Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
  Page title
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Dressed in a Tallis

“Prepare yourself to daven before the G-d of Israel” (Amos 4,12). Rav Kahana would wrap himself in a tallis before tefillah (Shabbos 10a). Based on this Gemara, the Shulchan Aruch rules that one should wear a tallis during prayer (Shulchan Aruch 91,6).

While it is always important for a man to wear a tallis, during tefillah it is even more important. The Rambam writes, “During times of prayer a person must fulfill this mitzvah carefully. It is considered especially shameful for a Torah scholar to pray without a tallis” (Rambam, Tzitzis 3,11).

The following analogy can shed some insight on the significance of this practice: When a person prepares to face a human king, he doesn’t come attired in the mode of a person going to the marketplace, but rather wraps himself in a respectable garment in order to stand before the king with appropriate fear, trepidation and honor. Wearing a tallis should evoke suitable trepidation as we stand before Him (Sefer Chassidim 57).

Tallis for Children

“You should make fringes for yourself …When you marry a wife …” (Devarim 22:12-13). The Torah juxtaposes the mitzvah of tzitzis with the mitzvah of marrying a wife, from which some authorities infer that a man should not wear a tallis until he gets married (Medrash cited in Maharil, Hilchos Ishus 10).

The Maharil writes that he started to wear a tallis from the time of his bar mitzvah. However, he cites that based on the above medrash, the custom in France was that men started wearing a tallis only after they married (Sefer HaManhig, Hilchos Ishus 108). Other commentaries explain that the custom of wearing a tallis from the time a boy becomes bar mitzvah was established in order to fortify him with mitzvos before he got married (Orchos Chaim vol. 2, p. 65).

The accepted custom is that boys wear a tallis katan as soon as they are old enough to wear them properly, two tzitzis in front and two in the back (Shulchan Aruch 17,3). Regarding a tallis, many Polish and Lithuanian Jews have the custom to start wearing one only after their marriage. Amongst the Sephardim and Jews of German origin, the custom is to wear a tallis from when one is old enough to perform the mitzvah properly (Responsa Yechaveh Da’as 4,2).


Text Copyright © 2012 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and Torah.org


 






ARTICLES ON VAYEITZEI AND CHANUKAH:

View Complete List

Going the Extra Mile
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5762

Thanks a Lot!
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5764

The Kedusha of Galus - Thinking in Parallel
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5765

ArtScroll

Chanukah: Lights, Camera, Action!
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5768

Build with Your Dreams
Shlomo Katz - 5772

Brothers in Scorn
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5762

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Rabbi Frand on Parshas Vayeitzei
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5770

Smelling The Fragrance Of Hope
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5768

A Pillar to Mankind
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5759

> Shared Responsibility
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5773

Designated Eater
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5760

The Twelve Stones Become One: Inverted Symbolism?
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5772

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

The Light of Devotion
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757

Sheepish Leadership
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5756

The Real Story
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5763

Out, Up, and On His Way
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5759



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information