Sunday, August 14, 2005

The Richness of Macrame's Multi Cultural Reach.....

Adrian's Embellishments: "A tallit is a prayer shawl. It is just what it says. It is a garment worn for prayer. In Synagogues and observant Jewish homes around the world, it is worn every morning for the full participation of communion with G-d. Each corner of the tallit is adorned with 4 doubled strands of kosher yarn, usually wool, but sometimes silk or rayon, that are tied in a ritual macrame which relates to the numerology of the Hebrew name for G-d. It is also a reminder of the central prayer of Judaism, 'the Shema.'

The Shema: 'Hear, O Israel, The Lord, Our G-d, The Lord is One.'

I'll explain, in English, what the Hebrew word for the name of G-d in the Shema, means. The Hebrew reads from right to left and is, 'Yud-Hey-Vav-Hey'. Each letter has a numerical equivalent. Yud = 10, Hey = 5, Vav = 6 and Hey = 5 again. If you add these numbers, you get 26. The word for G-d = 26. Add the 2 and the 6 and you get 8. G-d = 8. This symbology is tied into the tsitsit, the ritual fringe.

This is how you tie the macrame for the ritual fringe;

start with-2 double knots, then wind one long string around the remaining pieces of yarn, 7 times,
another double knot, then wind the string 8 times,
double knot, 11 times, double knot.

If you add up the number of windings at this point, 7 + 8 + 11 = 26. The 2 + 6 = 8 = G-d.

The last set of windings of the tstsit is 13, followed by the final double knot (which conveniently keeps it from raveling). This last set is related to the last word in the Shema,"Ehad" which means, "One".

The Hebrew for this word is "Ehad", Aleph = 1, Chet =8, Dalet = 4. 1 + 8 + 4 = 13. (1 + 3 =4)

Therefore, within the windings of the tsitsit, we have a sentence:

"G-d is One".

I have copied portions of this incredible post over to our blog, as it is just such a wonderful and intricate story - a lot like macrame really. It reminds me how much we 'don't' know and just how much there is for us to learn.....fascinating - if you want to know more, click the link and read the whole post - its worth it! :)

1 comment:

silk tallit said...

Soon women started using the scarves,mbt schuh, which were made of cloth and not made of wool, pashimina, or silk