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Tzitzit Time

Tzitzit Time

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The Torah says, "You will see [the tzitzit] and thus remember all the commandments of G‑d." From this verse it was deduced that this mitzvah is relegated to the daytime--the natural time for seeing. Nighttime clothing is exempt from tzitzit.

One is not precluded from attaching tzitzit to a night garment, but the mitzvah can be performed only with daytime garb, and the blessing for tzitzit may only be recited during daylight hours.

A tallit gadol (prayer shawl) may not be worn by night.1

Definition of Terms

The definition of "daytime" and "nighttime" clothing is the subject of dispute between the medieval halachic scholars. One opinion is that no matter the type of garment, when worn during daytime hours it is obligated in tzitzit and when worn at night it is exempt. Others maintain that only a garment designated for nighttime use, such as pajamas, is exempt from tzitzit—even during daylight hours. Conversely, a garment which is normally worn during daytime is obligated in tzitzit even during the nighttime.2

One may begin wearing a tallit and reciting the tallit or tzitzit blessings as soon as it would be possible to distinguish between the white and blue fringes of the tzitzit. Click here to find out this exact time for any location or date. The blessings may be recited, and a tallit worn, until sunset.

Night Tzitzit

Despite all the above, many are careful to wear tzitzit even during the night, and even while sleeping.

There are several reasons for this practice: a) As mentioned above, according to certain opinions, one can fulfill the mitzvah of tzitzit during the night if wearing a designated day garment. b) If waking up after daylight, one will have fulfilled the mitzvah of tzitzit during the morning hours which have elapsed before his wakening. c) According to kabbalah, tzitzit afford a measure of protection to its wearer even after dark.

If one wears tzitzit while sleeping, it is preferable to have "night tzitzit." Otherwise, if one wears the same pair of tzitzit night and day, reciting the blessing on the tzitzit in the morning is problematic, for a new mitzvah is not being performed—it is merely a continuation of the mitzvah from the day beforehand. However, when putting on a different pair of tzitzit in the morning there is no problem with saying the blessing on the new pair—new mitzvah.

FOOTNOTES
1.

There are two exceptions to this rule. In both cases, the tallit is not worn for the purpose of fulfilling the mitzvah of tzitzit, but for other reasons:
a) On Yom Kippur the tallit is worn throughout all five prayers of the day, including the evening services. On this holy day (in addition to performing the mitzvah of tzitzit) we wear the tallit in order to resemble the angels.
b) In many communities, the chazzan (cantor) wears a tallit during the afternoon and evening services too. This is done out of respect for the congregation (See Do I need to wear a tallit when I receive an aliyah?).

2.

The halachah (final law) has not been established according to either opinion.

Rabbi Naftali Silberberg is a writer, editor, and director of the curriculum department at the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute. Rabbi Silberberg resides in Brooklyn, NY, with his wife Chaya Mushka and their three children.
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Discussion (8)
September 10, 2014
Re: Question
That is fine. Provided the tzitzit are put on in the morning and the blessing is made then, you have fulfilled the mitzvah of wearing tzitzit. At nighttime you can choose to take your tzitzit off, or, as many have the custom, to leave them on at nighttime as well.
Shaul Wolf
Chabad.org
September 9, 2014
a question
I am confused. I put my tzitzit on in the morning and wear it all day, including during mincha and ma'ariv. When I come home, I wear it until bedtime.

Is this permitted? Is this correct?
emile
Toronto, ON
February 18, 2013
Hours of wearing of tzitzit
Do you have to wear Tzitzit in the afternoon (around 3). Lets say you wear it in the morning, but around 12 you take it off because you changed your clothes
Anonymous
Edmonton
October 6, 2011
Tzitzit
Was the tzitzit worn under the outer clothing?
Is it worn like a tee-shirt with tossles attached and worn as an under garment?
VINCE
PHILA., PA USA
October 10, 2010
Night Tzitzit
You are correct; designating a pair of tzitzit does create the issue that the tzitzit may now be considered a “night garment.” Better than having night tzitzit is to rotate between a few pairs of tzitzit. Thus he will be able to don a new one each morning and recite a blessing without issue, and he will also never be wearing a pair of tzitzit that are exclusively for nighttime use.
Menachem Posner for Chabad.org
October 7, 2010
I have a question: If the mitzvah of tzitzit is only for either garments worn by day or garments designated as day garments, doesn't that defeat the whole purpose of having "night tzitzit"? It would seem that according to both opinions having "night tzitzit" is not actually tzitzit because either it is being worn at night or because it isn't obligated in the mitzvah in the first place. Can you please explain this to me? Thank you.
Anonymous
New York, NY
May 10, 2010
Re: blessing bein hamshmot
Whether one can make a blessing on their Tzitzit during bein hamshmot is a matter of dispute between various Halachik deciders (see Magen Avraham 18:4 who rules that one can make the blessing until nightfall).

Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, author of the Shulchan Aruch Harav, writes in his Siddur, as his final ruling on the matter, that one should not make a blessing on Tzitzit after sunset (shikiah).

This follows the general rule that when there is an uncertainty whether to make a blessing, we do not make one, so as not to say G-d's name in vain.
Yehuda Shurpin for chabad.org
May 6, 2010
What if the blessing is said durin bein hamshmot (between Shkiah and Tzeit Havochonim)?
A
Los Angeles, CA
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