Why Is Tzitzis Mandatory?

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  • #597791

    Chein
    Member

    According to the din, you must wear tzitzus only if you are wearing a four-cornered garment. If you are not wearing any four-cornered garment, there is no obligation to wear tzitzus.

    So why must every Jewish male wear tzitzus during the day? Why can he not simply forgo wearing any four-cornered garment, and thus be relieved from any obligation to wear tzitzus?

    Furthermore, when does the obligation to wear tzitzus apply? From the moment one gets dressed after waking up until he gets undressed to go to sleep?

    Is there any inyan to wear tzitzus while sleeping?

    #794865

    What?!

    OK, maybe I don’t have a right to be so shocked since I am female and have never worn Tzizis. but still, my answer sort of applys to me too.

    why not get a mitzva??!! Imagine…A mitzva every SECOND your wearing them! (I hope this applys to Tznius too!)

    Will it KILL you?? I mean, really???!!!

    can you even fathom all the schar you’ll get after 120?

    I’m jealous!

    #794866

    I forgot who exactly it was but I believe it was during the time of the Vilna Gaon that a Rav went around Europe convincing people they should wear tzitzis all day because as music pointed out, its an easy mitzvah to do and you get schar for every moment.

    Before that time, it was uncommon for people to wear tzitzis all day.

    The mitzvah of wearing tzitzis starts when you wake up in the morning and ends at night.

    There is an inyan to wear tzitzis at night/while sleeping for shmira.

    #794867

    Chein
    Member

    Derech HaMelech:

    Thanks for your response. Then my next question is, if the reason is as you describe, why is it (at least according to many Rabbonim) a problem to take off your tzitzis when playing sports? Sure, it would be nice to leave it on, but according to what you are relaying it shouldn’t be mandatory (ever).

    #794868

    basket of radishes
    Participant

    My minhag during the summer months is that I wear my tzitzis when I leave the house to leave the neighborhood where I live. When I am in the market place and elsewhere I wear them. I do not have employment today in my profession but if I did that might cause some quandary as I am a physician and it would be a possible vector to transmit infectious diseases depending on what my job description was. I would wear them for certain if I was say in the diamond business or any other non complicated business. Maybe not if I worked in construction.

    During the summer months now, i do not wear them in my home right now or when I am in the neighborhood on a breif walk. I feel this is kosher as I have displayed to the world that I wear my tzitzis in public. To wear them at home, I am wearing 3 shirts and it is just not very comfortable though I do like to wear my tzitzis.

    You guys may not like this and I will admit I have no friends in my usual business of the day to tell me one thing or another, but I love tzitzis for many reasons.

    They are fun to twirl in your hand when you are walking around in your day.

    They are a nice thing to twirl in your fingers and wrap around your fingers when you are in a conversation, espeically sometimes when the other party is against our Way of Life or unorthodox in some capacity. That said, it sure beats the aloof look of a man who puts his hands in his pockets all the time.

    #794869

    Maybe it’s a bitul mitzvas asei if you don’t wear them?

    #794870

    Chein
    Member

    How so? You said earlier it isn’t mandatory.

    #794871

    I am not telling you halacha l’maisah I’m just telling you what I think. I assume that the mitzvah of tzitzis is the same as the mitzvah of tefilin. Were it not for that Rov who went around we might only be putting on tzitzis once a day by Shachris like we do with tefillin today.

    Me’ikar hadin we are supposed to wear tefillin all day, but we don’t because of guf naki. But tzitzis doesn’t need guf naki.

    That’s all I know.

    #794872

    liddleyiddle
    Member

    I believe that the following is accurate:

    1. D’oraisa you absolutely do not have to wear tzitzis (assuming you’re not wearing a four-cornered garment). Wearing a four-cornered garment is entirely optional.

    2. There is either an established minhag or a din d’rabanan (I’m not sure which) that Jewish males SHOULD wear a four-cornered garment, thus necessitating tzitzis and, ultimately, being mekayem a D’oraisa. It is this that certain rabbis (I think R. Moshe Feinstein has a teshuva to this effect) are trying to protect when they tell people to keep their tzitzis on when playing ball in the hot summer months.

    #794873

    HaKatan
    Participant

    I believe it’s actually a machlokes if the mitzva of tzitzis applies during the day or if wearing daytime clothes.

