Tzitzit or Tzitzis (Hebrew: ציצית) are "fringes" worn by Jews on the corners of four-cornered garments, including the Tallit (prayer shawl) and Tallit Katan. Since they are considered by Orthodox tradition to be a time-bound commandment, they are worn only by men. The details of Tzitzit are described below:
- 1 Source of Requirement
- 2 People Obligated in Tzitzit
- 3 Time Requirements
- 4 Material Requirements
- 5 Size Requirements
- 6 Color Requirements
- 7 Garment Requiremnts
- 8 Other Garments
- 9 How to Tie Tzitzit
- 10 Tying Requirements
- 11 Shehecheyanu
- 12 Borrowed Tallit
- 13 If One Wears Multiple Pairs of Tzitzit
- 14 Checking the Tzitzit
- 15 If the Strings Ripped
- 16 Laws that Disqualify Tzitzit
- 17 Tuck In or Out
- 18 Symbolism of Tzitzit
- 19 Washing the Tzitzit and its Garment
- 20 Sanctity of the Tzitzit
- 21 Tallit Gadol
- 22 Text of the Bracha
- 23 Laws regarding the Bracha on Tzitzit
- 24 Links
- 25 Sources
Source of Requirement
- There is a positive Torah commandment to place Tzitzit strands on each corner of a four cornered garment that one wears.  This obligation extends to any garment with at least 4 corners, for instance, a 5 or 6 cornered garment.  On such garments with more than 4 corners, one should only attach Tzitzit to four of the corners.  The corners chosen should be the corners that are the farthest away from each other.  However, bedieved, one may make a bracha on the Tzitzit, even if they were not placed at the farthest corners of the garment. 
- Technically, there is no obligation to wear a four cornered garment in the first place. Nevertheless, it is certainly proper and correct to observe this important mitzvah by wearing Tzitzit all day. Additionally, the accepted minhag is to wear Tzitzit and one should not break from this minhag. 
People Obligated in Tzitzit
- The obligation applies to all Jewish men age 13 and older.
- A blind man is equally obligated, and should recite a bracha. It would be best for him to first feel and check the validity of his Tzitzit or ask someone else to confirm it for him.
- Women are exempt, as wearing Tzitzit is a positive time bound mitzvah.
- A Katan, or minor child who is less than 13 years old, should wear Tzitzit and make a bracha on it, once he reaches the age of chinuch .
- The proper age of chinuch for the mitzvah of Tzitzit is nine years old. 
Should Bochrim Wear a Tallit?
However, the minhag for most Ashkenazim seems to be not to wear one until one gets married unless one goes up to the Torah or leads prayers. Some achronim quote a midrash which learns from the juxtaposition of גדילים תעשה לך and כי יקח איש אשה (Devarim 22:12-13), that a man should not wear a Tallit until he gets married. Piskei Teshuvot 8:10 writes that this minhag spread to several countries in Europe including Lithuania and Poland, while in other Ashkenaz communities it did not catch on. Later achronim questioned these earlier achronim and simply do not understand why someone who is not married would not fulfill this mitzvah from the Torah of wearing Tzitzit. Rav Y.D. Soloveitchik (quoted in Mipninei Harav pg. 22) says that in the absence of a minhag otherwise, the correct minhag is for an unmarried boy to wear a Tallit Gadol
- The earliest time to say a bracha on Tzitzit is from the time period that there is enough natural light to be able to distinguish between the white and blue strands within a clump of Tzitzit. This time period is also known as the time when one is able to recognize an acquaintance from a distance of 4 cubits. Both descriptions are equivalent and commonly referred to as Misheyakir. There is a wide range of opinions on precisely what time Misheyakir occurs on a perfect day. In Jerusalem it is considered to be 35 minutes before sunrise, 60 minutes before sunrise, and 66 minutes before sunrise. The various opinions would then have to be extrapolated according to the region of the world and time of year. Thus, according to the commonly accepted opinion that Meshiyakir is between 50 and 60 minutes before sunrise in Jerusalem - In New York, depending on the time of the year, it could be anywhere from 56-73 minutes before sunrise.
- If one is pressed for an earlier time for work or travel reasons, there are opinions that one may make a bracha on Tzitzit already from dawn. Dawn is 72 equivalent minutes, or 1.2 seasonal hours, before sunrise. However, most modern poskim qualify that one should not rely on these minority opinions unless under “extreme circumstances” and should rather wait at least until the most lenient interpretation of Misheyakir.
- One may wear Tzitzit before these times, however one should do so without making a bracha. Only when it becomes the time period known as Misheyakir may one make a bracha.
- If one inadvertently made a bracha before dawn, one should not repeat another bracha when the correct time arrives.
- In terms of nighttime wear, one may wear Tzitzit at night without a bracha and can even sleep in them. One need not be worried about violating Baal Tosef when wishing to wear Tzitzit at night. In fact, according to kabbalistic sources, Tzitzit protect a person at night from destructive forces and therefore it is praiseworthy to do so. 
- However, one should not wear a Tallit Gadol at night, unless one is the shliach tzibur (cantor) for Maariv and is not wearing an appropriate outer garment (for example a jacket).
- Another exception would be for Sephardim, where it is customary for a chatan (groom) to wear a Tallit Gadol at his wedding ceremony, he may do so even at nighttime. If it is before sunset he should make a bracha and if the ceremony is after sunset then he should wear a Tallit Gadol without making a bracha on it.
- If one took off one’s Tzitzit (Tallit Katan) at night, it is permissible to put it back on at night, however, it is not necessary to put it back on. 
- Sephardim generally follow the opinion of the Shulchan Aruch who holds that only garments made of wool or linen have a Torah obligation to have Tzitzit strings. Accordingly, all other materials only require Tzitzit on a rabbinic level. As such, it is preferable for one to wear a wool or linen garment. If one finds it uncomfortable to wear wool Tzitzit, one may wear Tzitzit made from other materials. 
