There are a large number of options. One is (although this is no longer possible in this case, but would apply if the situation occurred again) to bury the tallit with the person. Traditionally it is the only item that accompanies the body in the coffin, apart from the shroud itself. (More recently the custom has grown of leaving certain objects with a body – varying from a wedding ring or a favourite possession or a letter from a mourner). In some circles it is usual to cut off one of the tzitizit/fringes of the tallit before it is placed in the coffin, so as to make clear that it is not for use anymore. A second possibility is to keep the tallit as a family heirloom. A third – especially if it is still in reasonable condition – might be to hand it on to a younger member of the family, perhaps a grandchild. A fourth option would be donating it to the synagogue as a spare tallit to be available for guests at services. A fifth might be to donate it to the local school’s Religious Education department to be used a a display resource when teaching about Judaism. A sixth – especially if it is a large one – might be to keep it to be used as a chuppah for future family weddings. A seventh is to bury the tallit but remove the fringes (which are considered the more special bits and which turn an ordinary piece of cloth into a tallit) and use them as bookmarks.
We Have a Tallit That Used to Belong to a Member of the Family Who Has Now Died. What Should we do With it?
by waklvyct | Sep 23, 2013