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Old 06-30-2005, 07:32 PM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Total Perspective Vortex
Posts: 1,098
What are those strings that hang from the pants of Jewish men and boys?

I see it's nearing to Friday, and yet, my curiosity can't wait.

While riding through a Jewish neighborhood, I saw several boys walking together, and all of them had strings hanging from (what I would assume are) the belt loops of the pants. The strings were a light brown color.

What was this I saw? What does it mean?

Sorry for asking so close to Friday.
People tell me I'm a hypochondriac. Ugh, it makes me sick.
Old 06-30-2005, 07:38 PM
Liz Liz is offline
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: The 38th Parallel
Posts: 1,499
IANA ;j, but if I recall correctly, those tassels are trailing from a small garment worn underneath the shirt, which is something akin to a poncho. I think it's only worn by Hasidic Jews, but I could be wrong.

On preview and a minute of research, I'm pretty close [scroll about halfway down].
Old 06-30-2005, 07:39 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Lost in the mists of time
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They are the fringes of tallit.
Old 06-30-2005, 08:11 PM
And Full Contact Origami
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 55,818
Originally Posted by adam yax
They are the fringes of tallit.
The fringes are called tzitzit, and they are attached to a tallit (actually, to a tallit katan, which refers to a little shawl. A tallit is a four-cornered garment worn during prayer services with fringes tied to it, as a reminder of the mitzvot, the commandments. A tallit katan is a small, four-cornered shawl with fringes at the corners worn under clothing all day, as an opportunity to exemplify this commandment during the whole day.
Old 06-30-2005, 08:13 PM
Right Hand of the Master
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Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: Chicago north suburb
Posts: 16,078
The tallit, or prayer shawl, is worn by conservative and orthodox Jewish males at morning prayer services. (I think it's optional or varies with Reform.) It's like a shawl, although some can be quite large, with tassels/fringes at each corner, based on Numbers 15:37-41 (and other biblical references)

Many orthodox and most hasidic Jews also wear a smaller such shawl (sort of like a poncho) underneath their outer garments, called a tallit katan (small tallit), and the fringes of this tallit katan are what you might see dangling out from under their shirts.
Old 06-30-2005, 08:18 PM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Total Perspective Vortex
Posts: 1,098
People tell me I'm a hypochondriac. Ugh, it makes me sick.

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