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Boca Synagogue Wins Guinness World Record

For congregant-made prayer shawl measuring 1471.74 square feet

Stephanie Butnick
March 25, 2015
Boca Raton Synagogue's Guinness Book of World Records prayer shawl. (Facebook)
Boca Raton Synagogue’s Guinness Book of World Records prayer shawl. (Facebook)

First there was the world’s largest chicken nugget, a 50-lb kosher masterpiece unveiled in 2013. Then there was the world’s largest Shabbat dinner, which drew 2,226 people to Tel Aviv in 2014. The latest Jewish creation to be anointed with a Guinness Book of World Records certification is a prayer shawl, or tallis, from Boca Raton, FL, that clocks in at a whopping 1,471.74 square feet.

The prayer shawl at Boca Raton Synagogue, a modern Orthodox congregation in South Florida, appears to stretch across a large sanctuary in photographs. The tallis was measured by officials from Guinness Book of World Records on Feb. 12, and as of yesterday, when the synagogue’s rabbi Efrem Goldberg posted the news on Facebook, appears to have been confirmed by the record-keeping authority.

I called my grandparents sources in Boca, who hadn’t heard the news yet, and weren’t sure which of the synagogues that was, but offered to drive over there today and try to see it. (Love you Grandma!)

According to Goldberg’s post, synagogue members (and presumably other interested parties) can sponsor a corner of the tallis or have a child or grandchild’s name added. There’s more than enough room for everyone.

Stephanie Butnick is chief strategy officer of Tablet Magazine, co-founder of Tablet Studios, and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.

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