SECTION 18 The Times at which [the Mitzvah of] Tzitzis Applies. (1–8)

סימן יח זְמַן צִיצִית, וּבוֹ ח סְעִיפִים:

1 The night is not a time at which [the mitzvah of] tzitzis [must be observed], for it is written,1 “And you shall see it...,” [which the Sages understand2 as] excluding a garment worn at night.3 A blind man’s garment, by contrast, requires tzitzis, because it can be seen by others. Therefore even when it is worn by a blind man, he is required to attach tzitzis to it.

א לַיְלָה לָאו זְמַן צִיצִית הוּא,א שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר:ב,1 "וּרְאִיתֶם אֹתוֹ וגו'" – פְּרָט2 לִכְסוּת לַיְלָה.ג,3 אֲבָל כְּסוּת סוּמָא – חַיָּב בְּצִיצִית,ד מִפְּנֵי שֶׁיֶּשְׁנוֹ בִּרְאִיָּה אֵצֶל אֲחֵרִים,ה וְלָכֵן אֲפִלּוּ יִלְבָּשֶׁנּוּ הַסּוּמָא – חַיָּב לְהָטִיל בּוֹ צִיצִית.ו

Alter Rebbe's Shulchan Aruch (SIE)

The new layout – with the original text and the facing translation – provides a unique user-friendly approach to studying the Alter Rebbe’s work. An inclusive commentary provides insightful explanations and guidelines for actual practice.

2 Some authorities maintain that the Torah’s exclusion of a garment that cannot be seen [focuses] on the time the garment is worn. Therefore any garment worn at night, even if it is a garment designated to be worn by day, is not required [to have tzitzis attached to it]. And conversely, any garment worn by day, even if it is a garment designated for the night, is required to have tzitzis attached to it before it is worn, because [the tzitzis] can be seen at the time [the garment] is worn.

Other authorities, however, maintain that the Torah excludes only a garment designated for the night. [According to this view,] there is no obligation [to attach tzitzis] to such a garment even if it is worn during the day, since it was made to be worn only at a time when it is not meant to be seen. A garment which is designated for the day, or which is designated both for day and night, requires tzitzis even if it is worn at night.4 [Moreover,] a blessing should be recited over it, because it was made to be worn at a time when it is meant to be seen.

Since it has not been clarified which opinion the Halachah follows, one should be stringent with regard to prohibitions explicitly stated in the Torah, and allow for the stringencies that result from both views. Hence, one should attach tzitzis to a garment that is designated for the day or for both day and night even if worn at night,5 and conversely, one should attach tzitzis to a garment designated to be worn at night, if it is worn during the day.

With regard to the recitation of a blessing, however, [we follow the principle]: whenever there is a doubt regarding the recitation of blessings [of Rabbinic origin], the more lenient view should be followed. Therefore a blessing should be recited only when one wears by day a garment designated for the day, or [one designated] for both day and night.

ב יֵשׁ אוֹמְרִיםז שֶׁלֹּא מִעֵט הַכָּתוּב אֶלָּא כְּסוּת שֶׁאֵינוֹ בִּרְאִיָּה בִּשְׁעַת לְבִישָׁה, וְלָכֵן כָּל מַה שֶּׁלּוֹבֵשׁ בַּלַּיְלָה אֲפִלּוּ הוּא כְּסוּת הַמְיֻחָד לַיּוֹם – פָּטוּר, אֲבָל כָּל מַה שֶּׁלּוֹבֵשׁ בַּיּוֹם אֲפִלּוּ הוּא כְּסוּת הַמְיֻחָד לַלַּיְלָה – חַיָּב לְהָטִיל בּוֹ צִיצִית קֹדֶם שֶׁיִלְבָּשֶׁנּוּ, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁיֶּשְׁנוֹ בִּרְאִיָּה בִּשְׁעַת לְבִישָׁה.

וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִיםח שֶׁלֹּא מִעֵט הַכָּתוּב אֶלָּא כְּסוּת הַמְיֻחָד לַלַּיְלָה, שֶׁאוֹתוֹ כְּסוּת הוּא פָּטוּר אֲפִלּוּ אִם לוֹבְשׁוֹ בַּיּוֹם, כֵּיוָן שֶׁמִּתְּחִלָּה לֹא נַּעֲשָׂה אֶלָּא לְלָבְשׁוֹ בְּעֵת שֶׁאֵינוֹ רָאוּי לִרְאִיָּה, אֲבָל כְּסוּת הַמְיֻחָד לַיּוֹם אוֹ הַמְיֻחָד לְיוֹם וְלַיְלָה – חַיָּב בְּצִיצִית אַף אִם לוֹבְשׁוֹ בַּלַּיְלָה,4 וִיבָרֵךְ עָלָיו, כֵּיוָן שֶׁנַּעֲשָׂה לְלוֹבְשׁוֹ בְּעֵת שֶׁרָאוּי לִרְאִיָּה.

