# 2502 Shall we Call On a Prayer Shawl?

Q. As a Chaplain I visit and tend to the needs incarcerated individuals. I brought a taalis to a Jewish inmate, and then his Gentile roommate also wanted one. As this may be an issue of chilul Hashem, and creating enmity, can I also provide one for him, since he is willing to pay for it?
A. Poskim permit in cases of need to sell a mezuza to a Gentile, when there is an understanding that he will keep it with proper decorum.
In this particular case, Horav Shlomo Miller’s Shlit’a opinion is that he may purchase a modern taalis shawl worn around the neck and usually made of synthetic materials, (often used by non- religious individuals or children). These prayer shawls, although they may look comely are likely not kosher and may not constitute a chefetz shel (object of) mitzva, that has to be kept with proper care. One should also be careful that the shawl does not display blessings or pesukim printed on it.
Rabbi A. Bartfeld as revised by Horav Shlomo Miller Shlit’a

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