- Ashkenazim hold like the Rama who holds that all materials are included in the Torah obligation. Nevertheless, some maintain that one still should wear wool and linen garments in order to satisfy all opinions.  On the other hand, many poskim are lenient in the case when wearing wool would cause any discomfort, especially in the heat. 
- Although the Shulchan Aruch includes linen as a biblically mandated material, he also cites an opinion that we should not use it. He concludes that although the halacha is not like this opinion, it is preferable to avoid the argument and only use wool. However, if one only has a linen garment for one's Tzitzit, they may be used with a bracha.
- Leather garments are exempt from the obligation of Tzitzit, even on a rabbinic level.
- Along the same lines, some poskim equate leather with synthetic materials, such as polyester (usually used for mesh Tzitzit), nylon, and rayon, and maintain that they are also exempt from Tzitzit. Others differentiate between woven synthetic materials, which should be treated like cotton, and non woven synthetic materials, which should be treated like leather. Therefore, it is best not to use synthetic materials for the mitzvah, but if one does one should refrain from making a bracha on it.
- Tzitzit strings may not be made from stolen material.  However, the Rama says that if one turned stolen wool into strings it is permissible to use them bedieved.  Everyone agrees that one may not make a bracha on a Tallit made with such Tzitzit. 
- For a discussion of using Techelet (blue) strings as Tzitzit see the Techelet page.
- There are various opinions as to how big the garment needs to be to qualify as a halachically bona fide garment, in order to be able to make a bracha without needing to worry about the possibility of it being a bracha levatala (a bracha said in vein or wasted):
There is also an opinion that there is no size requirement at all.
- Additionally, there are two different opinions for the conversion of one amah, or 6 Tefachim (fists), to modern measurements: Rav Chaim Na’eh holds it is 48 cm or 18.9 inches make up an amah, while the Chazon Ish holds it is 57.7 cm or 22.7 inches.
- Additionally, there is a dispute about whether the dimensions include or exclude the center hole within the garment for one’s head and neck. The Mishna Brurah  does not include the neck hole in the measurement, while the Chazon Ish  does.
- Halacha Le'Maaseh:
- Sephardim: One has fulfilled the mitzvah BUT cannot make a bracha on it when wearing Tzitzit measuring 1.5 amot by 1 amah. It would be preferable if this shiur did not include a neck hole, but if it does and it is difficult to find Tzitzit that size or they are uncomfortable to wear, one may rely on the opinions that say the neck hole is included. In this case, one should make a bracha on a Tallit Gadol and patur (exempt) the Tallit Katan by doing so. In order to make a bracha on a Tallit Katan, it should measure 2 amot (37.8") by 1 amah (18.9").
- Ashkenazim: In order to follow the Mishna Brurah, one should wear Tzitzit that are 1.5 amot (in length) by 0.5 amah (in width) not including the neck hole.  Accordingly, one can wear Tzitzit that are 32 by 16 inches not including the neck hole. 
- The garment with four corners needs to be open at least a majority of the way up.  If there is a button less than half way up but the majority is still open, it is still obligated in Tzitzit. 
Shoulder Straps and Sleeves
- The cloth going over one's shoulders may not be thin strips but rather must be at least as wide as 3 Etzba’ot. 
- It is better not to have sleeves on Tzitzit. 
- Some say that the strings of the Tallit should be the same color as the Tallit itself and the Sephardic custom is to hold so. However, Ashkenazim do not have this custom and wear white strings on their Tallit in all cases. 
- In order for a garment to be obligated to have Tzitzit, the corners must be square and may not be round. 
- A scarf is exempt from Tzitzit. 
- Towels are exempt from Tzitzit. 
- For several reasons, an apron that one wears during a haircut doesn't need tzitzit
- If one wears more than one four-cornered garment they are all obligated in Tzitzit but the bracha is only recited on the first one that one puts on. However, if one recited the bracha and only had in mind to wear one four-cornered garment and then changed one's mind and put on another one, one has to recite a new bracha. 
- There is a dispute whether four cornered blankets are obligated in Tzitzit. It is preferable therefore to round off one of the corners, so that it no longer has 4 corners and is therefore definitely not obligated in having Tzitzit attached to it. Others say that we are not strict in this case and need not be concerned. 
- If the majority of a garment's side is open then it must have Tzitzit, but if a minority of a garment's side is open then it is exempt from having Tzitzit. If a garment's side is open only half way then it is a safek and therefore one should tie Tzitzit on it but note that there is an issue of the melacha of transferring on Shabbat with that garment. 
- One should not make a bracha on a garment that is open only half way on it's sides. 
How to Tie Tzitzit
- Tzitzit without techelet is tied in four sections with a double knot before and after each section. Between each section one white string is wound around the others. In the first section it is wound 7 times, the next 8 times, then 11 and 13. Altogether there are 5 knots and 39 windings.
- According to the Rambam, Tzitzit with Techelet is tied with one winding of white and two of techelet for each section and there are 7 sections each with a knot before and afterwards. Altogether there are 8 knots and 21 windings.
- Lechatchilla we are machmir and follow Rabbeinu Tam  for boys beneath the age of 13 and women not to tie Tzitzit for a man whose obligation it is to wear them. Though in principle women and minors are kosher for making kosher Tzitzit, Rabbeinu Tam holds that only the gavra who is obligated in the mitzvah should create the object of the mitzvah. Boys beneath the age of 13 may tie Tzitzit for another boy under the age of 13, since their mitzvah is merely one of chinuch. 
- One may tie the Tzitzit strings onto the Tzitzit garment at night, even though one will not recite the bracha until putting them on the next morning. 
- If one buys a new Tallit, a Shehecheyanu is recited.  There is a split between Ashkenazi poskim as to whether to say the bracha prior to putting on the Tallit or after, Sephardim should say it after. 
- The bracha may be recited as long as someone is still wearing it for their first time. 
- One should recite the bracha on a new Tallit Katan if it brings one joy. 
- If one places new strings on an old garment a Shehecheyanu is not recited. 
- One who wears a Tallit that has been worn before, even if this is his first time fulfilling the mitzvah does not recite a Shehecheyanu. 