    In addition to being mevatel the mitzvas asei, since everyone else is wearing tzitzis all day, one would likely be considered poresh min hatzibur if one decided that he knew better. Pirkei Avos (and, lihavdil, common sense) says not to do so.

    Ask your LOR, especially regarding sports; I don’t see the sense in sweating up and walking around with sweaty tzitzis. So if you’re playing intense basketball in shorts and a tee shirt then it would make sense to me to leave the tzitzis off during that time on the court.

    #794874

    blueprints
    Participant

    Derech HaMelech

    Informative Contributor to the CR

    I am not telling you halacha l’maisah I’m just telling you what I think. I assume that the mitzvah of tzitzis is the same as the mitzvah of tefilin. Were it not for that Rov who went around we might only be putting on tzitzis once a day by Shachris like we do with tefillin today.

    Me’ikar hadin we are supposed to wear tefillin all day, but we don’t because of guf naki. But tzitzis doesn’t need guf naki.

    That’s all I know.

    POSTED 4 HOURS AGO #

    Wrong

    Theres only gonna be a bittul assay if you don’t wear tzitzis on a 4cornered garment

    But not if you don’t wear this garment at all

    #794875

    Rabeinu Yonah in Shaarei Teshuva quotes the gemara that says that with regards to mitzvas tzitzis, if one does not fulfil it then “???? ???? ????? ???? ?? ??? ??? ?? ??? ????? ? ? ? ?

    ????? ????? ?????? ??? ??? ??? ????? ????.” which means that HKBH reserves the punishment for a time of troubles for the Yidden RL because this person who does not wear tzitzis doesn’t appreciate and desire to keep this mitzva.

    #794877

    Chein:

    If you look in the Shulchan Aruch, there is no requirement to wear tzitzis unless one is wearing a four cornered garment. However, the shulchan aruch goes on to explain that since it is a minhag Yisroel to wear tzitzis all the time, one should (but again, one is NOT obligated to wear tzitzis unless he is wearing a four cornered garment).

    #794878

    ItcheSrulik
    Member

    Derech Hamelech: Isn’t hesech hada’as a much more pertinent issue?

    BoR: While technically you do not have to wear tzitzis every moment of the day, please bear the following in mind. An Israeli soldier once asked Rav Shlomo Aviner if he was permitted to take his tzitzis off during physical training (which includes full kit marches in the desert in the summer). The Rabbi answered “technically yes, but remember that Bar Kochba’s fighters fought in tefillin.”

    #794879

    RSRH
    Member

    Take a look at the Gemarah at the start of the fourth perek of Menachos; as you study the sugya with the rishonim (or at least when I did), and carry it over to the primary halacha codes (Rambam, Tur, Shulchan Aruch), the follwoing framework seems to develop:

    1. M’dioraisah, there is a positive obligation to wear tzitzis IF and ONLY IF you are wearing a qualifying four cornered beged during the day time.

    2. If you wear a four cornered beged without tzitzis during the day, most opinions hold that you have been m’vatel an asei (failed to perform an obligation) b’shav v’al taaseh (passively rather than actively), but NOT that you have been over an issur aseh (an prohibition that grows logically from a Torah obligation, but which is not spelled out in the Torah), and certainly have not transgressed a lo sa’asei.

    3. According to only one rishon (I believe it’s the Ran, but will have to check), wearing a four cornered beged without tzitzis during the day is an issur asei.

    4. No rishon holds that there is an obligation to wear a four cornered beged in order to wear tzitzis, or that the failurre to wear a beged that obligated you in tzitzis is any kind of problem – not even a passive bittul aseh.

    5. That said, it has undoubtedly become a minhag (perhaps on the level of minhag yisrael) to wear a four cornered beged in order to be obligated to and to actually wear tzitzis.

    6. The minhag (yisrael) to wear tzitzis should not be mistakenly thought of as normative halacha – even d’rabanan. It is a minhag, and like most minhagim (depending on there strength) it may be set aside for individual special circumstances. Thus, the common practice of not wearing tzitzis while play sports, gardening, or doing pother strenuous work that causes one to sweat. I have also heard of p’sakim not to wear tzitzis given to people with even minor sensory issues for whom wearing tzitzis is unusually uncomfortable such that is disturbs their ability to go about their daily routine.

