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 KI SAVO AND ELUL / ROSH HASHANAH:

View Complete List

The Uniqueness Of Rosh HaShana
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5771

A Lesson in Restraint
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5759

Sweet Taste of Success
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5761

> The Spark is There
Rabbi Label Lam - 5768

And Neither Would We!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5762

One Man's Curse - Another Man's Blessing
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5761

Looking for a Chavrusah?

The Basket Too Has Holiness
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5766

Blowing Shofar
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5774

Too Much
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5763

ArtScroll

Trial Preparation
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5760

A Breath of Air
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5769

Declarations and Taxes
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5761

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

A Tale Of Two Mountains - Part ll
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5763

Sensitivity to the Needs of the Poor
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5759

That Ancient Memory
Rabbi Label Lam - 5771

Striving For Simplicity
Rabbi Label Lam - 5763



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