- Shehecheyanu should not be recited if one acquired a new Tallit Katan. 
- If one borrows a Tallit directly from its owner in order to fulfill the mitzvah of wearing a Tallit, one may recite the bracha, because we assume that the owner gave it as a present on condition that it is returned. It is however better to avoid this situation. Additionally, if the Tallit is donated to the shul, one may borrow it and make a bracha on it.
If One Wears Multiple Pairs of Tzitzit
- If one wears multiple pairs of Tzitzit, one can make one bracha on all of them by having in mind to include all pairs in that single bracha. One should be sure to not make a hefsek between putting on the different pairs of Tzitzit. 
Checking the Tzitzit
- One should check one's Tzitzit (the strings from the edge until the knots and the strings after the knots) daily before making a bracha on them. 
- One can check the Tzitziyot before putting one's Tallit back in it's case/bag and then does not have to check again in the morning before making the bracha. 
- If checking the Tzitzit will cause somebody to be late to davening, one may assume that they are kosher and make a bracha. 
- One should not miss Tefillah Betzibuur because one was checking one's Tzitzit. As long as one knows the strings were complete the day before one should make the bracha without checking, if the alternative would be missing Tefillah Betzibbur. 
- Tzitzit strings which become entangled are still kosher, although it is good to separate them.  One should separate the strings of the Tzitzit before making the bracha, however if one is late to shul, then one does not have to. 
- One may untangle Tzitzit on Shabbat, unless they have never been worn before, in which case it would be considered mitaken. 
If the Strings Ripped
- If one of the 8 strings ripped from the point that the strings hang from the last double knot, the Tzitzit are kosher. However, if 2 of the 8 strings ripped completely from right beneath the knots, the Tzitzit are kosher only if the two ripped strings come from different sets of 4 strings (one from one side, and the other from the other side), this is assuming that they were tied consistently with the same 4 strings on each side throughout the knotting. (See diagram on right for picture of what is meant by the 2 sets of 4 strings hanging off the Tzitzit knots).
- The amount that is needed to tie a bow kdei aniva is considered by some to be 4 cm. 
- If the strings are completely ripped after all of the knots but the strings in the knots section are longer than kdei anivah then in an extenuating circumstance one can use those tzitzit. However, one should not recite a bracha on such tzitzit.
Laws that Disqualify Tzitzit
- If the strings of one's Tzitzit tear but an amount of kdei aniva (meaning, enough to tie a knot) is still remaining then the Tzitzit are considered kosher and one may make a bracha on them. However, it is ideal to fix the Tzitzit. 
- The Shulchan Aruch brings two opinions regarding where the starting point of kdei aniva needs to be. Rashi maintains that it is from the last double knot while the Ri maintains that it is from the first double knot. The mainstream custom is to hold like Rashi but one may rely on the opinion of the Ri. The Mishna Brurah and the Halacha Brurah disagree regarding reliance upon the opinion of the Ri. The Mishna Brurah says that one may not make a bracha on these Tzitzit and one may not wear them outside on Shabbat in a place without an eruv. On the contrary, Halacha Brurah says that one may make a bracha on these Tzitzit and one may wear them outside on Shabbat in a place without an eruv. 
Tuck In or Out
- Some Ashkenazim have the minhag to tuck their strings in and some leave them out.  The Sephardi minhag is to wear them tucked in.  A Sephardic boy can wear his Tzitzit out if it will help him with his yirat shamayim or if he is in an Ashkenazi yeshiva and feels uncomfortable being the only one with his Tzitzit tucked in. 
- At a cemetery one must tuck in one's strings. 
- One may wear one's Tzitzit under one's clothes even if it will touch one's skin. 
Symbolism of Tzitzit
- The five knots of the Tzitzit represent the 5 books of the Torah. 
Washing the Tzitzit and its Garment
- One should make sure one's Tzitzit stay clean and wash them often so that they remain white in color. 
- One may insert the strings of the Tzitzit into pockets, which are then closed for their protection while they are being laundered. 
Sanctity of the Tzitzit
- One may remove strings from one pair of Tzitzit in order to be put onto another pair of Tzitzit, however, one may not remove the strings from a pair of Tzitzit if they are not going to be used. 
- The Tur holds that it is permissible to use Tzitzit for any purpose even if the Tzitzit are still intact, however, the Sheiltut disagrees and holds that it is only permissible to use Tzitzit for other purposes if the Tzitzit are no longer intact. 
- It is permitted to use the strings and garment of a Tallit Gadol to make a Tallit Katan. 
- One may enter the bathroom while wearing Tzitzit. 
- One should not enter the bathroom with one's Tallit Gadol. 
- One should not enter the bathroom with one's Tallit Katan if it is on top of one's clothing. It is permitted to enter a bathroom with the Tallit Katan under one's clothing. 
- One should try to prevent one's strings from touching the ground. 
- If Tzitzit fringes broke, it is permissible to throw them into the garbage because Tzitzit do not have intrinsic holiness. 
- As long as the Tzitzit fringes are still attached, it is prohibited to use them for one's own benefit. 
- The minhag for Sephardim is to start wearing a Tallit Gadol from the age of chinuch in mitzvot.  The minhag for most Ashkenazim is not to wear one until one gets married.  However in Western-European communities the minhag is to wear it after the child's bar mitzvah. 
- A Sephardic boy studying in an Ashkenazi yeshiva should continue his minhag of wearing a Tallit Gadol. 
- One should unfold the Tallit before making the bracha so that there will not be any interruption between the bracha and wrapping onself in the garment.  If one made an interruption before placing the Tallit on one's head, one should recite a new bracha, but if the interruption occured only after placing it on one's head one does not recite a new bracha. 
- The bracha should be recited before wrapping oneself in the Tallit Gadol, but if one forgot one may recite it as long as it is still on one. 
- One should not write a pasuk or the bracha on one's Tallit Gadol , but one may keep the Tallit if one got one that had the bracha or pasuk on it, but should be more careful with it. 
