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The Obligation

The Obligation

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The mitzvah of tzitzit requires fringes to be tied to the corners of any four-cornered garment worn by men and boys.1

It is considered a great mitzvah to wear tzitzit throughout the day. The Torah tells us that looking at the tzitzit fringes reminds us to observe the mitzvot at all times and protects against the urges and impulses of the heart. Thus the importance of wearing tzitzit at all times is quite obvious. Nontheless, there is no requirement to observe this mitzvah unless actually wearing a four-cornered garment.

Even one who does not wear tzitzit throughout the day should wear tzitzit (or a tallit) while reciting the morning Shema and prayers.

It is customary to begin educating young boys to wear tzitzit when they reach the age of three.

Footnotes
1.

Women are exempt from this mitzvah and are discouraged from wearing tzitzit or a tallit.
Women are exempt from all mitzvot which carry a time contingency. Thus they are also exempt from the mitzvah of tzitzit, which is only observed during daytime hours (see The Proper Time).
The fact that women are exempt from this mitzvah demonstrates their heightened spiritual awareness, which renders it unnecessary for them to wear artificial reminders to observe the mitzvot!

Photo by Menachem Serraf, Montreal, Canada
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Simcha Bart for Chabad.org March 17, 2017

The basic size requirement is that one needs to be able to wrap their head and body with the Tallit when reciting the blessing on the Tallit Gadol. Anything larger than that is a matter of preference - some like the Tallit to hang most of the way down their back during prayers, others like it shorter.

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Brandon c San Antonio March 17, 2017

I am 5'7" male what size Tallit is appropriate for me.

thanks Reply

Shaul Wolf Chabad.org June 21, 2015

Strictly speaking, it is permitted to wear tzitzit in a way that is touching one's skin. However, there are those who understand who understand that it is disrespectful to the tzitzit to absorb one's sweat, and therefore should be worn on top of an undershirt. This idea is based on a Mishna in Tractate Tzitzit, where it says that a piece of clothing designated to absorb sweat ( this interpretation is according to some of the commentaries) is exempt from Tzitzit.
However, this would be considered a personal stringency, and one need not impress this upon others. Reply

Lionel Rabinowitz london June 21, 2015

My late father zl told me that one should not wear tzizit next to the skin. Does anyone know where this is stated? Reply

Anonymous Midland October 1, 2013

On the subject of women wearing tzitzis, tzitzis are not tokens of pride. they are REMINDERS. So no women should be envious of tzitzis, because they are on a higher spiritual level than men so they don't need them. In my opinion and in most Jews throughout the world, women should not wear tzitzis. Reply

Anonymous n.j July 25, 2013

Please show me in the Torah where a woman wore a tallit or the tzitzit. Please. Reply

Obadyah Mensah Decatur GA July 23, 2013

I want to know more about talit and tzizit. Thank You. I am a Jewish man Reply

Sampson Edeth David lagos nigeria July 17, 2013

If that is the case that women are higher spiritual than men.
Why then do they require less responsibility for righteousness. Am new in the faith Reply

Anonymous May 30, 2013

In the footnote, it says the women are not required to wear them because of their heightened spiritual awareness. I am looking for the source for this in the writings of the sages. I'm sure I remember reading it once, but now I can't find it. Can someone point me to it? Reply

Menachem Posner April 9, 2013

The basic halachah is that you need not wear another garment between your tzitzit and your body. However, there are many who do. This is because wearing the tzitzit directly on your skin means that you will end up sweating onto it, which is not terribly respectful. Furthermore, there are those who rule that a garment whose purpose is to absorb sweat does not constitute a proper tallit. Wearing an undershirt ensures that the tzitzit does not become such a garment. Reply

Anonymous Israel April 9, 2013

Or can they be worn next to the skin? Reply

Mr. David Morris October 8, 2011

Can a Torah observant non-Jew who is new to the faith wear a Tallit in Shull...? Reply

Daniel Stuart, Florida May 11, 2011

If you observe men and women in action, you'll find that yes, women absolutely do appear to be more innately spiritual than men. I have no doubt of that at all.

Eve may have taken the first bite, but Adam wasted no time taking the second. In that, their responsibility was equal.

And Sharon has the right idea--do what brings you closer to God, whether it's specifically commanded or not. And never get so bogged down in minutiae that you forget the original purpose behind any observance. Reply

Sharon El Paso, TX July 24, 2010

Tzitzit are not forbidden to females. They are just not required. I am adult female and I have started wearing tzitzit, because I need them. They help tremendously throughout the day. I highly recomend them. Reply

Anonymous San Antonio , TX August 9, 2009

I am a lady and I started wearing tzitzith Reply

Simcha NY July 22, 2008

I agree. And are we not all human with human failings/imperfections despite our given gender? Reply

Anonymous Ohio July 10, 2008

I am new to the faith and was wondering, how is it that women are seen as having a higher spiritual awareness then men?

Was it not Eve who fell 1st? Reply

This is no fringe mitzvah! The tallit and tzitzit serves as constant reminders of our obligations to G-d and our fellows.
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