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The Women's Scarf in the Biblical Times

Scarves for women.  A prayer shawl and scarves for women were commonly known as a "talis" which was seen as a religious cloak, canopy, shroud, garment or symbol that covers a Jew spiritually and physically. This is often used during times of sorrow, joy, celebration and prayer. Jews need to wear these during important Jewish occasions, namely: burials, weddings, barmitsvahs and circumcisions. Moreover, prayer shawls are also used as a protective covering over the Torah whenever it is moved.

It has also been a tradition for the Jews to wrap the dead in such garment as well. This piece of fabric is so widely used in the Jewish religion that it even serves as a canopy over wedding ceremonies or the couple that are about to wed. Another piece of trivia about prayer shawls is that they were used as a model to create the national flag. In fact, three different people came up with the same idea. The only difference was that they placed the Shield of David on the flag.

The prayer shawl was a significant part of the wardrobe of Jewish men during the biblical times. It also had several names as well, namely: "talith", "talis" or "talit." The word, "talith" is actually a combination of two separate Hebrew terms. "Tal" means tent in the English language while "Ith" stands for little. Combining these words together, you will form "Little Tent." Since every man during the biblical times owned a little tent, there were a good number of men that pursued a livelihood of being a tentmaker.

One prominent figure would be the apostle, Paul, who was actually a Jewish Pharisee and made tents for a living. Historians have hypothesized that he may have been more of prayer shawl maker than actually a tentmaker. Prayer shawls were not only sacred for the Jews but they also served as a metaphorical place of refuge for those who wanted to praise God. It was meant to wrap an individual in an intimate relationship with God through immense prayer.

The Hebrew writings written on the "Atarah" or crown stand for a blessing. This is also integral to the customary wardrobe of Jews during prayer. Hence, a prayer shawl is significant and symbolic because it signifies the presence of God here on earth. That is why even the new generations of Jews still use these garments up to this day.