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 Person Requirements
- 3 Time Requirements
- 4 Material Requirements
- 5 Size Requirements
- 6 Other Garments
- 7 Tying Requirements
- 8 Shehecheyanu
- 9 Borrowed Tallit
- 10 Checking the Tzitzit
- 11 If the strings ripped
- 12 Tuck In or Out
- 13 Symbolism of tzitzit
- 14 Treatment of the Tzitzit and its Garment
- 15 Sanctity of the tzitzit
- 16 Tallit Gadol
- 17 Text of Bracha
- 18 Links
- 19 Sources
Source of Requirement
- There is a positive Torah commandment to place Tzitzit strands on 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 a garment, one should only attach tzitsis to four corners of the garment.  The corners chosen should be the corners that are the farthest away from each other.  However, bedieved, one may make a beracha even if the tzistis were not placed at the farthest corners of the clothe. 
- There is, however, no obligation to wear such a 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. 
- The obligation applies to all Jewish men age 13 and up.
- A blind man is equally obligated, and he 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 Tzitzit is a positive time bound mitzvah.
- A Katan, or minor child who is less than 13 years old, should wear tzitzit, with a bracha, 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 didn’t. Later achronim questioned these earlier achronim and simply don’t understand why someone who isn’t married would not fulfill this mitzva from the torah of wearing tzitzit. Rav YD 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 so that one is 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 4 cubits away. Both descriptions are equivalent and commonly referred to as Misheyakir. There is a wide range of opinions precisely when Misheyakir occurs on a perfect day in Jerusalem: 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 shouldn’t 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 he should do so without making a bracha, and only when it becomes the time period known as Misheyakir may one make a bracha.
- If one inadvertently made a bracha before dawn, he 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. He wouldn’t have to be worried about violating Baal Tosef. In fact, according to kabbalistic sources, Tzitzit protect a person at night from destructive forces
- However, one should not wear a Tallit Gadol at night, unless one is the shliach tzibur (cantor) for Maariv and he isn’t wearing an appropriate outer garment (like 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 after sunset than without a bracha.
- If one took off one’s tzitzit (tallit katan) at night, it is permitted to put it back on at night, however, there’s no necessity to put it back on. 
- Sephardim generally follow the opinion of the Shulchan AruchRabbi Yosef Karo (1488-1575), also know as Maran or as the Michaber, the main halachic authority especially for sephardic, author of Kessef Mishne on Rambam, Beit Yosef on Tur, and the Shulchan Aruch. that only garments made of wool or linen have a torah obligation to be affixed with tzitzit strands. 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. Nevertheless, it one finds it uncomfortable to wear wool tzitzit, he may wear tzitzit made from other materials. 
- Ashkenazim rely on the Rema 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.  One the other hand, many poskim are lenient if 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 his 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 he should refrain from making a bracha on it.
- The minhag for sephardim is that the garment and tzitzit be of the same color. 
- 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, so that one could make a bracha on them without worrying if it is a bracha levatala (in vein or wasted blessing): 1 amah by 1 amah, 1.5 amot by 1 amah , 1.5 amot by 1.5 amot, 2 amot by 1 amah, and finally there is even 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, while the Chazon IshRabbi Avraham Yishaya Karelitz (1878-1953), born in Belarus but emigrated to Israel, one of the leaders of the Charedi movement in Bnei Brak, author of Chazon Ish on Shulchan Aruch, brother-in-law of the Steipler Gaon. holds it is 57.7 cm or 22.7 inches.
- Additionally, there is a dispute if the dimensions include or exclude the center hole for one’s head and neck. The Mishna BrurahRabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan (1838 – 1933), known popularly as The Chofetz Chaim from his book on the laws of [[Lashon Hara]], was an influential Lithuanian Rabbi, author of the Mishna Brurah as well as the Beur Halacha which is in more detail and the Shaar Hatziyun which quotes sources  doesn’t include the neck hole in the measurement, while the Chazon IshRabbi Avraham Yishaya Karelitz (1878-1953), born in Belarus but emigrated to Israel, one of the leaders of the Charedi movement in Bnei Brak, author of Chazon Ish on Shulchan Aruch, brother-in-law of the Steipler Gaon.  does.
- Halacha Le'Maaseh:
- Sephardim: To fulfill Mitzvah BUT not to make a bracha: should wear tzitzit measuring 1.5 amot by 1 amah. It would also be best if this shiur doesn’t include neck hole, but if it’s difficult to find a tzitzit that size or uncomfortable to wear, one may rely on the opinions that the neck hole is included. In this case, one should make a bracha on a tallit Gadol and patur (exempt) the tallit katan. In order to make a bracha on a tallit katan, it should measure 2 amot (37.8") by 1 amah (18.9").