- The bracha and the wrapping of the Tallit Gadol should be done standing up.  If one is weak or sick one can recite the bracha and wrap oneself in it while seated. 
- If one said the bracha "all mitzvat Tzitzit" on the Tallit Gadol instead of "lihitaatef biTzitzit" one has nevertheless fulfilled one's obligation. The same would be true if one recited "lihitaatef biTzitzit" on the Tallit Katan. 
- If one removes one's Tallit and plans on putting it back on within half an hour, one does not recite a new bracha when putting it back on. 
- If one's Tallit Gadol fell off and to the floor, one does not recite a new bracha when putting it back on. 
- The Tallit Gadol should be removed after the Tefillin. 
- One should wear the Tallit with two corners in front and two in the back so that one is surrounded by mitzvot. 
Text of the Bracha
- The bracha for a Tallit Gadol is "LeHitatef BeTzitzit".  If one mistakenly recited al mitzvat tzitzit on tallit gadol he has nevertheless fulfilled his obligation.
- For a pair of Tzitzit, according to Ashkenazim, the bracha is "Al Mitzvat Tzitzit", while according to Sephardim, if one puts on the Tzitzit regularly the bracha is "Al Mitzvat Tzitzit", but if one wraps one's head with the Tzitzit, one should make "LeHitatef BeTzitzit".
- The text of the bracha of "LeHitatef BeTzitzit" is: ברוך אתה ה' אלוקינו מלך העולם אשר קדשנו במצותיו וצונו להתעטף בציצת - Baruch Atta Hashem Elokeinu Melech HaOlam Asher Kideshanu BeMitzvotav VeTziyvanu LeHitatef BeTzitzit.
- The text of the bracha of "Al Mitzvat Tzitzit" is: ברוך אתה ה' אלוקינו מלך העולם אשר קדשנו במצותיו וצונו על מצות ציצת - Baruch Atta Hashem Elokeinu Melech HaOlam Asher Kideshanu BeMitzvotav VeTziyvanu Al Mitzvat Tzitzit.
- One should recite the beracha while standing,  but one who does so while sitting has fulfilled his obligation. 
Laws regarding the Bracha on Tzitzit
- One should recite the bracha just before putting on the Tzitzit.
- If one did not recite the bracha beforehand, one may recite the bracha the entire time one is wearing the Tzitzit.
- If ones Tallit falls, one may put it back on without reciting a new bracha as long as the entire Tallit did not fall. 
- If one removes one's Tallit and had in mind to put it back on then one is not obligated in making a new bracha when one puts it back on. 
- If one wore one's Tallit during the night, one must take it off, recite a new bracha on it, and then put it back on once it is daytime. 
- Bamidbar 15:38; Devarim 22:12, Rambam Sefer Hamitzvot mitzvat aseh 14.
- Aruch HaShulchan 10:1
- Aruch HaShulchan 10:2
- Shulchan Aruch 10:1
- Mishna Brurah 10:5
- Rambam Hilchot Tzitzit 3:11; Tur 24:1; Shulchan Aruch 24:1
- Rambam Hilchot Tzitzit 3:11; Tur 24:1; Shulchan Aruch 24:1; Rav Ovadya Yosef in Yechave Daat 4:2. See Mordechai (Menchot no. 945) writes that a person should endeavor to obligate oneself in the mitzvah of tzitzit just like Moshe longed to enter Israel in order to fulfill the mitzvot there (see Gemara Sotah 14a).
- Rav Moshe Feinstein in Igres Moshe 4:4
- Mishna Brurah 17:10
- Shulchan Aruch 17:1
- Mishna Brurah 17:1
- Rabbi Shimon in Gemara Menachot 43a; Shulchan Aruch 17:2. The Rema (ad loc.) comments even though women are exempt, if they want, they may rely upon the opinion of Tosfot on Kiddushin 31a who would allow a woman to wear and make a bracha on Tzitzit. The Rema continues however, that women still should not do so, since it would appear as arrogant and further that Tzitzit is not a personal obligation anyway. The Mishna Brurah (17:5) elaborates that although women may rely on Tosfot for Lulav and Sukkah, Tzitzit are different since even men are not required from the Torah except if they wear a four cornered garment. Wearing Tzitzit has both a personal as well as an impersonal aspect of obligation to it, which makes the obligation one which allows for leniencies. It is a personal obligation in the sense that only if one wears the garment does one need to attach Tzitzit and not just when one owns a garment. It is not a personal obligation, since it is not required of one to go out and buy a four cornered garment just to perform the mitzvah. Therefore, since men do not really have to wear Tzitzit every day, women certainly should not do so, it appearing arrogant if they do. Lastly, there is a possible concern of violating Beged Ish as Targum Yonatan Ben Uziel raises on Devarim 22:5. The Levush (17:2) and Ben Ish Chai (Lech Lecha 3) use similar logic.
- The Shulchan Aruch (17:3) does not specify an exact age, rather the idea is once a child knows how to properly wear the Tzitzit so that two strings are behind him and two in front (Rema 17:3)
- Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 9, the proper time for Tzitzit and who is obligated, seif 2
- Kaf Hachaim 8:12, Chacham Ovadia Yosef (Yechave Daat 4:2), Chacham Yitzchak Yosef (Yalkut Yosef 17:4). Or Litzion (Chelek 2, 3:7) says that the age is around 5.
- Rav Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron (Binyan Av Chelek 2, OC 7:1) agrees
- Tashbetz Katan 464, Sefer Hamanhig Chelek 2: Hilchot Nisuin pg. 539, and Maharil Hilchot Ishut 10
- Tzitz Eliezer 20:8 notes that the Maharil only meant that before getting married one does not wear a Tallit Gadol, but certainly one should still wear a Tallit Katan (i.e. Tzitzit).
- Mishna Brurah 17:10 and Shiyarei Knesset Ha-gadol 17:2, cited in Ba'er Heiteiv 17:4, before him
- Shulchan Aruch 18:3
- Meaning that there is exactly 12 daylight hours and every seasonal hour consists of 60 minutes.
