SECTION 17 The Individuals Obligated to Wear Tzitzis. (1–4)

סימן יז מִי הֵם הַחַיָּבִים בְּצִיצִית, וּבוֹ ד סְעִיפִים:

1 Women and servants1 are exempt from [the mitzvah of] tzitzis.2 Even if they wear a four-cornered garment, they are not obligated to attach tzitzis to it. The rationale is that the mitzvah of tzitzis is a positive commandment whose observance is dependent on time — for there is no obligation to attach tzitzis to a garment worn at night. And women and servants are exempt from any positive commandments whose observance is dependent on time.

[This concept is derived as follows:]3 With regard to tefillin it is written,4 “[And it shall be a sign on your arm, and a reminder between your eyes,] so that the Torah of G‑d be in your mouth,” establishing an equation between the entire Torah and tefillin. [Among the concepts derived from this equation is the following:] Tefillin is a positive commandment whose observance is dependent on time, for Shabbos and the festivals are days when tefillin are not worn.5 [Hence] women and servants are not obligated in its observance, as stated in sec. 38[:3]. [Likewise] woman and servants are exempt from any positive commandments whose observance is dependent on time,6 except for certain particular mitzvos,7 as will be explained with G‑d’s help.

א נָשִׁים וַעֲבָדִים1 – פְּטוּרִים מִצִּיצִית,א,2 אֲפִלּוּ מִתְלַבְּשִׁים בְּטַלִּית שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהּ אַרְבַּע כְּנָפוֹתב – אֵין צָרִיךְ לְהָטִיל בָּהּ צִיצִית, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמִּצְוַת צִיצִית הִיא מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה שֶׁהַזְּמַן גְּרָמָא,ג שֶׁהֲרֵי כְּסוּת לַיְלָה פְּטוּרָה מִן הַצִּיצִית,ד וְכָל מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה שֶׁהַזְּמַן גְּרָמָא נָשִׁים וַעֲבָדִים פְּטוּרִים מִמֶּנָּה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַרה,4 בִּתְפִלִּין: "לְמַעַן תִּהְיֶה תּוֹרַת ה' בְּפִיךָ", הֻקְשָׁה כָּל הַתּוֹרָה כֻּלָּהּ לִתְפִלִּין,ו,3 מַה תְּפִלִּין שֶׁהוּא מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה שֶׁהַזְּמַן גְּרָמָא, שֶׁהֲרֵי שַׁבָּת וְיוֹם טוֹב אֵינָן זְמַן תְּפִלִּין,ז,5 וְנָשִׁים וַעֲבָדִים פְּטוּרִים מֵהֶם מִטַּעַם שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן לח,ח אַף כָּל מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה שֶׁהַזְּמַן גְּרָמָא נָשִׁים וַעֲבָדִים פְּטוּרִים מֵהֶם,ט,6 חוּץ מִמִּצְוֹת פְּרָטִיּוֹת7 שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּעֶזְרַת הַשֵּׁם.י

2 Both a tumtum (a person of masked and indeterminate sex) and a hermaphrodite are obligated in [the mitzvah of] tzitzis, because they are possibly males. They are not required to recite the blessing,8 however, because whenever there is doubt concerning [the recitation of] a blessing [of Rabbinic origin], the obligation is viewed leniently.

ב טֻמְטוּםיא (שֶׁהוּא אָטוּם לְגַמְרֵייב וְלֹא נוֹדַע אִם הוּא זָכָר אוֹ נְקֵבָה) וְאַנְדְּרוֹגִינוֹס (שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ זַכְרוּת וְנַקְבוּת)יג – חַיָּבִים בְּצִיצִית מִסָּפֵק, שֶׁמָּא הֵם זְכָרִים. אֲבָל אֵין צְרִיכִין לְבָרֵךְ,8 דְּסָפֵק בְּרָכוֹת לְהָקֵל.יד

3 Nevertheless, even women and likewise servants have the option of enwrapping themselves in [a garment with] tzitzis and reciting a blessing, as is the custom with regard to other commandments whose observance is dependent on time. [In the course of reciting the blessing] they may [praise G‑d for] “commanding us to enwrap ourselves in tzitzis” even though they themselves are not commanded to, because men are so commanded.

Moreover, when they perform a mitzvah which they are not commanded to observe, they are granted a certain measure of reward, though not as great as the reward of those commanded to observe it.9 They may therefore recite a blessing if they observe any such mitzvah appropriately, in a manner that would require a man to recite a blessing.

