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In the book The Path of the Righteous Gentile: An Introduction to the Seven Laws of the Children of Noah, by Rabbi Rogalsky,  it lists the following Jewish commandments as forbidden to Noahides:
Quote:a.    Observing the Sabbath in the manner of the Jews (resting from the actions that were needed for the building of the Tabernacle during the Exodus from Egypt)

b.    Observing the Jewish holy days in the manner of the Jews (resting in a similar manner to the Sabbath)

c.    Studying those parts of the Torah that do not apply to the Noahides’ service of G-d

d.    Writing a Torah scroll (the Five Books of Moses) or receiving an aliyah to the Torah (reading a portion of the Torah at a public gathering)

e.    Making, writing, or wearing tefilin, the phylacteries worn during prayer that contain portions of the Torah

f.     Writing or affixing a mezuzah, the parchment contain­ing portions of the Torah, to one's doorposts or gateposts  

This list leaves off the Jewish mitzvah of tallis, and so I am wondering, does this mean that I as a Noahide am allowed to wear a tallis, should I not wear it, or should I wear something that looks similar, or should I just not use any of these items?
Hi James7-
I think that while talleisim (the plural of tallis) are very neat, I think they have fringe knots and gematria for the 613 Jewish Mitzvot, so I am guessing that it is not something that a Noahide man would wear.
ProudNoachide Wrote:Hi James7-
  I think that while talleisim (the plural of tallis) are very neat, I think they have fringe knots and gematria for the 613 Jewish Mitzvot, so I am guessing that it is not something that a Noahide man would wear.

As I understand it, the purpose of tzitzit is to remind the wearer of the mitzvot. The gematria and knots do represent the number 613, to remind the Jews of their commandments.

Director Michael said in a different part of this forum that:
"After Mount Sinai, both the large tallis (tallis gadol) and small tallis (tallis katan) have the connotation of uniquely Jewish garments, and therefore Noahides are discouraged from wearing either of these, as Rabbi Schochet has pointed out for us."
Noahide men (or women) should not buy their own tallis gadol to use during their daily morning prayers, or a tallis katan to wear continually (even with the tzitzis fringes not showing). The tallis is a uniquely Jewish symbol. Thus a Noahide who wears a tallis is likely to be mistaken for a Jew in a synagogue service or in other settings (including the places where a Noahide might go without hesitation, but which would be forbidden for an observant Jew to be seen there).

Also, if a tzitzis fringe on a Noahide's tallis came undone on the end and he retied it himself, it would be forbidden for a Jew to put on that tallis, since it would no longer be fulfilling the mitzvah, and thus the four-corned garment would be forbidden for him to wear. This is one reason why a Noahide should not have his own tallis, because it might get acquired or borrowed by a Jew.

But even without that possibility, Noahides should not acquire and/or wear tallis or tefillin, or do the other things quoted above from the book "Path of the Righteous Gentile." There are and must remain these clear lines of distinction between Jews and Gentiles.

Furthermore, tallis and tefilin, though somehow related in practice to Jewish prayer, actually are independent mitzvos and have nothing to do with prayer-services and do not add to them. They are distinct mitzvos on their own. Thus it should be emphasized that the only "enhancing tools" for prayer by Noahides are sincerity and submission to G-d.
The scriptural observance of the Jewish mitzvah of tallis does not require that a tallis be worn, or that the tzitzis fringes must be showing.

The scriptural commandment is that IF a Jewish man decides to put on any four-cornered garment (four sharp corners, not rounded off, on a "garment" as it defined in size by Torah law), it must have traditional Jewish tzitzis fringes affixed to it on all the four corners. The tzitzis fringes do not have to be visible to others in order to satisfy the commandment.

For example, when a Jewish man buys a four-cornered plastic rain pancho, he is required to cut one of the corners into a rounded shape so he can wear it without having to have "kosher" Jewish tzitzis fringes tied on the corners.
Rabbi Schochet Wrote:But even without that possibility, Noahides should not acquire and/or wear tallis or tefillin, or do the other things quoted above from the book "Path of the Righteous Gentile." There are and must remain these clear lines of distinction between Jews and Gentiles.

I am curious what the source is for this ruling; if neither Rambam nor Radbaz include the wearing of a tallis in their list of unavailable optional observances, from where do we include it in ours?
The particular list of observances you are referring to (see the first post in this thread), from the Rambam's Mishneh Torah in the section on Laws of Kings, is specifically dealing with those Jewish observances which are restricted only because of their inherent level of sanctity/holiness. That issue does not apply to tzitzis.

However, the Rambam did cite restrictions on tzitzis for Gentiles as a practical matter, in his section of Mishneh Torah on Laws of Tzitzis.

Rabbi Schochet's position is applicable especially in light of the modern-day Noahide movement, which thank G-d is growing rapidly - and may it continue to grow as a Torah-true movement until and beyond the coming of Moshiach, may it be speedily in our days!

Joachim ben Noach

Shalom

Also: as a prayer shawl, may bnei Noach use any sort of shawl to cover his head? Or is there a particular proper one? (If yes: must the shawl be bought exclusively for this purpose?)

Thank you all!
There is no obligation for a Noahide to wear such a garment. Also, Noahides does not have to be concerned about rounding any of the corners of their garments, because they are not commanded about having tzitzit fringes on the corners.

The main point is that a Noahide should not create for himself (in his own mind) a religious precept to wear a specific garment (including a Jewish tallis or something similar to it), because he would be creating for himself an innovated commandment, which is forbidden.

With this in mind, if a Noahide wishes to wear an over-garment that does not look at all similar to a Jewish tallis (an example might be a pancho), then he is allowed, as long as he does not wear it with the intention that it is a religious precept, or that wearing it will bring any special merit to the person.
With all due respect, the interest in a Noahide prayer garment that looks like a tallis with corner fringes (tzitzit) may be the start of a slippery slope for the Noahide movement. It is at least along the lines of founding a new form of religion or worship for Noahides. It is also a distortion of the idea and principle of the Jewish tallis.
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