Posts Tagged ‘WHEAR TALLIT’


The blessing made over the tallit is “ברוך אתה ה’ אלוהינו מלך העולם אשר קידשנו במצוותיו וציוונו להתעטף בציצית” (Blessed be Thee, God, our Lord, King of the universe, who has sanctified us in his commands and has commanded us to wrap ourselves with tzitzit). A Jew will begin saying the blessing prior to donning the tallit, and complete it while in the process of wrapping him or herself in it. While being put on, the tallit is used to cover the head and most of the body prior to being placed on the shoulders. Donning the tallit is done before putting on tefillin, in accordance with the Halachic principle of “frequent and infrequent – frequent first” (תדיר ושאינו תדיר – תדיר קודם): As the command to put on teffilin is not performed on Shabbat and holidays, as opposed to the command to put on tzitzit, which applies every day of the year, it has been deduced that the tallit precedes teffilin.


A tallit is usually produced of wool or silk. The top of the tallit commonly features an additional neckband (atara), in order to prevent the user from confusing the tallit’s upper and lower sides and placing the front tzitziot at his or her rear. Some have developed the custom of adding an atara made of embroidered silver threads, in order to glorify the mitzvah of donning the tallit.


Unlike the tallit used for prayers, a small tallit (tallit katan / ketana) is worn under a person’s upper garment, accompanying him throughout the day. This tallit, which also possesses four sides with tzitziot at their ends, is usually referred to simply as tzitzit. Among the Ashkenazi communities it is common that the act of donning the tallit katan is preceded by the blessing “… and who has commanded us with the commandment of tzitzit” (“”…וציוונו על מצוות ציצית”). Some are strict about keeping the fringes of the tallit katan outside their upper garment, in order to uphold the instruction of ‘seeing’, appearing in the Biblical verse: “And you will see it and remember all the commandments of God” (“וראיתם אותו וזכרתם את כל מצות ה'”, Numbers 15:39). In this verse, according to traditional interpretation, the Torah places the tzitzit as a daily reminder of the existence of Divinity, for the Jewish believer. According to tradition, whoever upholds the three commandments of tallit, placing teffilin and setting a mezuzah, will stay clear of all sin, since these commandments will be wrapped around him like a chord, keeping evil out.