וּמֵאַחַר שֶׁלֹּא נִתְבָּרֵר לָנוּ הֲלָכָה כְּדִבְרֵי מִיט – יֵשׁ לְהַחְמִיר בְּאִסּוּרֵי תּוֹרָה כְּחֻמְרוֹת שְׁתֵּי הַסְּבָרוֹת, דְּהַיְנוּ לְהָטִיל צִיצִית בִּכְסוּת הַמְיֻחָד לַיּוֹם אוֹ לְיוֹם וָלַיְלָה אַף אִם לוֹבְשׁוֹ בַּלַּיְלָה,י,5 וְכֵן יָטִיל צִיצִית אֲפִלּוּ לִכְסוּת הַמְיֻחָד לַלַּיְלָה אִם לוֹבְשׁוֹ בַּיּוֹם.

אֲבָל לְעִנְיַן הַבְּרָכָה כֵּיוָן דְּסָפֵק בְּרָכוֹת לְהָקֵל, לָכֵן לֹא יְבָרֵךְ, רַק כְּשֶׁלּוֹבֵשׁ בַּיּוֹם כְּסוּת הַמְיֻחָד לַיּוֹם אוֹ כְּסוּת הַמְיֻחָד לְיוֹם וְלַיְלָה.יא

3 A person who was wearing a tallis gadol while it was still daytime should remove it when [the congregation] begins to recite Barchu [at the beginning of the Evening Service]. [The rationale is that] in the present age, people wear a tallis only to fulfill the mitzvah of tzitzis. Thus if a person wore a tallis at night, it would appear that he thinks that night is a time when the mitzvah of tzitzis must be fulfilled.

The night of Yom Kippur [is an exception to this ruling], for it is universal custom to enwrap oneself in a tallis gadol and recite the blessing while it is still day, and not to remove it at night. For it is known that [on that night] we do not wear [the tallis gadol] for the sake of the mitzvah, but rather to resemble the angels, who wear white and enwrap themselves in white.6

ג מִי שֶׁהָיָה לָבוּשׁ טַלִּית גָּדוֹל מִבְּעוֹד יוֹםיב – צָרִיךְ לְפָשְׁטוֹ מֵעָלָיו כְּשֶׁמַּתְחִילִין "בָּרְכוּ", מֵאַחַר דְּעַכְשָׁו אֵין לוֹבְשִׁים אֶת הַטַּלִּית אֶלָּא לְשֵׁם מִצְוַת צִיצִית, וְאִם יִהְיֶה עָלָיו הַטַּלִּית בַּלַּיְלָה – יִהְיֶה נִרְאֶה כְּאִלּוּ הוּא סוֹבֵר דְּלַיְלָה זְמַן צִיצִית הוּא.

אֲבָל בְּלֵיל יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים – הַכֹּל נוֹהֲגִין לְהִתְעַטֵּף בְּטַלִּית גָּדוֹל וּלְבָרֵךְ עָלָיו מִבְּעוֹד יוֹם, וְאֵין מְסִירִין אוֹתוֹ בַּלַּיְלָה,יג מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהַדָּבָר יָדוּעַ שֶׁאֵין לוֹבְשִׁים אוֹתוֹ לְשֵׁם מִצְוַת צִיצִית, אֶלָּא כְּדֵי לְהִדַּמּוֹת לְמַלְאָכִים לוֹבְשִׁים לְבָנִיםיד וּמִתְעַטְּפִים לְבָנִים.טו,6

4 A person who leads the congregation in prayer, even to recite Selichos7 and prayers of supplication, should enwrap himself in a tallis gadol8 as a token of respect for the congregation.9 There is even an opinion that one should wrap oneself in a tallis to recite the Mourners’ Kaddish. Therefore we are permitted to enwrap ourselves in a tallis [for this purpose] even at night. For everyone realizes that one is not [wearing the tallis] for the sake of the mitzvah, but as a token of respect for the congregation.

