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January 6, 2016 3:52 pm

H&M Under Fire, Ridicule for Selling Scarf Eerily Reminiscent of Jewish Prayer Shawl

avatar by Shiryn Solny

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H&M is selling a scarf that looks like a Jewish prayer shawl. Photo: Twitter.

The tallit-like scarf being sold at H&M. Photo: Twitter.

Swedish international apparel chain H&M received mixed reviews on social media for offering a scarf for purchase that looks like a Jewish prayer shawl, also known as a tallit.

The scarf, which sells on H&M’s website for $17.99 and was first highlighted by fashion blog, has the same color scheme and pattern as a tallit. It even has “fringe at the short ends,” as do the traditional prayer shawls.

While some Twitter users marveled at the resemblance between the scarf and a tallit, others were outraged, including one individual who wrote: “I’m not Jewish, but think it’s wrong to use an item of religious dress as a fashion statement.”

A different Twitter user said: “A lot of non Jews are going to be attacked for wearing it. Maybe they’ll understand what we go through.”

Another noted the irony of a Swedish retailer selling a scarf that resembles a tallit because “a Jew cannot walk in Sweden with a tallit (or a kippah) without risking himself.”

Others found the likeness humorous. One commented: “That is awesome. Is there a tekhelet option?” — referring to the blue dye used for some tzitzit (fringe) strings, while another said, “lmaooo that great, I’ll finally be able to daven (pray) fashionably.”

In a statement to The Algemeiner, the Swedish retailer apologized to those insulted by the scarf.

“We are truly sorry if we have offended anyone with this piece,” an H&M spokesperson said. “Everyone is welcome at H&M and we never take a religious or political stand. Stripes is one of the trends for this season and something we were inspired by. Our intention was never to upset anyone.”

H&M is also selling a tallit-like poncho.

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  • SeeGG

    Just say that any male who wears it must first be circumcised. Fair enough?

  • sp

    meretz will denounce it as religious coercion

  • A Sander

    Great idea, any one who objects should not be over sensitive. As the editorial states non Jews will know how it feel to be Jewish when insults are thrown at them. Lots of people , especially students, wear the Arabic scarf (can’t recall the name) without any problems. What next, Jewellery that looks like tefillin?

  • Perhaps we misjudge Sweden, This is obviously their attempt at a “Spartacus “gesture ! Will they produce a kippah next ?

  • Holy Shirt

    Noting Sweden’s current policy of National Suicide, who can name the date and time H&M gets its first terror attack?

  • Its about time the Sweds identify with the Jews and look fashionable at the same time.

  • It seems they have a whole faux Jewish line, including the aforementioned pseudo tallit, a kind of tallit gadol inspired poncho (two styles, fringe-end stripes alone or neck and fringe), a a black fedora, and, just to spice things up perhaps, a pseudo keffiyeh. Is this H&M’s response to the several Nazi insignia/swastika items which have turned up recently on Zara and other fashion retailer products/sites?

  • MH8169

    H & M is a foolish organization. With a muslim population that is so filled with Anti-Semitism and a government who tolerates this toxic behavior, it is somewhat comical this stupid organization would produce a garment that is faux Jewish.

  • steve epstein

    I certainly hope that H & M is not a supporter of BDS.

  • stevenl

    H & M should stick to the Arafat keffiyeh!!!!

  • Dave

    Have a sense of humor, people. Better that the world wears Talith scarf then an Arab Kafiyeh

  • Mickey Oberman

    The poor Muslims.
    They won’t know who to kill.