- Rav Moshe Feinstein in Le-Torah ve-Hora'ah Vol. 3:7
- Rav Tukaczinsky in Eretz Yisrael 1:4
- Rav Ovadya Yosef in Yechave Daat 2:8
- There are two factors at work here: First, the processes of daybreak and nightfall occur faster at places near the equator than places further away from the equator. Second, the speed of these processes are also affected by the seasons. A common solution would be to use seasonal minutes. In order to calculate a seasonal hour, one would need to add up all the daytime minutes and then divide by 12 to get the number of minutes that are in each seasonal hour. For instance, if there were 11 hours of daylight, each seasonal hour would consist of 55 minutes(11x60:12=55min). To further complicate matters, there are two ways of counting the daytime minutes: The Magen Avraham counts from dawn until nightfall with the emergence of 3 stars, whereas the Gra counts from sunrise to sunset. Another means for calculation, which has only recently been implemented, is to compare the level of brightness by using the relative position of the sun. For instance, it has been determined that 60 minutes before sunrise on a perfect day in Jerusalem the sun is 12.9 degrees below the horizon. Therefore, if one wanted to find the equivalent time anywhere in the world during any season, one would simply need to determine at what time the sun will be 12.9 degrees below the horizon in that locale on that day and that would be the extrapolated Meshiyakir.
- MyZmanim.com. These figures are determined using MyZmanim’s earliest published position of 11.5 degrees below the horizon. Unfortunately, MyZmanim.com only offers calculations based upon 10.2 degrees, 11 degrees, and 11.5 degrees but not 12.9 degrees. It is unfortunate because 12.9 degrees correlates to Rav Tukaczinsky’s 60 minutes before sunrise which, although being a very lenient position, is also well collaborated and accepted.
- Mordechai on Gemara Megilla 2; Rema 18:3
- Rambam in Peirush HaMishnaiyot Brachot 1:1; Shulchan Aruch 459:2
- Gra 18:5; Mishna Brurah 18:10
- Rav Ovadya Yosef in Halacha Brura 2, 30:1.
- Rema 18:3
- Mishna Brurah 18:10. He explains that we are cautious since perhaps the halacha follows the Rosh that daytime garments worn at night require Tzitzit and accordingly the bracha would have been correct; Kaf HaChaim 18:22; Halacha Brurah 1, 18:6
- Tosfot Gemara Niddah 51b; Rambam Hilchot Tzizit 3:8; Rema 21:3; Mishna Brurah ad loc; Yalkut Yosef Additions 1, 8:5. The exemption at night is based on the pasuk "uritem oto" (Bamidbar 15:39). Rambam Hilchot Tzitzit 3:7 states that this applies to any garment being worn at nighttime. Rosh in Halachot Ketanot hilchot Tzitzit 1 says this refers to any nighttime garment regardless of when it is worn. Ran on Kiddushin 34a "eizo" says that any garment which is either usually worn at night or is currently being worn at night is exempt.
- Rambam Hilchot Tzizit 3:8; Kesef Mishna ad loc; Beit Yosef 8:13
- Shaar Kavanot Tefillat Arvit:1, Birkei Yosef 8:7, Kaf Hachayim 21:15, Ben Ish Chai Bereishit: halacha 9, Sh"t Teshuvos Vihanhagos 1:19,
- Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Yalkut Yosef 8:5
- Bach 18; Magen Avraham 18:1; Mishna Brurah 18:4; Birkay Yosef 18:1
- Pri Megadim in Ashel Avraham 18:1; Mishna Brurah 18:4
- Halacha Brurah 1, 18:2
- Rav Moshe Feinstein in Igrot Moshe YD 2:137. Though see the Taz 581:2 who seems to disagree because of a concern of putting oneself in a situation of Safek Brachot Lehakel.
- Shulchan Aruch 9:1. This is based on the opinion of Rav Nachman in Gemara Menachot 39b. The Rif (Tzitzit 14a) and Rambam Hilchot Tzitzit 3:2, and Sefer Hamitzvot Aseh 14 all rule in accordance with Rav Nachman.
- Rav Ben Zion Abba Shaul in Ohr LeZion 9:1; Rav Ovadya Yosef in Yalkut Yosef 9:1
- This is based on the opinion of Rava in Gemara Menachot 39b that all materials are able to be used to fulfill one's Torah obligation. Tosfot 39b s.v. VeRav cites the opinion of Rashi and Rabbeinu Tam in favor of Rava.
- Mishna Brurah 9:5. In Halichot Shlomo 3:25, Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach is cited as saying that one should try to be strict even in the summertime.
- Rav Moshe Feinstein in Igrot Moshe 2:1; Similarly, The Vilna Gaon (Maaseh Rav Birchot HaShachar, 17) ,the Chazon Ish (Shoneh Halachot 9:1), and the Steipler Gaon (Orchot Rabbeinu Volume 1 page 18) wore non-wool garments for their Tzitzit. In Teshuvot Vihanhagot 1:18 Rav Moshe Sternbuch cites several reasons that one should be strict and said one cannot learn anything from the rabbis that wore non-wool garments because they had their own reasons.
- 9:6; Also Kaf HaChaim 9:16. This opinion stems from Rabbeinu Tam in Gemara Shabbat 25b
- Rema and Mishna Brurah ad loc. This opinion comes from Teshuvot HaRosh 2:8
- Gemara Menachot 40b. Shulchan Aruch 10:4
- Rav Moshe Feinstein in Igres Moshe 2:1
- Rav Tzvi Pesach Frank in Har Tzvi 1, 9
- Tzitz Eliezer 12:3; Ohr LeZion 2:3
- Shulchan Aruch, OC, 11:6
- Rama on Shulchan Aruch, OC, 11:6
- Halacha Brurah, 11:25
- This range emanates from the gemara Menachot 40b, where it is dictated that the garment needs to be the size for it to be able to cover the head and majority of a minor. There are different interpretations as to how old the minor is to whom the gemara is referring: The Chinuch (Shelach: 386) and Bach (16) say the reference is to a 6 or 7 year old, the Tur (16) says 9 years old, and the Radbaz (6, 2:106) explains it to be a 5 year old. There is additionally ambiguity as to whether the majority requirement means that the garment needs to cover the head and then in addition a majority of the child’s body (Radbaz) or if it only needs to cover in total the majority of the child; head included (Chinuch). Meaning, the question between the Radbaz and Chinuch is whether it would be sufficient if it could cover the child’s head and another 30% to 40% of the rest of it's body, or whether it needs to be able to cover the head and an additional 51% of their body
- Pri HaAretz 1; Beit David 8; Shalmei Tzibur 26b; Pri Ha’Adoma 23a; Nachal Eshkol pg. 102:4 ; Ha’Elef Lecha Shelomo 1:4.
