The body of the tallit is a cross dyed silk shantung. The deep wine color works well with both the nearly neon cotton weaving and the mellow silk weaving.
Josh's bar mitzvah portion is the reading that is the source for out wearing a tallit. How great is that for me as a tallit maker? Josh wanted to have the four verbs associated with the mitzvah of tziztit/ritual fringes written on the corners, have, see, remember and do. Yes, I have done this on the corner pieces of other tallitot. I like for my clients to think about the mitzvah of tzitzit while they wear their tallit. When I get the calligraphy right, and the letters interlink just right, it just looks so pretty. It is satisfying visually as well as being satisfying in terms of the act of wearing the tallit.
Earlier today, I was attending a funeral at one of the two Jewish funeral homes in my neighborhood. The funeral took place in the ritzier of the two establishments but in the small chapel on the fourth floor. The room, was decorated with a series of lithographs each one of which featured the name of one of the twelve tribes.
I took a closer look at the piece that was hanging over my seat. each name was written at the top of an arch.They were attractive enough, nothing amazing but perfectly fine. What shocked me though was the lettering. I will crankily tolerate an ugly font. This was a clunky and fairly ugly font. What is intolerable is misspelling on a piece displayed in public. I know that when I do my work, I re-check it to be sure that I haven't messed up. Despite knowing Hebrew well, sometimes my attention might wander and I will flub a word.
These lithographs though, were clearly made by someone who didn't know how to read Hebrew. The name Benjamin, was written in the Hebrew equivalent of CenjaMin. OK, perhaps the artist didn't read Hebrew. maybe the lithographer didn't either. Maybe the person who bought the pieces for the funeral home didn't read Hebrew either, but this is a room where people who can read Hebrew go into every day...often several times a day.
All of this, a round about way of saying that I don't believe that Josh will ever be ashamed of the hebrew calligraphy on his tallit.