- Ashkenazim: To follow the Mishna BrurahRabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan (1838 – 1933), known popularly as The Chofetz Chaim from his book on the laws of [[Lashon Hara]], was an influential Lithuanian Rabbi, author of the Mishna Brurah as well as the Beur Halacha which is in more detail and the Shaar Hatziyun which quotes sources, 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 a Tzitzit 32 by 16 inches not including the neckhole. 
- Even a 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 that goes over the shoulder can’t be thin strips but rather they must be at least as wide as 3 Etzba’ot. 
- It’s better not to have sleeves on Tzitzit. 
- A scarf is exempt from tzitzit. 
- Towels are exempt from tzitzit. 
- If one wears more than one four-cornered garment they are all obligated in tzitzit but the beracha is only recited on the first one that he puts on. But if one recited the beracha and only had in mind to wear one four-cornered garment and then changed his mind and put on another one, he must recite a new beracha. 
- There is a dispute whether four cornered blankets are obligated in Tzitzit. It is preferable to round off one of the corners, so that it no longer has 4 corners. Others say that we're not strict for this concern. 
- Even though the minhag is that a child, less than 13 doesn't tie the tzitzit for an adult, he may tie tzitzit for a child less than 13 to wear, since his mitzvah is only a mitzvah of chinuch anyway. 
- One may tie the tzitzit strings onto the tzitzit garment at night, even though we do not recite the beracha before putting it on during the night. 
- If one buys a new tallit, a Shehecheyanu is recited.  According to Ashkenazim some poskim say to say it after the beracha on the tallit, while some say to say it prior to the beracha on the tallit. Sephardim should say it after. 
- The beracha may be recited as long as someone is still wearing it for his first time. 
- One should recite the beracha on a new tallit katan if it brings him 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 mitzva he doesn't recite a shehecheyanu. 
- Shehecheyanu should not be recited if one acquired a new talit katan. 
- A Tallit which one borrows directly from its owner in order to fulfill the mitzvah of wearing a Tallit, one can recite the beracha, because we assume that the owner gives it as a present on condition that it is returned. However, it's better to avoid this situation. Additionally, if the Tallit is donated to the shul, one may borrow it and make a bracha on it.
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 it its case/bag and not have to check again in the morning before making the bracha. 
- If checking the tzitzit will cause somebody to be late to praying, one can assume that they are kosher and make a beracha. 
- One shouldn't miss Tefillah Betzibuur because of this checking as long as knows the strings were complete yesterday. 
- Tzitzit strings which become tangled together 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's late to shul, one doesn't 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 is Kosher. However, if 2 of the 8 strings ripped completely down to the knots, the Tzitzit is Kosher only if the two ripped strings come from different sets of 4 strings (one from one side, and the other from the other), assuming that it was 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 (Kedi Anivah) is considered by some to be 4 cm. 
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. 
- At a cemetery one must tuck in his strings. 
- One may wear the tzitzit under his clothes even if it will touch his skin. 
Symbolism of tzitzit
- The five knots of the tzitzit represent the 5 books of the Torah. 
Treatment of the Tzitzit and its Garment
- One should make sure his 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 it is 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 his tallit gadol. 
- One shouldn't enter the bathroom with his tallit katan if it is on top of his clothing. It is permitted to enter with the tallit katan under his clothing. 
- One should try to prevent his 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 to wear a tallit gadol. 
- One should unfold the tallit before making the beracha so that there won't be any interruption between the beracha and the wrapping.  If one made an interruption before placing the tallit on his head, he should recite a new beracha, but if he interrupted only after placing it on his head he doesn't recite a new beracha. 
- The beracha should be recited before wrapping oneself in the tallit gadol, but if he forgot he can recite it as long as it is still on him. 
- One shouldn't write a pasuk or the beracha on his tallit gadol  , but he may keep the tallit if he did get one but should be more careful with it. 
- The beracha and the wrapping of the tallit gadol should be done standing up.  If one is weak or sick he can recite the beracha and wrap himself in it while seated. 
- If one said the beracha al mitzvat tzitzit on the tallit gadol instead of lihitaatef bitzitzit he has nevertheless fulfilled his obligation. The same would be true if he recited lihitaatef bitzitzit on the tallit katan. 
- If one removes his tallit and plans to put it back on within a half an hour, he does not recite a new beracha when putting it back on. 
- If one tallit gadol fell off and to the floor, he doesn't recite a new beracha when putting it back on. 
- The talit gadol should be removed after the tefilin. 
Text of Bracha
- The Bracha for a Tallit Gadol is LeHitatef BeTzitzit. 
- 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.
When to recite the Bracha on Tzitzit
- One should recite the bracha just before putting on the Tzitzit.
