Contact Us

Donning Tzitzit or a Tallit

Donning Tzitzit or a Tallit

 Email

Since torn tzitzit strings could invalidate the entire tallit (see The Garment and Fringes), the strings of the tzitzit and tallit must be inspected every day before they are worn to ensure that they are still kosher.

During the tzitzit inspection, it is proper to separate and disentangle the individual fringes. Each string is representative of a particular and unique mitzvah, and shouldn't be "entangled" with another.

Tzitzit:

Before performing a mitzvah, we are commanded to recite a blessing, thanking G‑d for sanctifying us with His commandments. The following blessing is recited before putting on the tzitzit:

בָּרוּך אַתָּה ה' אֱ-להֵינוּ מֶלֶך הָעוֹלָם אַשֶׁר קִדְשָנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָנוּ עַל מִצְוַת צִיצִת

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.]

One who wears a tallit while praying need not recite this blessing. When reciting the blessing on the tallit, he should have in mind that this blessing covers his tzitzit as well.

Tallit:

Before the morning prayers, we put on the tallit before donning the tefillin.

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. A slightly different blessing is recited when putting on the tallit:

בָּרוּך אַתָּה ה' אֱ-להֵינוּ מֶלֶך הָעוֹלָם אַשֶׁר קִדְשָנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָנוּ לְהִתעַטֵף בְּצִיצִת

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.]

Donning the tallit in four simple steps:

Stand with the folded tallit over the right shoulder, examine the tzitzit…
Stand with the folded tallit over the right shoulder, examine the tzitzit…
Then, unfold the tallit and open it wide, kiss its upper edge, and swing it around from the position in which it is held in front of you until it is hanging behind you. At this point begin the blessing.
Then, unfold the tallit and open it wide, kiss its upper edge, and swing it around from the position in which it is held in front of you until it is hanging behind you. At this point begin the blessing.
Gather the two right corners of the tallit, raise them up…
Gather the two right corners of the tallit, raise them up…
...and place them over the left shoulder; gather the two left corners and bring them up to the left side of the chest. Thus, all four tzitzit are on the left side, two in front and two behind.
...and place them over the left shoulder; gather the two left corners and bring them up to the left side of the chest. Thus, all four tzitzit are on the left side, two in front and two behind.

During two parts of the morning prayers it is customary to hold the fringes of the tallit in the hands: during the Baruch She'amar and during the Shema. Follow the instructions in your prayer book as to when the fringes are gathered in the hands, and when they are to be kissed and released.

Photo by Menachem Serraf, Montreal, Canada
Diagrams from Siddur Tehillat Hashem. © Copyright Kehot Publication Society, Brooklyn NY
© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with Chabad.org's copyright policy.
 Email
Join the Discussion
Sort By:
9 Comments
1000 characters remaining
Erik Sweden June 28, 2016

Folding a tallit Do you have to flod The tallit after everytime it has been used, or is it allowed to hang it up? Reply

Eliezer Zalmanov for Chabad.org March 28, 2016

Re: Right shoulder In Judaism the right side is usually the preferred side. For more about this, see The Laws of Using the Right Side. Reply

Anonymous Pikesville, Maryland March 28, 2016

What is the significance (in picture # 1) of putting the tallit over the right shoulder to check the tzitzit? Does it matter, left or right shoulder? If so, what is the significance? Reply

Raphael Modiin, Israel April 30, 2012

Tallit Friday night I believe it is the Yemenite custom to wear a Tallit Friday night Reply

Rabbi Menachem Posner for Chabad.org January 13, 2012

To Marvin Say that he should wear it in good health, and when you see him next you hope that it will be yellowed and frayed with use. Reply

marvin feldman walnut creek, california January 12, 2012

Tallit When giving the bar or bat mitzvah person their first Tallit, what should you tell the recipient? Reply

Anonymous MANCHESTER, UK December 3, 2011

How many tzitzis do you throw over the shoulder The most recent siddurim have you place all four tzitzis over the left shoulder. Why the difference please?
Also the rubric in on p11 of the 5758 edition of the Tehillas HaShem Siddur throws only the right side tzitzis over the shoulder and does not gather the left side tzitzis in front. Again, why the difference please? Reply

Menachem Posner for Chabad.org via chabadplano.org July 10, 2008

RE: Tallit In most communities, the tallit is only worn during the day (with the exception of Yom Kippur), since the mitzvah of tzitzit/tallit is a daytime one.

Notable exceptions are certain Jews in Jerusalem who wear the tallit on Friday night as well, in keeping with certain mystical teachings.

In many communities, however, the chazzan (prayer service leader) wears the tallit for all prayers, including the nighttime service. Reply

Sam Medal Plano, Tx via chabadplano.org July 9, 2008

Tallit Is the tallit worn during your Friday night prayer services.

In Minniapolis (where I'm from) the tallit is only worn on High Holidays and Saturday Shabbat services.

I'm from a Conservative Jewish background Reply

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

Need A Talit?
This page in other languages