    7. It is therefore difficult to understand the views of some robbonim/roshei yeshiva who expect tzitzis to be worn at all times regardless of what a person is doing. However, such views may be explained by those rabbnim seeing a particular need for tzitzis to be worn as a means of social cohesion and constant connection to Torah, regardless of whatever else a person may be doing (work, sports, ect.) – which after all is exactly what the TOrah tells us tzitzis are for.

    #794880

    I think according to the Vilna Gaon hesech hadas is not me’akev, but guf naki is. I could be wrong about that though.

    #794882

    minyan gal
    Member

    When the Chabad shlichim come to my city every summer to assist with the Summer Yeshiva, they often play basketball at the JCC – with their tzitziot on.

    #794883

    minyan gal
    Member

    I know this is off topic – I went back into the archives to search for the “Smoking” thread from the other day but can’t find it. This message is addressed to “Basket of Radishes”. You say that you are a physician. I would love to know what type – chiropractor, MD, osteopath, naturopath, etc. because no MD that I know would say that smoking a pipe or a cigar is safe.

    #794884

    ItcheSrulik
    Member

    Derech Hamelech: If you are correct, then any Jewish male over bar mitzvah who isn’t incontinent should wear tefillin all day. That includes both of us, yet as I type this, I’m not wearing tefillin and I doubt you are either.

    #794885

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    See Igros Moshe, O”C 4, 4 who says that it is assur to go without a talis katan because of al titosh toras imecha.

    He also says that this is true for any minhag, and certainly for tzitzis with which one is m’kayem a mitzvah.

    It’s possible, therefore, that the normal exceptions to keeping a minhag don’t apply here.

    I have heard, though that some poskim consider activities such as ball playing to be an exception, because the tzitzis might get ruined; ask your LOR (I think most say to wear it even then).

    #794886

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Itche,

    Guf naki requires more than lack of incontinence (assur lhafiach bahem).

    #794887

    tobg
    Member

    It’s a bit off topic but…

    Isn’t the mitzvah of tzitzis to PUT string on OUR 4 corner garment?

    Where did we get this idea of creating a new garment specifically for tzitzis? Is it just because we are too busy to tie together new tzitzis every day? Then why dont we create tzitzis with a safety pin on the end so you can quickly attach it to any garment you need every day.

    #794888

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    tobg,

    Why would one tie tztzis every day? If a garment needs tzitzis, they would stay on.

    The reason we use a special garment for tzitzis is because our contemporary clothing does not have four corners.

    #794889

    Besides for what DY pointed out, if I remember correctly the MB says that a person needs to have control over his hirhurim as well.

    But still, I think for the kolleleit who is sitting in a BM all day, none of this should really be a problem. I’ve tried finding out why we don’t wear them all day. The most that I’ve heard is that once it was established that we only wear them for shachris because the klal can’t keep a guf naki all day (and kavanah), so everyone stopped.

    But once in a very rare while you pass a GR”Anick wearing tefillin under his hat in E”Y. I think there’s a Yeshivah in the Old City that wears tefillin all day.

    #794890

    basket of radishes
    Participant

    Minyan Girl. I smoke once in a while with an 80 some year old Oncologist of International Repute (cigars).

    I am a disabled M.D. who was interested in the field of General Surgery though I have not completed training.

    #794891

    Where did we get this idea of creating a new garment specifically for tzitzis?

    I believe that is what that Rov from the Vilna Gaon’s time did. He went around Europe convincing people to do this. Then Rav Chaim Volozhin tried to get shuls to say kedusha every Shabbos but his shul burned down twice so he stopped.

    I forgot if I saw this in the back of the keser shem tov (?) in the back of the Nusach HaGra siddurs or in the back of the nefesh hachaim.

    Then why dont we create tzitzis with a safety pin on the end so you can quickly attach it to any garment you need every day

    Because of ta’aseh v’lo min ha’asuy. You need to make them, they can’t be pre-made

    #794893

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Isn’t the mitzvah of tzitzis to PUT string on OUR 4 corner garment?

    The short answer is no. Tzitzis is not a Chovas Beged.