- Chazon Ish 3:31; Rav Pe’alim 2:6; Mishna Brurah 16:4;
- Lev Chaim 1:99;
- Siddur of Rabbi Schneur Zalman, the author of Shulchan Aruch HaRav and The Tanya. Similarly, the Gra, without specific numbers, was very strict in this regard and required the garment extend down to one’s knees. Also, the Chazon Ish 3:31 concludes that it is best to follow this size requirement. Likewise, the Mishna Brurah (8:17, 16:4) suggests this size to avoid difference of opinions.
- Aruch HaShulchan 16:5
- 8:17, 16:4
- Amongst the disputes on how big the Tallit Katan needs to be in order to have fulfilled one's obligation in Tzitzit, there is a question regarding the neck hole. The Mishna Brurah (8:17 and 16:4) assumes that the neck hole in the middle of the Tallit Katan does not count towards the minimum required measure. On the other hand, the Chazon Ish (O.C. 3:30) argues that as long as the combined width of the shoulders is greater than the width of the neck hole, the hole is counted towards the required measure (Omed Merubah Al HaParutz).
- He offers two explanations disproving the Mishna Brurah's approach. First, if we take the Mishna Brurah’s understanding to its logical extreme, we cannot count any minute hole (there being many since the garment is woven) making it more difficult to reach the proper size requirements. Additionally, he says if every minute hole does not count, then it should be considered an interruption. Once we consider the holes interruptions, there is no unified area with the proper required measure. The Eshel Avraham (16 s.v. Odot) agrees and infers this from the simple language of the poskim who gave measurement without specifying this distinction.
- Yalkut Yosef 16:1, Halacha Brurah 1, 16:1; and See “Tzel Heharim” by R’ Hertzel Hillel Yitzhak, pp. 8-11.
- Mishna Brurah 8:17, 16:4
- Rabbi Neustadt, author of Daily Halacha Discussions, writes that using Rav Moshe's (Sh"t Igrot Moshe 1:136) standard of measuring the amah which is 21.3 inches per amah one ends up with 32 inches by 16 inches. http://www.torah.org/advanced/weekly-halacha/5765/pekudei.html. Rabbi Willing is lenient to allow 26 inches in length (Rabbi Sobolofsky (min 14) in name of Rabbi Willig)
- Shulchan Aruch 10:7
- Halacha Brurah 10:20
- Mishna Brurah 16:1 and 16:4 writes that the cloth that goes over one's shoulders may not be thin strips but rather should be wide enough to be recognizable as clothing. The Eshel Avraham and Kaf HaChaim 16:4 hold that it should be at least 3 Etzba’ot wide.
- Mishna Brurah 16:4
- Ben Ish Chai Noach Halacha 11
- Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 9:5 and the Rama
- Shulchan Aruch, OC, 10:9
- Shulchan Aruch 10:11
- Beiur Halacha 10: "soder"
- Halacha Berura vol. 1 pg. 376
- Shulchan Aruch 8:12
- Mishna Brurah 18:8
- Rav Hershel Schachter in a shiur on yutorah.org ("Yevamot 7," min 85) states that he is not strict when it comes to placing Tzitzit on his blanket. See also another shiur by Rav Hershel Schachter on yutorah.org ("Hilchot Tzitzit", min 58-60).
- The Gemara establishes that the mitzvah of Tzitzit is primarily limited to the daytime. There is a dispute between the Rambam and Rosh whether the Gemara means to restrict the time when the mitzvah applies or to exempt clothing that is usually worn at night. The Tur poses a practical ramification of this dispute. According to the Rosh, who says that clothes which are specified for nighttime use are exempt. Four cornered blankets, since falling under the category of being specified for nighttime use, would therefore not be obligated in having Tzitzit.
- On the other hand, according to the Rambam who holds that the gemara was restricting the time of the mitzvah, it seems if one were to sleep with a blanket in the morning, the blanket would be obligated in Tzitzit. In fact, the Hagahot Maimoniyot (Tzitzit 3:7) records the Rabbenu Eliyahu MeParis's minhag to put Tzitzit on his blanket. Nonetheless, without explaining, the Bet Yosef 18:2 concludes that widespread minhag was not to put Tzitzit on one's blanket.
- In defense of the minhag, the Darkei Moshe 18:2 cites the Mordechai who states that one is only obligated in Tzitzit for clothing one wears (Levisha) and not for clothes that simply cover one's body (Haalah). The Magen Avraham 18:8 cites those who disagree with the Mordechai but explains that it would suffice to round one of the corners in order to exempt the blanket from Tzitzit. See Aruch HaShulchan 18:8 who rejects the Magen Avraham's proof by differentiating between on the one hand covering oneself with clothing, and on the other covering oneself with blankets which are only used for covering oneself and never worn regularly.
- Shulchan Aruch, OC, 10:7
- Halacha Brurah 10:16
- Shulchan Aruch OC 11:14. Tosfot Menachot 39a s.v. lo writes that we don't have between 7 and 13 sections as does the Rambam because today we don't have techelet. Alternatively, we have between 7 and 13 windings for each section. Mishna Brurah 11:70 explains that the windings add up to 39 which is the gematria of Hashem Eched. Tosfot explains that there are 5 knots between Tzitzit is gematria 600, and together with the 8 strings and 5 knots it represents 613, since Tzitzit is equivalent to all the mitzvot.
