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The  is a prayer shawl "cloak" that is worn during the morning Jewish services (the Shacharit prayers) in Judaism, during the Torah service, and on Yom Kippur. It has special twined and knotted "fringes" known as tzitzit attached to its four corners. The tallit is sometimes also referred to as the arba kanfot, meaning the ‘four wings’ (in the connotation of four corners).

While some other Jewish garments or objects might be treated more casually, the tallit is a special personal effect, generally used for many years or a lifetime and never discarded. Most Jewish men own very few tallitot in their lifetimes. A threadbare tallit is treated with great respect, as if it had a mantle of holiness, acquired from years of use. Although there is no mandatory tradition, a tallit is likely to be given as a special gift, from father to son, from father-in-law to son-in-law, from teacher to student. It may also be purchased to mark a special occasion, such as a wedding, a b'nai mitzvah, or a trip to Israel. When a man dies, it is traditional that he be buried dressed only in his kittel, with his tallit is draped over him.

Since wearing a tallit at certain times is considered an obligation for men, a synagogue will usually have a rack available with extras, for visitors and guests, or for those who forgot to bring their own with them. The extras that a synagogue has available to lend are usually plain and simple, but sufficient to fulfill the obligation. Although non-Jewish male visitors are expected to wear a kippah (headcovering) when visiting a synagogue, it would be frowned upon for a non-Jew to put on a tallit, unless he is studying or preparing for conversion to Judaism.

According to Rabbinic Judaism, men are required to wear it at various points of their lives as Jews, and most sages regarded the tzitzis as compulsory. In Reform Judaism, the use of a tallit was declining during much of the 20th century, but in recent years, it has returned to favor. Various authorities have differed as to whether women are permitted to wear a tallit. In Orthodox Judaism, many authorities discourage women from wearing a tallit while some Modern Orthodox authorities permit it. In other branches of Judaism it is more commonly practiced.

tallit (Modern Hebrew: טַלִּית)
tallet(h) (Sephardi Hebrew: טַלֵּית), 
Yiddish also called talles

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