    #794894

    minyan gal
    Member

    Radishes : thanks for answering my question. I am sorry that you are not able to pursue your chosen field. You certainly picked one of the most physically taxing fields in all of medicine – general surgery. If I am not mistaken, the only other field of medical studies that is more physical would be orthopedics. I hope that one day you will be able to practice in some field of medicine. I know how difficult it is to have to give up something that you love. I was an RN with a highly successful career who was forced to give up practicing due to health problems, so I certainly can identify with you (at least on some points). BTW, when I read your post on the smoking topic, it sounded to me as if you were a daily smoker. I doubt that the occasional cigar will be much of a problem. If I could smoke just the occasional cigarette, I would be a very happy camper.

    #794895

    abcd2
    Participant

    I remebered hearing the story about Rav Ketina and why to wear tzitzis it is discussed on many websites after i did a google search for Rav Ketina’s name

    the Gemara tells of a certain Rav Ketina who purposely wore garments that did not require tzitzit on them. He encountered an angel who told him that he was not doing the proper thing. Indeed, the angel told him that although one who does not wear a garment with tzitzit has technically not transgressed the mitzvah and therefore, is not punished directly; nevertheless, when Heavenly Wrath is forthcoming he becomes more vulnerable to it, as he is lacking the extra protection that the mitzvah of tzitzit would afford. The second Gemara relates that one who is conscientious in performing the mitzvah of tzitzit will receive the great reward of being able to greet the countenance of the Divine Presence at the end of his days.

    An excellent downloadable to word presentation from virtual bais medrash to the extent of obligation

    http://www.vbm-torah.org/archive/halak63/09tzitz1.rtf

    #794896

    I think I saw in the shu”t Min HaShomayim a teshuvah about wearing tzitzis too.

    That’s a scary shu”t. Good for anyone who needs someone to light a fire under them.

    #794897

    cherrybim
    Participant

    S’fardim may have a different minhag.

    #794898

    Depot
    Member

    I think I saw in the shu”t Min HaShomayim a teshuvah about wearing tzitzis too.

    That’s a scary shu”t. Good for anyone who needs someone to light a fire under them.

    What kind of things does the shu”t Min HaShomayim say?

    #794899

    ItcheSrulik
    Member

    DaasYachid: Even so, most healthy people can go quite a period with guf naki. That can’t be the whole reason.

    #794900

    Josh31
    Participant

    “most healthy people can go quite a period with guf naki.”

    Perhaps so as not to bring to shame those who can not???

    #794901

    basket of radishes
    Participant

    I smoke a few cigars a week. 2-3 usually now. But that said, I started smoking a pipe in January and I might smoke about 2-4 bowls a day or so. So its a daily enjoyment right now.

    #794903

    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    Two things to keep in mind. Firstly, being that we don’t wear four cornered clothing, besides for a scarf which is Patur, we would never wear Tzitzis. Therefore it would have to be implemented as a rule to get a four cornered clothing so that the Mitzva sould not get forgotten.

    Second of all, the Torah says that Tzitzis will remind you to keep the Mitzvos. The Gemara relates how someone was about to sin, and upon seeing his Tzitzis he refrained. This is a reason to wear it all the time.

    As for chein’s question of nighttime, it is an Inion from the Arizal to wear Tzitzis when sleeping.

    #794904

    Pac-Man
    Member

    Bechina:

    The reason you need to wear your tzitzis over your robe on the way to the pool rather than take it off beforehand is:

    #794905

    adorable
    Participant

    mods- did you erase something that Joe wrote?

    Why do women say the paragraph about tzitzis in shema?

    #794906

    ItcheSrulik
    Member

    Josh: That’s definitely a point. There are also a couple cautionary tales in the gemara about people who wore tefillin all day and took advantage of people who trusted them because they looked holy. The thing is, the practice continued among some people well after the stories happened.

    #794907

    Why do women say the paragraph about tzitzis in shema?

    Probably for the same reason they say the paragraphs that speak about tefillin in Shema. Because it speaks about something else that is important too.

    #794908

    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    The Parsha of Tzitzis has in it four other Mitzvos, which is the reason that it was added to Krias Shema in the first place.

    #794909

    adorable
    Participant

    I dont understand what you mean about the paragraph speaking about something else thats important too. what else does that paragraph talk about?

