Tsisit-Talit (The Prayer Shawl)

The Israelites Samaritans, on their workdays ,do not wear the holy Tsisit, lest desecration of these holy Utensils may occur. The people of Israel were commanded,“And that you are to make a distinction between the holy and the common, and between the unclean and the clean;” (Lev 10:10).

The Samaritan Garments are a white and lengthy wear, which drops down to the feet, along with lengthy sleeves. On the upper-right lapel of the garments are 22 fasteners, as a symbol to the 22 letters of the Torah. On the upper-left lapel of the garment, there are little nooses to close the garment fasteners are connected.  The Samaritans wear these garments during their prayers in the synagogue, and this equalizes everyone to one level before the creator,

A priest with the whit Talit and white Mitsnefet ( Turban) dressed in holidays and Sabbath
A priest with the whit Talit and white Mitsnefet ( Turban) dressed in holidays and Sabbath

without the individual differences of jobs, financial situations, etc’.

The priests of the community, and especially the cantors, wear another type of garment called the ‘Tsisit-Talit’. This is worn when the scrolls of the Torah are removed from the Holy Ark. This Talit is very similar to the “Big-Talit” that the Jews wear.

Head Cover-(Kipa).

The sons of the Samaritan community, do not wear a head cover like the Jewish ‘Kipa’ (cap) used as a separation between a man to his creator. The Samaritans do have to wear a head-covering, but when entering the synagogue, or during a prayer, or when entering other holy places. Everyone who enters must put on a head-cover on his head, be they men or women. The men usually wear the crimsoned Tarbush, although, anything else can be worn.  The women wear a nylon fabric. The priests of the community wear on workdays, a turban with a red strap of cloth bound around it. On the holy days they wear the turban with a white strap-cloth bound around it. The symbol of the priest’s turbans is to separate the priests as God’s servants from all the people placing them on a little higher level above the other people. As it was written; “for glory and for beauty.”

Red Turban for weekdays
A green/blue garments (talit) dressed by the priests on holidays.
The elders of the community wear a Tarbush wrap-around with a yellow cloth
The Tsisit which dressed over the garment , by the priest who carrying
the scroll of the Torah.


  1. JUST TO BE CLEAR… “jewish-ism” and “samaritan-ism” are very different… but the “jewish-ism” got so many changings in its past… the most “dramatic” is the starting of the GEMARA… it was supposed that, with the end of the second jerusalem temple, all the un-mandatory rituals were risking to be forgotten by the people… GEMARA starts at the end of the talmudic era, about in the 3rd century [after christ-birth]… so all the devotional forms became mandatory as an act of respect to god and people-memory… wearing something on the head is deeply recommended, and obviously done, but still not mandatory… we have to put the difference between TORAH prescriptions and commonly used habits…


    • Both are two traditions of the same people and the religion – the Israelite religion. The main polemics between these two communities was and is still the sacred place, as it was chosen by God.

  2. Photographs that have been taken inside Samaritan synagogues over the years show beyond any doubt that headcovering is not mandatory to the extent that is claimed above, and is certainly enforced less strictly than in Jewish synagogues: women only cover their heads when they approach the Torah ark, and boys are exempt until a certain age, presumably 5. This is seen even on Yom Kippur.

      • On the level of principle the Samaritans made it mandatory…. BUT some photographs and video clips *prove* this is not always practiced by every Samaritan worshiper. You may not like it, but photo’s and films do not lie, sir.
        As a Scriptural Jew I view this phenomenon as a positive one, and would love to see this occur also in Orthodox and Qaraite synagogues. I think Samaritans should be pleased that it happens among them.

    • To Jibran: Their chief scholar claims that the 22 fasteners on the upper-right lapel of the white gown and the corresponding small nooses on the upper-left lapel of this garment are the Tzitzit. It is claimed that also the generic fringes on the huge shawls worn by priests when the scrolls of the Torah are removed from the Holy Ark and hoisted in the synagogues and Mt. Gerizim are Tzitzit.
      Leaving aside the matter that they claim they lost knowledge of what the source for the blue-violet dye (Tekhelet) had been, I do not see how their version of Tzitzit fulfills the Torah’s requirement.

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