Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Clan for My Tribe

Bravo to Rabbi Mendel Jacobs of Glasgow, Scotland. He has created the first Jewish-Scottish tartan. Finally! Here's the scoop from The Daily Record:

A SCOTS rabbi has created the world's first official Jewish tartan.

Mendel Jacobs, 32, consulted the Scottish Tartans Authority and religious scholars to come up with a design to reflect Scotland's Jewish history. He said: "As the only Scottish-born rabbi living in Scotland, I felt it was important to celebrate the rich tapestry of culture and history we share and it is particularly fitting for Israel's 60th anniversary celebrations. "The Jewish people have been an integral part of Scottish culture for more than 300 years, with the first Jew recorded in Edinburgh in 1691." Rabbi Mendel runs the Shul In The Park in Glasgow.

The colours, weave and number of threads in the new tartan have all been picked for their relevance to Judaism. Rabbi Mendel added: "The blue and white represent the colours of the Scottish and Israeli flags, with the central gold line representing the gold from the Biblical Tabernacle, the Ark of the Covenant and the many ceremonial vessels. "The silver is from the decorations that adorn the Scroll of Law and the red represents the traditional red Kiddush wine. "The cloth is also 100 per cent kosher - being a non-wool linen mix."

Internationally renowned weavers Lochcarron of Scotland have vested an interest in manufacturing the tartan. There is expected to be a huge global demand for the design from the estimated 15million Jews worldwide. The biggest markets will be the US and Israel, each with about five-and-a-half million Jews. At the last census in 2001, there were 6400 Jews in Scotland.

From "Brian Wilton, director of the Scottish Tartans Authority, which certified the design as part of its registry, says that the existence of a Jewish tartan is a necessity. “Generations of Scots are of the Jewish faith,” he says, “so there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be [popular].”

It's already sold out, so I'm getting in line for the next batch. Awesome!!

ps-hat tip to Rabbi Miller for the heads-up. :)

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