Scottish rabbi hawks ‘kosher’ tartan celebrating Scottish, Jewish heritage

Rabbi  Mendel Jacobs models the kosher tartan prayer shawl. (

Rabbi Mendel Jacobs modeling the kosher tartan prayer shawl. (

(JTA) — A Scottish rabbi has created what he says is the world’s only “kosher” tartan, a plaid fabric pattern that represents both Scottish and Jewish heritage.

Rabbi Mendel Jacobs has registered the design with the Scottish Tartans Authority and is selling various wool Judaica items made from it, including a prayer shawl, prayer shawl bag and kippah.

“A friend of mine told me about a Polish tartan and a Sikh tartan had been registered, so why not a Jewish one?” Jacobs, of Glasgow, told The Scotsman.

Jacobs said he selected blue and white as the main colors because they appear on both the Scottish and Israeli flags, along with a central gold line representing the gold “from the Ark in the biblical Tabernacle and many ceremonial vessels.”

The design also includes silver “to represent the silver that adorns the Scroll of the Law” and red “for the traditional red kiddush wine.”

In addition to the Judaica, Jacobs is selling other items featuring the tartan, such as a mouse pad, necktie, kilt, scarf, mug and ballpoint pen. The fabric items are made of 100 percent Scottish wool.

“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,” Jacobs told International Business Times UK. “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.”

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