This is an artistic rendition, so there are no lines separating notes or measures but you can see how it works here:
The words that go along with it are:
As long as the Jewish spirit is yearning deep in the heart . . .
Kol ode balevav P’nimah – Nefesh Yehudi homiyah . . .
All sales are made through our online Etsy or Amazon shops, but we are happy to take advance reservations.
The “Tallit Prayer Scarf”
Today tallits come in many sizes, shapes, colors and designs. This is possible because their are no rules governing what the tallit as a garment should look like. The only part of the tallit that is prescribed is the tzitzit (tassels or fringes) at the four corners:
Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them that they shall make for themselves fringes on the corners of their garments, throughout their generations, and that they shall affix a thread of sky-blue on the fringe of each corner.
This shall be tzitzit [fringes] for you, and when you see it, you will remember all the commandments of G‑d to perform them, and you shall not wander after your hearts and after your eyes after which you are going astray.
So that you shall remember and perform all My commandments, and you shall be holy to your L‑rd. (Numbers 15:38 – 40)
I have found that the larger sizes of tallits are a bit, well, large for use in daily prayer at home, or while traveling. So I created the tallit scarf in the photo above.* It was woven on my rigid heddle loom, of 100% cotton. The tzitzit are hand tied.
If there is an interested , we will offer them in our Etsy and Amazon Shops at Ephods and Pomegranates.
Blessing for wearing the tzitzit (the tallit):
Blessed are you, Adonai our God, Sovereign of the Universe, who has sanctified us with commandments, and instructed us to wrap ourselves in tzizit.
This shall be tzitzit [fringes] for you . . . It is said that this is one of the few commandments who purpose is carefully explained in Torah: and when you see it, you will remember all the commandments of G‑d to perform them, and you shall not wander after your hearts and after your eyes after which you are going astray. In a very real sense, the commandment to wear tzitzit is equal in importance to all the others put together, because its purpose is to remind us of them all.
There are several different designs of tallits in our Etsy and Amazon shops. Perhaps this tallit scarf, which I have woven for myself, will become one of them.
* The scarf shown is a woven representation of the climax of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, which includes Schiller’s poem “Ode to Joy:
Freude, schöner Götterfunken,
Tochter aus Elysium,
Wir betreten feuertrunken,
Himmlische, dein Heiligtum!
Deine Zauber binden wieder
Was die Mode streng geteilt;
Alle Menschen werden Brüder
Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt.
Joy, beautiful spark of the gods,
Daughter from Elysium,
We enter, drunk with fire,
Heavenly One, thy sanctuary!
Your magic binds again
What convention strictly divides;
All people become brothers,
Where your gentle wing abides.
The “Hatikva” Challah Covers warp is now on Will’s loom.
This is an artistic rendition of the “woven music” concept, so there are no bar lines, or visual lines separating two of the same notes. You can see that some of the wider bands represent more than one note. (The final note is a half note, rather than a quarter note and rest as shown.)
Ko– lod ba-lei-vav p’ni — mah, ne-fesh ye- hu-di ho – mi – ya
As long as within our hearts the Jewish soul sings . . .
These covers are made from washable 100% mercerized cotton, and are approximately 16″ x 20″
The sell for $40.00, and will be available in limited supply exclusively in the Ephods and Pomegranates Etsy Store when completed.
Now on Will’s Loom: Challah Covers with a Hatikva Theme:
I’m combining my “Woven Music” scarf line with my “Woven Judaica” line to produce “Hatikva” Challah Covers. Hatikva (The Hope) is the national anthem of Israel, but it got its start much earlier in the early days of the Zionism movement. This from the knesset.gov.il website:
The words of Israel’s national anthem were written as a nine-stanza poem by poet Naftali Herz Imber and were first published in 1876 or 1877 (the exact date is unknown). It served as the anthem of the Zionist Movement at the 18th Zionist Congress in 1933. When the State of Israel was established, the first stanza and refrain were adopted as the national anthem. Until 2004, Hatikva was not officially the national anthem when it was rooted in the “Flag and Emblem Law” of 1949 which then became the “Flag, Emblem, and National Anthem Law, 5709-1949.”
Hatikva text in Hebrew:
|עוֹד לֹא אָבְדָה תִּקְוָתֵנוּ,
הַתִּקְוָה בַּת שְׁנוֹת אַלְפַּיִם,
לִהְיוֹת עַם חָפְשִׁי בְּאַרְצֵנוּ,
אֶרֶץ צִיּוֹן וִירוּשָׁלַיִם.
|כֹּל עוֹד בַּלֵּבָב פְּנִימָה
נֶפֶשׁ יְהוּדִי הוֹמִיָּה,
וּלְפַאֲתֵי מִזְרָח, קָדִימָה,
עַיִן לְצִיּוֹן צוֹפִיָּה,
Transliteration of Hatikva text:
|Kol od balevav penimah,
Nefesh yehudi homiyah,
Ulefa-atei mizrach, kadimah,
Ayin letziyon tsofiyah.
|Od lo avdah tikvateinu
Hatikva bat shnot alpayim,
Lihyot am chofshi be-artzeinu,
Eretz tzion, virushalayim.
Translation of the Hatikva:
|As long as in the heart within,
The Jewish soul yearns,
And toward the eastern edges, onward,
An eye gazes toward Zion.
|Our hope is not yet lost,
The hope that is two-thousand years old,
To be a free nation in our land,
The Land of Zion, Jerusalem.
The colors portray the first four bars of Hatikva. Each different color is a different note. (For art’s sake, where there are two or more of the same note together, they are portrayed in one wider band.) The width of the bands indicates the length of the note.
Watch this site for finished pictures. The Hatikva Challah Covers will be available in our Etsy and Amazon shops, linked from www.ephodsandpomegranates.com
Some things just aren’t for sale! But these newest tallits will give you an idea of the work I do in Woven Judaica at Ephods & Pomegranates.
These contemporary tallits are woven from 100% mercerized cotton, including the hand-tied tzitzits, and are about 20″ wide by 96″ long. Patterned after Joseph’s legendary “Coat of Many Colors” in Genesis 37:3. (Yes, the Hebrew is debated, but the legend is enduring.) I wove one for me (my Hebrew name is Joseph), one for my Rabbi (whose Hebrew name is also Joseph), and one for one lucky customer.
You can see more of my unique handwoven tallits in our Etsy and Amazon shops, linked from www.ephodsandpomegranates.com.