arba' kanfot

Encyclopedia

arba' kanfot

("small shawl"), Jewish religious garment that apparently came into use during times of persecution as a substitute for the larger and more conspicuous prayer shawl (tallit). Both garments have fringes (tzitzit) on the four corners, increasing the likelihood that one was a conscious imitation of the other. The tallit, however, generally falls across the head, neck, and shoulders, while the arba' kanfot has an opening for the head (like a poncho), so that it can be worn beneath the upper garments. Orthodox male Jews, including children, wear the arba' kanfot during the day to fulfill the requirement of wearing fringes (Numbers 15:37-41) as reminders of God's commandments.

Learn more about arba' kanfot with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Explore Dictionary.com
Previous Definition: arba kanfoth
Next Definition: arba-kanfos
Words Near: arba' kanfot
More from Thesaurus.com
Synonyms and Antonyms for arba' kanfot
More from Reference.com
Search for articles containing arba' kanfot
More from Dictionary.com Translator
Dictionary.com Word FAQs

Dictionary.com presents 366 FAQs, incorporating some of the frequently asked questions from the past with newer queries.

Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature