RELIGION

This Is The World's First Official 'Jewish Tartan'

The design, created by a Scottish rabbi, celebrates both Scotland's history and Jewish values.

In case you missed it: The world’s first official “Jewish tartan” is really a thing. Yes, it’s kosher and yes, you can buy it online in many forms, including as a prayer shawl, a skull cap and -- of course -- a kilt.

Created by Mendel Jacobs and officially registered with the Scottish Tartans Authority, the tartan boasts a distinctive pattern of blue, white, red and gold.

“I chose blue and white as the colors of both the Israeli and Scottish flags,” Jacobs, who is said to be Scotland’s only local-born rabbi, told the Scotsman. “The central gold line represents the gold from the Ark in the Biblical Tabernacle and the many ceremonial vessels. The silver is to represent the silver that adorns the Scroll of the Law and the color red is for the traditional red Kiddush wine.”

According to the International Business Times, the tartan is creating buzz on social media this week. It's made from a kosher cloth that abides by shatnez, the Jewish law that forbids the mixture of wool and linen in clothing.

“For over 300 years, Scots Jews have waited for their own tartan and now here it is,” Jacobs said, according to IBT. “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. In Scotland, the Jews were never persecuted and there were no pogroms, no Holocaust, no national or state sponsored anti-Semitic laws. When England was burning and exiling its Jews in the Middle Ages, Scotland provided a safe haven from English and European anti-Semitism.”

The Jewish tartan actually dates back to 2008, when a Glasgow dentist and a Jewish newspaper editor first came up with the idea for a “kosher” version of the iconic pattern. 

“We’ve already had a lot of interest from around the world,” Jacobs told the Scotsman. “It’s nice to produce a symbol that represents both Jewish and Scottish culture.”

The Scottish Tartans Authority said that other people have expressed interest in designing their own Jewish tartan, but the group insisted there can only be one official design on the books.

“We only have one Jewish Tartan on the register and it's certainly a case of first come, first served. We couldn't register two tartans with exactly the same name,” a spokesman said.

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