- If one didn't recite the bracha beforehand, one may recite the bracha the entire time one is wearing the Tzitzit.
- 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 Tzizit 3:11; Tur 24:1; Shulchan Aruch 24:1
- Rambam Hilchot Tzizit 3:11; Tur 24:1; Shulchan Aruch 24:1; Rav Ovadya Yosef in Yechave Daat 4:2
- 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 Tosofot 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 Tosofot for Lulav and Sukkah, Tzitzit are different since even men aren’t required from the Torah except if they wear a four cornered garment. We treat Tzitzit both as and as not a personal obligation towards leniency. Hence, it is a personal obligation in the sense that only if one wears the garment does he need to attach Tzitzit and not just when he owns a garment. And, it is not a personal obligation that one would need to go out and buy a four cornered garment just to perform the mitzvah. Therefore, since men don’t really have to, women certainly shouldn’t do so. 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) doesn’t 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 S"A 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 doesn’t wear a tallit gadol, but certainly one should still wear a tallit katan.
- 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. 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, he would simply 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 is a very lenient position is also well collaborated and accepted.
- Mordechai on Gemara Megilla 2; Rema 18:3
- Rambam in Peirush HaMishnaiyot Berachot 1:1; Shulchan Aruch 459:2
- Gra 18:5; Mishna Brurah 18:10
- Rav Ovadya Yosef in Halacha Berura 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 Berura 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 says 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 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 Tefilat Arvit:1, Birkei Yosef 8:7, Kaf Hachayim 21:15, Ben Ish Chai Bereishit: halacha 9, Sh"t Teshuvos Vihanhagos 1:19,
- 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 Berura 1, 18:2
- Rav Moshe Feinstein in Igrot Moshe YD 2:137. See, however, the Taz 581:2 who seems to disagree because of a concern of putting oneself in a situation of Safek Brachot Lehakel.
- S"A 9:1. This is based off of Rav Nachman in Gemara Menachot 39b and is purported by the Rif and Rambam Hilchot Tzitzit 3:2 and Sefer Hamitzvot aseh 14
- Rav Ben Zion Abba Shaul in Ohr LeZion 9:1; Rav Ovadya Yosef in Yalkut Yosef 9:1
- This is based off of Rava in Gemara Menachot 39b which Tosafot there "Rav Nachman" says Rashi and Rabbeinu Tam both paskin like.
- Mishna Brurah 9:5. In Halichot Shlomo 3:25 Rav Shlomo Zalman says one should try to be strict even in the summertime.
- Rav Moshe Feinstein in Igres 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 Shternbuch cites several reasons that one should be strict and said that we can't 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 Rabbenu 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
- Ben Ish Chai Noach Halacha 11
- This range emanates from the Gemara Menachot 40b dictate that the garment needs to be the size that it would cover the head and majority of a minor. First off, there are different interpretations as to how old this minor is: 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. Second of all, there is ambiguity if the majority requirement means that the garment needs to cover the head and then in addition a majority of the kid’s body (Radbaz) or if it only needs to cover in total a majority of the kid with the head included (Chinuch). Meaning, it would be sufficient to cover the kid’s head and another 30 or 40% of his body, as opposed to 51%
- 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 berura 16:4;
- Lev Chaim 1:99;
- Siddur of Rabbi Shneur 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 about how big the tallit katan needs to be in order to be obligated in tzitzit, there’s 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 proofs from logic. First, if we take the Mishna Brurah’s logic to its extreme, we can’t count any minute hole. Additionally, he says if the hole doesn’t count, then it should serve as an interruption in the cloth, simply because the cloth doesn’t have the required measure in any unified place. 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 Berurah 1, 16:1; and See “Tzel Heharim” by R’ Hertzel Hillel Yitzhak, pp. 8-11.
- Mishna Brurah 8:17, 16:4
- Rabbi Neusadt, 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 Berura 10:20
- Mishna Brurah 16:1 and 16:4 writes that the cloth that goes over the shoulder can’t be thin stripes 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
- Shulchan Aruch 10:11
- Beiur Halacha 10: "soder"
- Shulchan Aruch 8:12
- Mishna Brurah 18:8
- Rav Hershel Schachter in a shiur on yutorah.org ("Yevamot 7," min 85) states that he isn't strict to place 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's a dispute between the Rambam and Rosh whether the Gemara means to restrict the time when the mitzvah applies or to exempt clothing that are usually worn at night. The Tur poses a practical ramification of this dispute. According to the Rosh, who says that clothing which are specifically nighttime clothing are exempt, four cornered blankets wouldn't be obligated in Tzitzit.
- On the other hand, seemingly, according to the Rambam, who holds that the Gemara was restricting the time of the mitzvah, 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 covering oneself with clothing and blankets which are only used for covering oneself and never worn regularly.
