Six and a half decades ago a man named Alvin Tendler walked into a Jewish store and bought a tallit for his son’s bar-mitzvah. A tallit is a sacred prayer shawl that parents often buy for their kids at the age of thirteen. It is a beautiful long white cloth with fringes hanging on each of the four corners. My specific tallit has blue stripes on each said and glittery silver jewish symbols on the top. It is worn around your shoulders like a towel. Little did Alvin know that this tallit would be passed down to his great grandson. This tallit is very important to our family because it links three generations of men. It has been worn at some of the most important religious events like my brother’s bar-mitzvah, my grandpa’s bar-mitzvah and now my own. It is also worn during high holidays at temple. Bill Tendler, my grandfather made a promise to his father that he would always keep the tallit. Sixty five years later from that day both my brother and I were blessed to have worn it as well and so shall my children’s children.This summer when I wore the tallit for my bar-mitzvah in Africa I felt so many different emotions. I was proud, happy and honored to be able to carry on the tradition that my family has passed down to me. It represents manhood the transfer between boy to man.

Place(s): New York

– JM

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more