Ki Tetze August 29, 2015 / 14 Elul, 5775

Have you noticed that the wearing of the tallit, the prayer shawl, is becoming more common at Beth Hillel, especially among women? In this week’s parasha, we find the commandment: “A woman should not put on a man’s apparel, nor shall a man wear women’s clothing,….” Aside from the obvious concern about cross-dressing that the ancients had, some commentators held that this law expressly forbade women from wearing the tallit and tefillin (phylacteries). But, in contrast, the Talmud says that while women are exempt from this duty, they are not prohibited. (Tractate Menachot 43a) So, if you have thought of wearing a tallit, but thought it not feminine or for that matter, not for Reform Jews, you may want to reconsider and start a new tradition on the New Year that will soon be upon us.

Deuteronomy 21:10–25:19