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter in Bikvei HaTzoan (p. 10)
- Sh"t Yabia Omer OC 8:3
- S"A 22:1, Kitzur S"A of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 9, the proper time for tzitzit and who is obligated, seif 5
- Mishna Brurah 22:3
- Baer Heitev 22:2
- Birkei Yosef 22:2.
- Halacha Berura 22:7, Kitzur S"A 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 S"A 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
- Rambam Hilchot Tzitzit 1:8. S"A 8:9 writes clearly that one must check one's tzitzit before making the bracha so that one doesn't make a bracha levatala in case the tzitzit are ripped. Mishna Brurah 8:21 adds that there's also a need to check the strings close to the talit 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 not to make a bracha levatala.
- 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's 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's late to shul one doesn't have to seperate the strings.
- Sh"t Yabia Omer OC 5:3
- Kitzur S"A 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’s 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 pasul if 1 string on both sides of the four strings tear to a length that is shorter than kdei aniva. If you didn’t 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 pasul. What if 2 strings rip to less than kdei aniva, but together they combine to the shiur of kdei aniva, and you’re not sure if they came from the same large string? Mishna Brurah 3 says that it’s a safek if we can combine 2 strings to be kdei aniva even if we know they’re from the same string, so this is a sfek sfeka (maybe they’re different strings and even if they’re 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 that it’s a safek if different strings can combine to kdei aniva, rather he says they definitely cannot combine.
- Rabbeinu Tam: tzitzit comprise 2 techeles strings and 2 lavan strings. In order for tzitzit to be kosher, either all of the techeles (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, that would be pasul. If 2 strings tear, even if those were 2 separate strings, it’s ok because there are another 2 complete strings. But if 3 strings tear (again, even if they’re kdei aniva,) the tzitzit are pasul 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, but one shouldn’t miss praying together with a minyan to get them-Mishna Brurah 13,) it’s good to be concerned for Rabbeinu Tam. Mishna Brurah 12:11 says obviously it’s 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 Kedi Anivah is 4 cm. Kitzur S"a 9:13 writes that it is supposed to be 4 Agudlin.
- Mishna Brurah 8:26 was strongly against those who wear their tzitzit in and says that by doing so you are disgracing mitzvot and adds that if you received a gift from the king you would surely wear it outside to show off to others. He also says that tucking them out fulfills the pasuk of "u'riitem oto." This is the psak of S"A Harav 8:18, and the Magen Avraham 8:13 based on the Tosafot Berachot 18a which allows for tucking them in on for a dead person because they don’t have to fulfill "uritem oto" if they cannot see. Magen Avraham says this implies that they should normally be out. He says to at least least leave them tucked out for long enough for the time that it takes to walk four amot. Aruch HaShulchan OC 8:17, 23:2 says that in many communities in eastern Europe they would took the strings in but he says this isn't really correct. 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 disrespected 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).
- Sh"t Otzrot Yosef 1:27, Sh"t Or Litzion 2:2:2
- Shulchan Aruch 23:1, Kitzur S"A of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 9, laws of tzitzit in a cemetary, seif 1
- Halacha Berura 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 into 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 Vihanhagot 1:25 says if you wear them specifically as an undershirt to stop the sweat from wetting your shirt than he's unsure if it would even be obligated in tzitzit, so one should try to refrain from this.
- Kitzur S"A of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 9, proper behavior while wearing tzitzit, seif 1
- Kitzur S"A 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), S"A 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, Mishnah Berura 21:14, S"A Harav 21:3.
- S"A 21:3, Kaf Hachayim 21:13.
- S"A 21:4, Baer Heitev 21:5, Shaare Teshuva 21:5, S"A Harav 21:5
- S"A 21:1
- S"A 21:1
- Kaf Hachayim 8:12, Yechave Daat 4:36. Halacha Berura 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 wasn't very accepted. See Mishna Brurah 17:10 who questions the Maharil simply because he doesn't understand why someone who isn't yet married shouldn't 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 he would be required to answer to, he is permitted to do so.
- Shulchan Aruch 8:10
- Shulchan Aruch YD 283:4, Rambam Sh"t Pe'er Hador 7
- Kaf Hachayim 24:24
- Shulchan Aruch 8:1
- Halacha Berura 8:3
- Kaf Hachayim 8:21, although the minhag sepharad is not to recite a beracha on the tallit katan but rather to exempt it with the beracha 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 S"A of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 10, laws of the donning of tefilin, seif 22
- Kitzur S"A of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, siman 10, laws of the donning of tefilin, seif 40.
- S"A 8:6 writes that for a Tzitzit one can say LeHitatef BeTzitzit.
- S"A 8:6 writes that for a 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.
- S"A 8:1
- Rosh (Sukkah 4:3)