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Which blessing is recited on tzitzit?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg

  

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Before performing any Mitzvah, we are commanded to recite a blessing, thanking G-d for sanctifying us with His commandments. The same is true with wearing Tzitzit or a Tallit.

Before putting on the tzitzit (the smaller fringed garment which is worn beneath the shirt), the following blessing is recited:

Baruch atta Ado-noy Elo-hai-nu Melech ha'olam asher kid-sha-nu b'mitz-vo-tav v'tzi-vanu al mitzvat tzitzit.

[Blessed are you, Lord our G-d, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us concerning the mitzvah of tzitzit.]

The ideal way to perform the mitzvah of tzitzit is by completely draping oneself in the fringed garment, which is accomplished only through wearing the tallit gadol (the prayer shawl). Therefore, a slightly different blessing is recited when putting on the tallit:

Baruch atta Ado-noy Elo-hai-nu Melech ha'olam asher kid-sha-nu b'mitz-vo-tav v'tzi-vanu l’hit-atef b’tzitzit.

[Blessed are you, Lord our G-d, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us to enwrap ourselves with tzitzit.]

One who will be wearing a tallit need not recite both blessings, even if he is also wearing tzitzit. Rather, when reciting the blessing on the tallit, he should have in mind that this blessing covers his tzitzit as well.


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RELATED CATEGORIES

Mitzvot » Tallit and Tzitzit
Daily Life » Clothing » Tallit and Tzitzit

Mitzvah
(pl. Mitzvot). A commandment from G-d. Mitzvah also means a connection, for a Jew connects with G–d through fulfilling His commandments.
Tallit
A prayer shawl. A large four-cornered woolen garment with fringes attached to its corners in a specific manner. This garment is worn by males during the morning prayers, fulfilling the Biblical obligation of attaching fringes to four-cornered garments.
Tzitzit
Literally: the fringes which are attached to four cornered garments, as Biblically mandated. Normally this word refers to a t-shirt sized four cornered garment which contains such fringes, and is usually worn beneath the shirt.
G-d
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.