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Am I required to wear tzitzit?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg

  

Library » Daily Life » Clothing » Tallit and Tzitzit | Subscribe | What is RSS?


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There is a Biblical command to attach fringes to the corners of any four-cornered garment worn by a Jewish male; however, one is not required to obtain such a garment in order to fulfill this Mitzvah.

Nevertheless, it is proper for everyone to be eager to wear Tzitzit throughout the day, so that he will remember the mitzvahs at every moment. However, even one who cannot wear tzitzit throughout the day should at least make a point of wearing tzitzit during the time he recites the Shema and prays.1

The Talmud (Menachot 43b) tells us that “whoever observes the mitzvah of tzitzit meticulously will be found worthy of beholding the Divine Presence.”

Footnotes

  • 1. The medieval Biblical commentator Ibn Ezra writes: Those who wrap themselves in a tallit during prayer, do so [in order to be wrapped in the tallit while] reciting in the Shema [the verses] "and these shall be for you tzitzit... they shall make for themselves tzitzit." It is my opinion, however, that one is *more* obligated to wear tzitzit during the remaining hours of the day, so that he remembers [the mitzvot] and not err and transgress at any time. For during prayer he will not sin! (Commentary to Numbers 15:39)

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RELATED CATEGORIES

Mitzvot » 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.
Talmud
Usually referring to the Babylonian edition, it is a compilation of Rabbinic law, commentary and analysis compiled over a 600 year period (200 BCE - 427 CE). Talmudic verse serves as the bedrock of all classic and modern-day Torah-Jewish literature.
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.
Shema
The most fundamental Jewish prayer, recited twice daily. This prayer, of Biblical origin, professes the belief in G-d's absolute unity.