Difference between revisions of "Tzitzit"

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# A blind man is equally obligated, and he should recite a bracha.<ref>Shulchan Aruch 17:1</ref> 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.<ref>Mishna Berura 17:1</ref>  
 
# A blind man is equally obligated, and he should recite a bracha.<ref>Shulchan Aruch 17:1</ref> 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.<ref>Mishna Berura 17:1</ref>  
 
#Women are exempt, as Tzitzit is a positive time bound mitzvah.<ref>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 Berura (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.</ref>
 
#Women are exempt, as Tzitzit is a positive time bound mitzvah.<ref>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 Berura (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.</ref>
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== Time Requirements ==
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# 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.<ref>Shulchan Aruch 18:3</ref> 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<ref>Meaning that there is exactly 12 daylight hours and every seasonal hour consists of 60 minutes.</ref>  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 .
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# 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.
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# 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 .
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# If one inadvertently made a bracha before dawn, he should not repeat another bracha when the correct time arrives .
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# 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
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# 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) .
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# 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 .
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Revision as of 17:39, 1 November 2009

Source of Requirement

  1. There is a positive Torah commandment to place Tzitzit strands on a four cornered garment that one wears. [1]
  2. There is, however, no obligation to wear such a garment in the first place.[2] Nevertheless, our Rabbis have strongly promoted the observance of this relatively simple Mitzvah since it comes with great reward.[3]


Person Requirements

  1. The obligation applies to all Jewish men age 13 and up.[4]
  2. A blind man is equally obligated, and he should recite a bracha.[5] 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.[6]
  3. Women are exempt, as Tzitzit is a positive time bound mitzvah.[7]


Time Requirements

  1. 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.[8] 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[9] 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 .
  2. 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.
  3. 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 .
  4. If one inadvertently made a bracha before dawn, he should not repeat another bracha when the correct time arrives .
  5. 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
  6. 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) .
  7. 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 .




Sources

  1. Bamidbar 15:38; Devarim 22:12
  2. Rambam Hilchot Tzizit 3:11; Tur 24:1; Shulchan Aruch 24:1
  3. Rambam Hilchot Tzizit 3:11; Tur 24:1; Shulchan Aruch 24:1; Rav Moshe Feinstein in Igres Moshe 4:4; Rav Ovadya Yoseh in Yechaveh Daat 4:2
  4. Mishna Berura 17:10
  5. Shulchan Aruch 17:1
  6. Mishna Berura 17:1
  7. 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 Berura (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.
  8. Shulchan Aruch 18:3
  9. Meaning that there is exactly 12 daylight hours and every seasonal hour consists of 60 minutes.