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R'fuah shleimah healing scarf

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                                                    May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable...                     

When my Russian-born grandfather was 18 years old, his two brothers, studying to be Torah scribes, were murdered by Cossacks. My grandfather, whom I never met, came to America and fathered three sons. My decision to become a designer and painter of tallitot is, in part, a way to say Kaddish for these family members each time I hand letter a prayer in Hebrew. Please read my essay on  Kavanah/intention on the Jewish Women's  Archive. and Ana Trujillo's lovely article in the Santa Fe New Mexican.

The donning of a prayer shawl or a tallit bids us pay attention. We wear a tallit for morning prayers and festival days, a prayer shawl without tzitzit other times.

We should know which end is up in this complex world, hence we wear an atarah (a collar, literally, a crown). You may order one separately, or I will make you both together. If you desire a tallit, there will be reinforced corners with tzitzit tied by me or you may tie your own.

Click  interview to see me talk about the modern tallit on Arizona Public Media's AZ  ILLUSTRATED, January 2014  

Radio interview podcast with Rabbi Sam Cohon, April 2014   (segment  begins at 41:00)   

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                                Ha Makom congregation, led by Rabbi Malka Drucker,  is filled with joyous singers-- my use of color reflects that joy.

                              R.Malka's tallit contains the congregation's signature call to Judaism on the atarah-- a Mogen David integrated with a shofar.

Beth Surdut Pomegranate Tallit for Rabbi Malka Drucker

The Pomegranate Tallit                                613 seeds/ 613 Mitzvot               14" x 72"  sand-washed crepe de chine/silk charmeuse atarah and corners

I draw and paint each tallit by hand. If a prayer, Torah portion, or symbol resonates for you, especially as an adult B'nai Mitzvah, let's talk about a custom design.

Now to the prayer-- Traditionally, the atarah may hold "Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to wrap ourselves in the tzitzit."

There may be another that speaks to your intention. Let it be one that calls to you when you read it in preparation to open your inner spirit.                                                    This is mine, including the vowels; you may have them without.

                      "May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable to thee Adonai, my rock and my redeemer."

   Mountain Sunset Tallit by Beth Surdut

Mountain Sunset Tallit      $600                                                                                                           14" x 72" sand-washed crepe de chine/silk charmeuse atarah

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"But where shall wisdom be found and where is the place of understanding?" asked Job.


                                                                        Wise Owl Tallit by Beth Surdut

"He (Adonai) will instruct his angels to guard you in all your paths." Psalm 91:11

Created for a Bat Mitzvah girl whose middle name is White Dove. She  lives in the mountains, but  is connected to the ocean and dolphins.On the corners are the matriarchal names of her mother Dana, grandmother Raisa, and biblical Miriam and Sarah.

Created for a Bat Mitzvah girl whose middle name is White Dove. dove.and.dolphin.tallit.jpg (1677284 bytes) dolphin.jpg (910020 bytes)

For Stav, Hebrew for Autumn, whose Israeli father chose Hillel's timeless question "f not now, when?" for his daughter's tallit. At Stav's request, a forever endless river runs through the aspens of her home and the maple trees of her Canadian mother.

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Women of the Wall~ Nashet Kotel prayer excerpt: May no woman or girl be silenced ever again among your people Israel or in all the world.

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And for a girl who knows she will be a marine biologist:

               Psalm 104:24 How manifold are Thy works, O LORD! In wisdom hast Thou made them all; the earth is full of Thy creatures.

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                                                                                                    Gifts of the Ocean Tallit

                                          "Blessed are You, Adonai, King of the Universe, that  such as these are in Your   world."

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From one 75 year old to another, friends since college, this gift: "May Adonai lift up His face unto you and give you peace."

The Grace of Wheat and Poppies Tallit by Beth SurdutDesigned for a woman who grows wildflowers and creates her personal Garden of Eden.


A  quietly elegant tallit for a teacher of mussar   in Tucson,

Psalm 42:2  As the deer longs for water, so do I long for thee, O God.

As the deer longs for  water tallit by  Beth  Surdut        

Catalina Mountain Tallit by Beth Surdut      

Desert Bloom: Judah Halevi's poetry, written in the 12th century, begins on the atarah: "My heart cries out to you, please draw near to me"

Sonoran Desert Bloom Tallit by Beth Surdut

and continues into the tallit : The moment I reach out to you, I find you reaching in to me."

Desert Bloom/Cactus Flowers Tallit by Beth Surdut

Love  and Life:

The challenge--a tallit with hearts, in pink, that walks through the garden of love, life and laughter.                                                                                                  The result-- On one side I placed (within a heart) the Hebrew word lav /heart, which ancient scholars wisely did not separate from the mind. In the other heart, chai/ life, for what is life without heart?

heart and Life Tallit by Beth Surdut Heart and Life Chai Tallit by  Beth Surdut


Sing unto Adonai a new song, sing unto Adonai, all the earth      Psalm 96:1              

Designed for a beloved Chazzan Cindy Freedman, a harp and shofar adorn the atarah.

The corners hold a flute, lyre, tambourine, and the cantor's guitar.

Singing Earth Tallit by Beth SurdutSong.tallit by Beth Surdut

The same prayer became a river of song sung by doves of peace for a Canadian  Bat  Mitzvah.      

 Singing Doves Tallit by BethSurdut            Beth Surdut Singing Dove Tallit detail

Music, music, music...a guitar grows into a tree of life

Poppy and Tree of Life Tallit by Beth Surdut

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This client was very specific as to color and form, wanting these wings of feminine Shechina God-energy to wrap around her.

                shechina tallit by Beth Surdut

                                         "Blessed be those who come beneath the winds of Shechina"

Rainbow Tallit---When a father came to me and said, “I want my daughter wrapped in a rainbow,” I was faced with the challenge that arises when someone asks for a rendition of nature’s beauty-- create a gorgeous image that takes the high road of elegance instead of the common path of cute and trite.

                      Rainbow Keshet Tallit designed and painted by Beth Surdut

The atarah is the Golden Rule.

        Rainbow_tallit_The Golden Rule by Beth Surdut


Healing scarves shown on a separate page are 30" square habotai silk  $150 

Healing Prayer Head  Scarf by Beth Surdut     A tallit client came to me with a request. Her friend was going through the hell of cancer treatment, so could I make a hand painted silk head scarf with a healing prayer. The recipient has a house on an island, so the design is called Mermaid's DNA and in it are the Hebrew words "r'fuah shleimah", which mean "complete healing." The Santa Fe New Mexican featured my  work during Breast Cancer Awareness month. Each  scarf is a seesaw of the joy of making beauty for someone dealing with pain and uncertainty.





                                                                       MORE TALLITOT

Wings, water, and a path through the mountains in the colors of the Southwest.... Psalm  91 "Under Thy wings, I shall find refuge."

                               Winged  path tallit by Beth Surdut

  I do work in all colors, but  purple and blue are often my client's main choices.

A rabbi chose Blessed is  the one who brings Torah to the people of Israel. He specifically requested the rainbow,

the eagle and the moon and  stars.

            Eagle tallit detail by Beth Surdut

 Eagle/rainbow/cosmos.tallit by Beth Surdut

                Congregation Beit Tikva showed its appreciation with this tallit for Cantor Michael Linder.

                 I will sing unto Adonai as long as I live;I will sing  praise to my God while I have any being.

                 Here are the hues of verdant life, flowing water, and the beautiful blue skies of New Mexico and Israel.


                                              Wisdom Tallit ~ Sun and Moon Rising for a Bar Mitzvah

                                Sun and Moon Rising -- wisdom tallit  by  Beth Surdut


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