- Rambam (Tzitzit 1:7-8)
- Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 14a
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter in Bikvei HaTzoan (p. 10)
- Sh"t Yabia Omer OC 8:3
- Shulchan Aruch 22:1, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 9, the proper time for Tzitzit and who is obligated, seif 5
- Baer Heitev 22:2
- Mishna Brurah 22:3
- Birkei Yosef 22:2.
- Halacha Brurah 22:7, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 9, the proper time for Tzitzit and who is obligated, seif 5
- Ben Ish Chai Bereishit Halacha 7.
- Mishna Brurah 22:2, Kaf Hachayim 22:3
- Sh"t Yechave Daat 2:31
- Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 9, the proper time for Tzitzit and who is obligated, seif 6
- Ben Ish Chai Lech Lecha Halacha 5
- Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim, 8:12
- Rambam Hilchot Tzitzit 1:8. Shulchan Aruch 8:9 writes clearly that one must check one's Tzitzit before making the bracha so that one does not make a bracha levatala in case the Tzitzit were ripped. Mishna Brurah 8:21 adds that there is also a need to check the strings close to the Tallit before the knots. Yalkut Yosef (Hilchot Tzitzit pg 80) writes that the minhag is to be lenient as this halacha is only a midat chasidut. One may rely on the fact that the Tzitzit were kosher the last time they were worn, though it is good to check anyway in order not to run the risk of making a bracha levatalla, Yalkut Yosef does not consider it an obligation.
- Mishna Brurah 8:22, Yalkut Yosef (Hilchot Tzitzit pg 84)
- Sh"t Otzrot Yosef 1:26
- Mishna Brurah 8:22, Yalkut Yosef (Hilchot Tzitzit pg 84), See also Ben Ish Chai Bereishit Halacha 3
- Sh"t Rivivot Ephraim 1:23:5
- S”A 8:7, Beiur Halacha s.v. Tzarich writes that surely it is preferable to seperate the Tzitziyot before making the bracha because the Gra considers this a certain obligation. However, Mishna Brurah 8:18 writes that if one is late to shul one does not have to seperate the strings.
- Sh"t Yabia Omer OC 5:3
- Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 9:13. If Tzitzit strings ripped: There are two basic opinions which the Shulchan Aruch 12:1 quotes:
- Rosh: If your Tzitzit tore, all of the strings are allowed to have torn a little bit, as long as each of the 4 double strings still has kdei aniva left. Therefore, if 1 string on 1 side completely tears, the Tzitzit would be kosher because the other side of that string is left. Even if 4 strings tear completely on one side, as long as there is kdei aniva left of the 4 strings on the other side, the Tzitzit would still be kosher. In other words, the Tzitzit would only be passul if 1 string on both sides of the four strings tear to a length that is shorter than kdei aniva. If you did not make sure that the 4 double strings’ halves were kept separate, so that we cannot be sure that any 2 strings are not from the same string, then if any 2 strings ripped shorter than kdei aniva it would be considered passul. What if 2 strings rip to less than kdei aniva, but together they combine to the shiur of kdei aniva, and you are not sure if they came from the same large string? Mishna Brurah 3 says that it is a safek whether we can combine 2 strings to be kdei aniva even if we know they are from the same string, so this makes it a sfek sfeka (maybe they are different strings and even if they are the same, maybe they combine), but still the Pri Megadim says one should be strict because one can easily get kosher Tzitzit. However the Artzos HaChaim is lenient. Mishna Brurah thinks that if one of them is long enough to wind around just one string (which is the Eliya Rabba’s opinion of the shiur of kdei aniva, see next section below,) then one can be lenient. The Chazon Ish (OC 3:14) argues with the premise of the Mishna Brurah who holds that it is a safek if different strings can combine to kdei aniva, he holds they definitely cannot be combined to make up kdei aniva.
- Rabbeinu Tam: Tzitzit comprise 2 techelet strings and 2 lavan strings. In order for Tzitzit to be kosher, either all of the techelet (2/4 complete strings) or all of the lavan (2/4 complete strings) must be complete. Therefore, two full strings must be the complete shiur of 12 gudalin. If all the strings were cut to the length of kdei aniva, the Tzitzit would be passul. If 2 strings tear, even if they were 2 separate strings, it is acceptable because there are another 2 complete strings. But if 3 strings tear (again, even if they are kdei aniva,) the Tzitzit are passul because 3 torn strings means there are not 2/4 complete strings remaining.
- The Shulchan Aruch 12:1 says the halacha is really like the Rosh, but if possible (meaning if one can easily find other Tzitzit, whilst making sure not to miss praying together with a minyan to get them-Mishna Brurah 13) it is good to be concerned and hold like Rabbeinu Tam. Mishna Brurah 12:11 says obviously it is permitted to say a bracha on Tzitzit, which are only kosher according to the Rosh. The Rama 12:1 says the minhag is like Rabbeinu Tam. The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (9:13) codifies the opinion of the Rosh.
- Rav Mordechai Eliyahu (comments to Kitzur 9:13) writes that kdei anivah is 4 cm. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 9:13 writes that it is supposed to be 4 agudlin.
- Shulchan Aruch 12:3 writes that the opinion of Rashi is that the kdei anivah is measured from the end of the knots and Tosfot and Rosh hold that it is measured from the beginning of the knots. The halacha is that in an extenuating circumstance one can follow Tosfot but the minhag is like Rashi. Yalkut Yosef OC 12:2 agrees. Mishna Brurah 12:13 writes that in an extenuating circumstance it is kosher but one may not recite a bracha upon them.
