Made with love

Next Spring my daughter will become bat mitzvah and I will present her with the tallit that I am making for her. I have spent the last two days rubberbanding fabric and carefully pouring dye to create what I hope will be a very cool tie-dye effect for her tallit. Last year when I had the chance to make a tallit for myself I knew that this summer I would make one for my daughter to wear. I have been thinking about colors for a year now, so I was ready to start on the first day of camp.

I thought I was ready, but I have been surprised at how spiritual the experience has been so far. Holding the blank fabric in my hands, I realized that less than a year from now I will be standing next to my daughter on the bimah and presenting it for her to wear. The blank canvas was full of possibility and I felt the pressure to get it right. I wanted it to be perfect for her, something that she will love and treasure and hopefully want to keep and use for many years. It took me much longer than I expected to get all the fabric rubberbanded the way I wanted -- at first I thought I had a pattern and design in mind, but I soon realized that I had to give up the pattern. Today I carefully used a spoon to pour the special sun-activated dye over the material, again thinking that I could follow a pattern.

Choosing tie-dye meant that I had to give up some control. I know it will look like a tie-dye... I think it will look cool and I like the colors I chose for her, but it is not an exact science. I won't actually know what it looks like until I remove the rubber bands and open it up tomorrow.  I am not the most artistic person and I have been known to be a bit of a control freak, so it was a good exercise for me to create something that just by the nature of the project I can't control. It was an excellent metaphor for parenting -- another creative endeavor that requires me to let go.

As I worked with the dye I was thinking about my daughter, about how proud I am of her and all the blessings she brings to my life. I was also thinking about all the blessings that I hope her future holds and imagining the day when she will wrap herself in this tallit and the blessings and love that it was created with.


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