Shulchan Aruch Chapter 8:

The הלכות (laws) of ציצית (tzitzit) and Wrapping (17 paragraphs)


Note:  The Rama is in brackets [ ]



1.  One should wrap himself in the ציצית and make a blessing on them while standing. 


2.  The manner to wrap oneself goes according to the way people wrap themselves in clothing[1].  Sometimes they cover the head (with the garment) in the process and other times the head is uncovered.  It is proper for one to cover the head in the טלית (talit) as well. 


3.  The טלית קטן (small Talit) garments that we have the custom to wear, even though there is no concept of wrapping (היתעטף) by them, one is יוצאי his obligation of ציצית.  It is a good idea to wrap the garment widthwize around one’s head and to stand like this for less then it takes to walk 4אמות  (cubits) [2] and then to remove them from one’s head and put them on.


4.  One should place 2 fringes in front and two behind him in order that he should be surrounded with fringes. 


5. One should recite the blessing of להיתעטף בציצית (on a טלית).  If two or three people are wrapping themselves in their טליתים [at the same time], they all should make their own blessing.  And if they so desire, one can make the blessing and the others can answer Amen. 


6.  On a טלית קטן, one is able to make the blessing of להיתעטף בציצית even though he does not wrap himself, but only wears it. [Some say that on the טלית קטן one only makes the blessing of על מיצות ציצית.  So is our custom and one should not change.]


7.  It is necessary to seperate the threads of the fringes from one another.[3]


8.  When wrapping oneself in the ציצית, one should have in mind that Hashem commanded us to wrap ourselves in them in order to remember all of the Mitzvot and do them.


9.  Before making the blessing, he should inspect the threads of the ציצית to ensure they are kosher in order to not make the blessing in vein.


10.  If one puts on the טלית קטן when his hands are not yet clean, he should put them on without a blessing.  When he washes his hands, he should handle the ציצית and make a blessing on them.  Alternatively, when he puts on another טלית he should make the blessing on it and to have in mind to cover both.  In this case, it is not necessary to feel the ציצית of the first garment.


11.  The main Mitzvah of the טלית קטן is to wear it over the clothing so one should always see them and remember the Mitzvot[4].


12.  If one has many four cornered garments, one is required to put ציצית on each one.  If one put all of them on without an interruption and originally had the intention (while making the blessing) to cover all of them, he only recites one blessing.  If there was an interruption between them, he is required to make a blessing on each and every one.[5]  This also applies if one didn’t have in mind from the beginning (to make a blessing) on all of them and it is like a interruption (הפסק). [Similarly, if he removed the first garment before he put the second one on, he must repeat the blessing.] [6]


13.  If one puts on the טלית קטן and makes a blessing on it, then goes to synagauge and wraps himself in a טלית גדול , one is required to make a separate blessing.  This is because the walk from home to the synagauge is considered a interruption (הפסק).  Suppose an individual is praying in his home. If his mind was originally on the טלית גדול ; as long as there is no הפסק between them ie: with talking or other words, he does not have to repeat the blessing. 


14.  If one took off his טלית, even if his intention was to put it back on immediately, one is required to make a new blessing when he puts it back on.  [There are those who say that he does not repeat the blessing if his intention was to put it back on.  Others say this only applies if his  טלית קטןremains on.]


15.  If ones טלית fell off unintentionally and one puts it back on, he must make a new blessing on it.  This only applies if the whole garment fell off.  However, if the whole טלית  did not fall off, even if most of it fell, one is not required to make a new blessing. 


16.  If one sleeps with his טלית at night, one needs to make a new blessing on it in the morning even if it didn’t fall off.[7]  It is good to handle it at the time of the blessing.  [The same should be done if one put on his טלית before daybreak.]


17.  If one put on a garment that required tzitzit, and did not put them on, he transgresses the Mitzvah of tzitzit. 








Translated by Jay Dinovitser




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[1] He is referring to loose robe like clothes the arab countries wear that are wrapped around the body.  In effect, you must wrap your entire body in the Talit and not just wrap your head.  M.B. says that if you only wrap your head, you are not יוצאי.  I presume that this is because one says the blessing on the   טלית “... who commanded us to wrap ourselves in Tzitzit”.  If one does not wrap his body, this blessing is said in vein although one fulfills the Mitzvah of wearing tzitizit if one just put the garment on.  This is only acc. to the Ashkenazi tradition.  See paragraph 6.  

[2] 6-8 feet.  The exact measurement is a matter of dispute.

[3] M.B. writes that according to the מ׳א one does not have to worry about this.  According to the אר׳י ציצית spells out in hebrew “a tzadik seperates his tzitzit always”.

[4] As it says in the Torah (recited in She’ma) “... you should have Tzitzit and you should see them and remember the Mitzot of Hashem and do them.”  M.B. says that at the minimum, one should reveal the fringes while making the blessing. 

[5] M.B. writes that in this case, an interruption refers to a long interruption where one’s mind drifted.  Even talking does not constitute an interruption. 

[6] The phrasing of the S.A. is slightly unclear.  The case is most probably the following:  One made a blessing while wearing one four cornered garment and had in mind to cover other four cornered garments to be donned in the near future (like a four cornered jacket, sweater or coat).  If there was a long interruption, the blessing does not cover the other garments and one has to make a separate blessing on each garment.  If there was not a long interruption, he can make one blessing.  If one did not have in mind to cover the other garments while making the blessing on the first garment, a separate blessing must be made on each garment. 

[7] The Mitzvah of tzitzit is only during the day.