    #794910

    adorable:

    I dont understand what you mean about the paragraph speaking about something else thats important too. what else does that paragraph talk about?

    HaLeivi:

    The Parsha of Tzitzis has in it four other Mitzvos, which is the reason that it was added to Krias Shema in the first place.

    #794911

    “Then Rav Chaim Volozhin tried to get shuls to say kedusha every Shabbos but his shul burned down twice so he stopped.”

    I believe you’re referring to the GR”A, who tried to get shuls to say birkas kohanim every shabbos (or every day, i don’t remember which), but his shul burnt down so he stopped. the story can be found in The Vilna Gaon (Shulman, I think)

    #794912

    quark2
    Member

    Derech hamelech

    “I am not telling you halacha l’maisah I’m just telling you what I think. I assume that the mitzvah of tzitzis is the same as the mitzvah of tefilin. Were it not for that Rov who went around we might only be putting on tzitzis once a day by Shachris like we do with tefillin today.

    Me’ikar hadin we are supposed to wear tefillin all day, but we don’t because of guf naki. But tzitzis doesn’t need guf naki.

    That’s all I know.”

    Then you know very little about tzitzis, because tzitzis is totally different than tefillin, according to virtually every rishon and every acharon that you’ll find.

    About wearing tzitzis at night. There is a ptur on tzitzis at night, see the sugya in shabbos. Some chassidim wear tzitzis at night though, based on kabbalah.

    #794913

    quark2
    Member

    If you go with the sevara of “it’s a mitzvah it cant hurt you”, then you should also do many other things.

    Like not leave your house unless absolutely nessesary, for example, as there are some opinions that hold that the mitzvah of mezuzah is when you are inside the home.

    #794914

    quark2
    Member

    mods you still didn’t tell me why you deleted my other topic (so im walking away with hard feelings).

    #794915

    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    The Sha’alos Teshuvos Min Hashomayim got a very bitter response about Tzitzis, complaining that noone wears it through the day, when the Torah says that it is a reminder of the Mitzvos. When he asked about Tefillin having the same problem, they refused to agree, saying don’t compare Mitzvos.

    #794916

    yitayningwut
    Participant

    quark2-

    About wearing tzitzis at night. There is a ptur on tzitzis at night, see the sugya in shabbos. Some chassidim wear tzitzis at night though, based on kabbalah.

    It’s actually a machlokes, Rashi and Tosafos hold that “day clothing” requires tzitzis even at night. The Rambam holds that there is a general p’tur at night. The Mechaber brings both dei’os.

    While we’re on the subject, I’ve been bothered for a while by what I think is a shtarke rayah against the Rambam, so I’ll put it out there and hear what the oilam has to say.

    In Shabbos 25: the Gemara tells the story of R’ Yehuda’s Friday afternoon. He would bathe, dress up in linen shawls that had tzitzis of wool on them, and wait for Shabbos to come. The gemara relates how his talmidim used to tuck in the corners of their ????? when they were around him, because they held that mi’drabanan one is not permitted to wear tzitzis of sha’atnez because he may come to do this with a ???? ???? which would be a violation of the issur sha’atnez since there is no mitzva of tzitzis by a ???? ????. R’ Yehuda disagreed about this chashash and therefore he flaunted his woolen tzitzis on his linen shawls.

    My question is: Everyone agrees that a ???? ???? of sha’atnez is assur. The machlokes was whether or not we are gozer ??? ???? ????. I would think it quite reasonable to assume that if R’ Yehuda was dressing up for Shabbos he didn’t throw off his clothes as soon as Shabbos came. If so, according to the Rambam that even “day-clothing” is patur from tzitzis at night, how was he allowed to wear these ?????? ????????? without being oiver on the issur sha’atnez?!

    (Bear in mind that the gemara in Brachos 20a doesn’t consider sha’atnez shev v’al ta’aseh even though it’s already on the person, also bear in mind the Rambam’s shita that there is no such thing as tosafos shabbos.)

    #794917

    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    Lo Nitna Torah Limalachei Hashoreis. Kohanim had Shatnez in their garments, and it was only permissible during Avoda. We say there that they are given the reasonable amount of time that it takes to change out of them.

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