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Is My Tallit Allowed in the Bathroom?

Is My Tallit Allowed in the Bathroom?

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Question:

At the synagogue, I see that many men remove their prayer shawls (tallit) outside the bathroom. Is that just for convenience or is there something more to it?

If there is an issue with wearing the tallit into the bathroom, what about the ritual fringes (tzitzit) worn under the clothing?

Answer:

Out of respect, it is customary not to take garments donned specifically for prayer into the bathroom or any place where people are undressed, such as a shower room.

This also applies to the prayer sash (gartel)1 and to the white robe (kittel) worn during the solemn services of the holiday of Yom Kippur.

It is okay, however, to wear tzitzit2 into the bathroom, because they are worn all day and are not specifically associated with prayer.3

For more insights on tzitzit, please see our Tallit and Tzitzit section.

FOOTNOTES
1.

There are some Chassidic communities where this kind of sash is worn throughout the day. If a gartel is worn all day and not specifically designated for prayer, this rule would not apply.

2.

Technically this is referred to as the tallit katan, "the small shawl"; however, it is more widely known as "tzitzit".

3.

Shulchan Aruch Harav 21:3.

Rabbi Menachem Posner serves as staff editor for Chabad.org. He lives with his family in Montreal, QC.
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Discussion (1)
April 22, 2014
Can one dry a tallis in the bathroom??
Today I dried my husband's tallis over the bathtub, and not outside. Should I always hang it out doors??
Anonymous
Israel
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