Nevertheless, since [enwrapping themselves in tzitzis] may be perceived as conceit, they should not do so, since even men are not required to observe this mitzvah unless they have a four-cornered garment. It is not a personal obligation, like [the mitzvos of] shofar and lulav, which women have customarily accepted the stringency [of observing].10

ג וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם, אֲפִלּוּ נְקֵבוֹת וַדָּאִיםטו וְכֵן עֲבָדִים אִם יִרְצוּ לְהִתְעַטֵּף בְּצִיצִית וּלְבָרֵךְ – הָרְשׁוּת בְּיָדָן, כְּמוֹ שֶׁנּוֹהֲגִין בִּשְׁאָר מִצְוֹת עֲשֵׂה שֶׁהַזְּמַן גְּרָמָא,טז וִיכוֹלִין לוֹמַר "וְצִוָּנוּ לְהִתְעַטֵּף בַּצִּיצִית"יז אַף־עַל־פִּי שֶׁהֵן אֵינָן מְצֻוִּין, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהָאֲנָשִׁים מְצֻוִּים עַל כָּךְ, וְגַם הֵן כְּשֶׁמְּקַיְּמִין מִצְוֹת שֶׁהֵם פְּטוּרִים מֵהֶם אַף־עַל־פִּי שֶׁאֵין לָהֶם שָׂכָר גָּדוֹל כִּמְצֻוֶּה וְעוֹשֶׂה, מִכָּל מָקוֹם קְצָת שָׂכָר יֵשׁ לָהֶם,9 לָכֵן יְכוֹלוֹת הֵן לְבָרֵךְ עַל כָּל מִצְוֹת שֶׁהֵן פְּטוּרִין מֵהֶם, אִם עוֹשִׂין הַמִּצְוֹת כְּתִיקּוּנָן בְּעִנְיָן שֶׁהָאֲנָשִׁים יְכוֹלִים לְבָרֵךְ עֲלֵיהֶם.

וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם הוֹאִיל וּמֶחֱזֵי כְּיֻהֲרָא – אֵין לָהֶם לְהִתְלַבֵּשׁ בְּצִיצִית,יח כֵּיוָן דְּגַם הָאֲנָשִׁים אֵינָם חַיָּבִים בְּמִצְוָה זוֹ אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן יֵשׁ לָהֶם טַלִּית בַּת אַרְבַּע כְּנָפוֹת,יט וְאֵינוֹ חוֹבַת הַגּוּף כְּמוֹ שׁוֹפָר וְלוּלָב שֶׁהַנָּשִׁים נוֹהֲגוֹת לְהַחְמִיר עַל עַצְמָן.10

4 Once a child knows how to enwrap himself in a garment,11 i.e., to drape two corners in front of him and two corners behind him, and to hold the tzitzis in his hands during the recitation the Shema as [adults] do, his father is obligated to buy him a four-cornered tallis and attach tzitzis to it to educate him in the performance of the mitzvos.12

(See sec. 24[:1], from which it would appear that this is not an absolute obligation.13 Nevertheless, a father is obligated to attach tzitzis to every four-cornered garment that his child wears, since he has already attained the age at which he is being educated [in the observance of mitzvos].)

ד קָטָן הַיּוֹדֵעַ לְהִתְעַטֵּף,כ,11 כְּגוֹן שֶׁיּוֹדֵעַ לְהַשְׁלִיךְכא שְׁתֵּי כְּנָפוֹת לְפָנָיו וּשְׁתֵּי כְּנָפוֹת לְאַחֲרָיוכב וְיוֹדֵעַ לֶאֱחֹז הַצִּיצִית בְּיָדוֹ בִּשְׁעַת קְרִיאַת שְׁמַע כְּמוֹ שֶׁנּוֹהֲגִיןכג – אָבִיו חַיָּב לִקְנוֹת לוֹ טַלִּית בַּת אַרְבַּע כְּנָפוֹת וּלְהָטִיל בָּהּ צִיצִיתכד כְּדֵי לְחַנְּכוֹ בְּמִצְוֹת12 (וְעַיֵּן סִימָן כדכה דְּזֶה אֵינָהּ חוֹבָה כָּל כָּךְ,כו,13 אֲבָל מִכָּל מָקוֹם אָבִיו חַיָּב לְהָטִיל צִיצִית לְכָל בֶּגֶד שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ אַרְבַּע כְּנָפוֹת שֶׁהַבֵּן מִתְלַבֵּשׁ בּוֹ, כֵּיוָן שֶׁכְּבָר הִגִּיעַ לְחִנּוּךְ).כז