ד כָּל הָעוֹבֵר לִפְנֵי הַתֵּבָה אֲפִלּוּ לוֹמַר סְלִיחוֹת7 וְתַחֲנוּנִיםטז – צָרִיךְ לְהִתְעַטֵּף בְּטַלִּית גָּדוֹל,8 מִפְּנֵי כְּבוֹד הַצִּבּוּר.יז,9 וַאֲפִלּוּ לוֹמַר קַדִּישׁ יָתוֹם – יֵשׁ מִי שֶׁאוֹמֵריח שֶׁצָּרִיךְ לְהִתְעַטֵּף. וְלָכֵן מֻתָּרִים לְהִתְעַטֵּף אֲפִלּוּ בַּלַּיְלָה, דְּהַדָּבָר יָדוּעַ שֶׁאֵין מִתְכַּוְּנִים לְשֵׁם מִצְוַת צִיצִית, אֶלָּא מִפְּנֵי כְּבוֹד הַצִּבּוּר.

5 Though sheets and blankets are sometimes used for daytime sleep, they are primarily intended for the night. They are thus considered as night wear and do not require tzitzis. However, according to the view that a garment designated for the night requires tzitzis if it is worn by day, tzitzis must be attached to sheets and blankets, for they are [still] in use [when one continues to] sleep in the morning.

Nevertheless, the common custom is not to attach tzitzis to these [articles], whether they are made of wool or of linen. [The rationale is that] some authorities maintain that the Torah requires [that tzitzis be attached] only to an article with which one covers himself as a garment. [The Hebrew verb used in the command10 to attach tzitzis to “your garment] with which you cover yourself” clearly implies “clothe yourself.” Articles that one merely spreads over oneself, like sheets or blankets, are not called garments at all.

However, since some authorities dissent with this interpretation, if the sheets or blankets are made of wool one should round off one corner,11 so that according to all authorities they will be exempt from tzitzis.

ה סְדִינִיםיט וְכָרִיםכ אַף־עַל־פִּי שֶׁאָדָם יָשֵׁן בָּהֶם לִפְעָמִים בַּיּוֹם, כֵּיוָן שֶׁעִקָּרָם לֹא נַעֲשָׂה אֶלָּא בִּשְׁבִיל הַלַּיְלָה, לָכֵן נִקְרָאִים כְּסוּת לַיְלָה וּפְטוּרִים מִן הַצִּיצִית.

וּלְדִבְרֵי הָאוֹמְרִים כְּסוּת לַיְלָה חַיָּב בְּצִיצִית אִם לוֹבְשׁוֹ בַּיּוֹם – צָרִיךְ לְהָטִיל הַצִּיצִית לִסְדִינִים וְכָרִים, שֶׁהֲרֵי אָדָם יָשֵׁן בָּהֶם בַּבֹּקֶר.כא וְאַף־עַל־פִּי־כֵן הַמִּנְהָג פָּשׁוּט שֶׁלֹּא לְהָטִיל בָּהֶם צִיצִית כְּלָל, בֵּין שֶׁהֵם שֶׁל צֶמֶר בֵּין שֶׁהֵם שֶׁל פִּשְׁתָּן,כב מִפְּנֵי שֶׁיֵּשׁ אוֹמְרִיםכג שֶׁלֹּא חִיְּבָה תּוֹרָה אֶלָּא אוֹתָן בְּגָדִים שֶׁאָדָם מִתְכַּסֶּה בָּהֶן דֶּרֶךְ לְבִישָׁה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: "אֲשֶׁר תְּכַסֶּה בָּהּ",10 אֲבָל דֶּרֶךְ הַצָּעָה כְּגוֹן סְדִינִים וְכָרִים – אֵינָן נִקְרָאִים כְּסוּת כְּלָל.

וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם, כֵּיוָן שֶׁיֵּשׁ חוֹלְקִין עַל סְבָרָא זוֹ,כד לָכֵן אִם הַסְּדִינִים אוֹ הַכַּר שֶׁל צֶמֶר – יַעֲשֶׂה קֶרֶן אַחַת עֲגֻלָּה,כה,11 כְּדֵי לִפְטֹר מִן הַצִּיצִית לְדִבְרֵי הַכֹּל.