- Halacha Brurah 12:1
- Shulchan Aruch, OC, 12:3; Mishna Brurah 12:13; Halacha Brurah 12:8
- Mishna Brurah 8:26 was strongly against those who wear their Tzitzit in and says that by doing so you are disgracing mitzvot. He adds that if you received a gift from the king you would surely wear it outside to show it off to others. He also says that tucking them out fulfills the pasuk of "u'ritem oto". This is the psak of Shulchan Aruch Harav 8:18, and the Magen Avraham 8:13 based on the Tosafot Brachot 18a which allows for tucking them in on a dead person because they do no longer have to fulfill "u'ritem oto" if they cannot see. Magen Avraham says this implies that they should normally be out. He says to at least leave them tucked out for the time that it takes to walk four amot. Aruch HaShulchan OC 8:17, 23:2 mentions that in many communities in eastern Europe they would tuck the strings in and he says that this was an incorrect practice. In Nefesh HaRav page 105 Rabbi Herschel Schachter says that some have the minhag to tuck the strings into their pockets or wrap it around the belt and this was the minhag of Rav Chaim Soloveitchik. Tzitz Eliezer 8:3 says that whatever you do is fine.
- Sh"t Yechave Daat 2:1, Sh"t Yaskil Avdi 5:3 and 8:2, Rabbi Shalom Messas in Shemesh U'Magen OC 2:74. Rav Ovadia in Yechave Daat 2:1 quotes opinions that if a Sephardi wears them out he is disrespecting the earlier Sephardi poskim. Rav Yaakov Hillel writes in Gevurat HaAri page 137 that the strings should be revealed based on the Arizal (Shaar Hakavanot 7c and Olat Tamid 39a). See Vayashov HaYam vol. 1 Siman 3 at length
- Sh"t Otzrot Yosef 1:27, Sh"t Or Litzion 2:2:2, see Wearing One’s Tzitzit Out (HalachYomit.co.il)
- Shulchan Aruch 23:1, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 9, laws of Tzitzit in a cemetary, seif 1
- Halacha Brurah 8:33. Sh"t Rivevot Efraim 4:15 quotes several Achronim however who hold that it may be a disgrace to the Tzitzit to sweat onto them directly, and himself allows being lenient on a hot day. Halichot Shlomo 3:11 says that this would not be a disgrace at all. Sh"t Teshuvot Vehanhagot 1:25 says if you wear them specifically as an undershirt to stop the sweat from wetting your shirt than he is unsure if it would even be obligated in Tzitzit, so one should try to refrain from doing so.
- Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 9, proper behavior while wearing Tzitzit, seif 1
- Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 9, proper behavior while wearing Tzitzit, seif 1
- Sh"t Rivivot Ephraim 1:23:5
- Tosfot (Shabbat 22a s.v. 22a), Shulchan Aruch 15:1
- Tur, Orach Chaim, Siman 21
- Mishna Brurah 15:1, Sh"t Otzrot Yosef 1:36
- Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Tzitzit, 3:9; Tur, Orach Chaim, Siman 21
- Shulchan Aruch 21:3, Chayei Adam 11:37, Mishna Brurah 21:14, Shulchan Aruch Harav 21:3.
- Shulchan Aruch 21:3, Kaf Hachayim 21:13.
- Shulchan Aruch 21:4, Baer Heitev 21:5, Shaare Teshuva 21:5, Shulchan Aruch Harav 21:5
- Shulchan Aruch 21:1
- Shulchan Aruch 21:1
- Kaf Hachayim 8:12, Yechave Daat 4:36. Halacha Brurah 17:3 says that this age begins once the child can participate in the prayers in the shul.
- Keztot Hashulchan 7:7, Eliya Rabba 17:3, Tashbetz Katan 462 based on a Maharil in Hilchot Nisuin.
- The Piskei Teshuvot 8:10 writes that the minhag of not wearing a Tallit before marriage spread in Eastern Europe including Lithuania and Poland, however, in Western Europe, specifically Hungry, the minhag was not widely accepted. See Mishna Brurah 17:10 who questions the Maharil simply because he does not understand why someone who is not yet married should not fulfill the mitzvah of Tzitzit.
- Yechave Daat 4:36
- Kaf Hachayim 206:4
- Kaf Hachayim 8:39. He adds that if one hears kaddish, kedusha, or anything else that one would be required to answer to, one is permitted to do so.
- Shulchan Aruch 8:10
- Shulchan Aruch YD 283:4. Rambam Sh"t Pe'er Hador 7 writes that it is a sin to embroder a pasuk on a talit and if one does it should be torn and put in geniza. He gives three reasons: 1) It is forbidden to write a pasuk without writing the whole parsha. 2) Since it is permitted to bring a tallit into a bathroom or use it to cover something dirty you might use this tallit but since it has a pasuk on it it is forbidden. 3) It isn't the minhag. Furthermore, it is an inappropriate use of Ketav Ashurit.
- Kaf Hachayim 24:24
- Shulchan Aruch 8:1
- Halacha Brurah 8:3
- Kaf Hachayim 8:21, although the Minhag Sepharad is not to recite a bracha on the Tallit Katan but rather to exempt it with the bracha on the Tallit Gadol, Ben Ish Chai Bereishit halacha 2.
- Sh"t Yabia Omer 8:2, Kaf Hachayim 8:52, 56.
- Sh"t Yabia Omer YD 3:17:11, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 10, laws of the donning of Tefillin, seif 22
- Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 10, laws of the donning of Tefillin, seif 40.
- Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim, 8:4
- Shulchan Aruch 8:6 writes that for a Tzitzit one can say LeHitatef BeTzitzit, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Yalkut Yosef 8:13
- Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Yalkut Yosef 8:14
- Shulchan Aruch 8:6 writes that for Tzitzit one can say "LeHitatef BeTzitzit". Rama argues that for Tzitzit one should say "Al Mitzvat Tzitzit". Ben Ish Chai (Beresheet #6) and Kaf HaChaim 8:27 write that if one puts on the Tzitzit regularly the bracha is "Al Mitzvat Tzitzit", but if one wraps one's head with the Tzitzit, one should make "LeHitatef BeTzitzit".
- Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Yalkut Yosef 8:16
- Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Yalkut Yosef 8:17
- Shulchan Aruch 8:1
- Rosh (Sukkah 4:3)
- Shulchan Aruch, OC, 8:15
- Kaf Hachaim, 8:52, which contradicts Shulchan Aruch, OC, 8:14
- Shulchan Aruch, OC, 8:16