6 From what time [in the morning] should the blessing over tzitzis be recited? There are those who say: From the time that one can distinguish between the techeiles and the white threads in the tzitzis. This is derived from [the Torah’s use of] the term,12 “and you shall see it”; i.e., the obligation begins from the time one can see and distinguish the techeiles in it.13

Others maintain that the time one can see the tzitzis [and thus recite the blessing over them] begins at dawn.14 Even though he cannot [yet] distinguish between the techeiles and the white threads in the tzitzis, he may recite the blessing, for the time when he is obligated to fulfill the mitzvah has already begun. The custom is to follow this opinion. Initially, however, it is preferable to make a point of not putting on a tallis and reciting a blessing until one can differentiate between the techeiles and the white threads in it.

ו מֵאֵימָתַי מְבָרֵךְ עַל הַצִּיצִית? יֵשׁ אוֹמְרִיםכו מִשֶּׁיַּכִּיר בֵּין תְּכֵלֶת שֶׁבָּהּ לְלָבָן שֶׁבָּהּ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר:12 "וּרְאִיתֶם אֹתוֹ", מִשְּׁעַת רְאִיָּה וְהַכָּרַת הַתְּכֵלֶת – מַתְחִיל הַחִיּוּב.כז,13

וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִיםכח דִּשְׁעַת רְאִיָּה נִקְרָא מִשֶּׁיַּעֲלֶה עַמּוּד הַשַּׁחַר,14 שֶׁאָז יְכוֹלִים לִרְאוֹת אֶת הַצִּיצִית, וְאַף־עַל־פִּי שֶׁאֵינוֹ מַכִּיר בֵּין הַתְּכֵלֶת שֶׁבָּהּ לַלָּבָן שֶׁבָּהּ – יָכוֹל לְבָרֵךְ עָלֶיהָ, דִּכְבָר חָל עָלֶיהָ שְׁעַת הַחִיּוּב. וְכֵן נוֹהֲגִין.כט

וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם, טוֹב לִזָּהֵר לְכַתְּחִלָּה שֶׁלֹּא לִלְבּשׁ אֶת הַטַּלִּית בִּבְרָכָה עַד שֶׁיַּכִּיר בֵּין תְּכֵלֶת שֶׁבָּהּ לְלָבָן שֶׁבָּהּ.ל

7 When a person enwraps himself in tzi­tzis before dawn, e.g., during the days of Selichos,15 he should not recite the blessing over them.16 At daybreak he should handle his tzitzis and recite the blessing over them, because [for these purposes] handling them is considered equivalent to putting them on. If one does not handle them now, how can it be appropriate at this time to recite a blessing over tzitzis which he already put on before dawn?

ז הַמִּתְעַטֵּף בְּצִיצִית קֹדֶם שֶׁיַּעֲלֶה עַמּוּד הַשַּׁחַר, כְּגוֹן בִּימֵי הַסְּלִיחוֹת15 – לֹא יְבָרֵךְ עֲלֵיהֶן,לא,16 וְלִכְשֶׁיֵּאוֹר הַיּוֹם – יְמַשְׁמֵשׁ בְּצִיצִיּוֹתָיו וִיבָרֵךְ עֲלֵיהֶן, מִשּׁוּם דְּהַמְמַשְׁמֵשׁ הוּא כְּאִלּוּ לוֹבְשָׁן עַכְשָׁו,לב וְאִם לֹא יְמַשְׁמֵשׁ בָּהֶן – אֵיךְ שַׁיָּךְ לְבָרֵךְ עַכְשָׁו עַל מַה שֶּׁלָּבַשׁ כְּבָרלג קֹדֶם שֶׁעָלָה עַמּוּד הַשַּׁחַר.

8 If a person enwraps himself in tzitzis after reciting the Evening Service,17 he should not recite the blessing over them, because by praying at that time he has already deemed that hour as night. If he had not yet recited the Evening Service, he may recite the blessing [over the tzitzis] until the stars appear.18

ח אִם מִתְעַטֵּף בְּצִיצִיתלד אַחַר שֶׁהִתְפַּלֵּל תְּפִלַּת עַרְבִיתלה,17 – לֹא יְבָרֵךְ עֲלֵיהֶן, שֶׁהֲרֵי כְּבָר עָשָׂה לְאוֹתָהּ שָׁעָה לַיְלָה בִּתְפִלָּתוֹ.לו אֲבָל אִם עֲדַיִן לֹא הִתְפַּלֵּל – יָכוֹל לְבָרֵךְ עֲלֵיהֶןלז עַד צֵאת הַכּוֹכָבִים.לח,18