Must I Wear Tzitzit On The Job Site?



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    Must I Wear Tzitzit On The Job Site?

    Question: I am bachur. I have a full-time job that includes much manual labor. When I wear my Tzitzis, I sweat and it becomes dirty and soiled. I am wondering: 1) Is it more respectful for my Tzitzis if I remove them during my work? 2) Do I have to wear them at night? If yes, should I switch to a pair of night-tzitzis? Rabbi Gershon Avtzon answers in this week’s Chinuch and Moshiach column • Full Article

    Question: I am bachur. I have a full-time job that includes much manual labor. When I wear my Tzitzis, I sweat and it becomes dirty and soiled. I am wondering: 1) Is it more respectful for my Tzitzis if I remove them during my work? 2) Do I have to wear them at night? If yes, should I switch to a pair of night-tzitzis?

    Answer: Before I respond directly to your questions, I would like to quote a few answers that the Rebbe gave about the importance of being careful with the Mitzvah of Tzitzis:

    1 – To Rabbi Dovid Nosson Lesser A”H, the Rebbe wrote in 1949: “In response to your letter; The opinion of the (Frierdike) Rebbe is that you should continue arousing the general public about the greatness of the Mitzvah of Tzitzis and how careful one must be about this Mitzvah.” (Igros Volume 3 page 163 # 514).

    2 – In another letter to Rabbi Lesser, the Rebbe adds: “Look in the sefer Kitzurim L’Tanya page 46, quoted in the name of the Baal Shem Tov, that even the great Angel Malach Michoel would give up his entire work and understanding of Hashem even for the Mitzvah of one of the Tzitzis.” (Igros volume 11 page 186 # 3578).

    [See Igros volume 2 page 377 (#392) for an in-depth explanation of this saying.]

    3 – “It is obvious that any Hiddur in a Mitzvah is a good thing, especially when it comes to Tallis and Tzitzis…for it is known that the intent of the Mitzvah is to draw onto the person the kingship of Hashem…Therefore it is understood that any additional Hiddur in this Mitzvah will have an affect on the other aspects of the person.” (Igros volume 14 page 329 # 5098)

    In regards to your actual question:

    1 – “In regards to your question about your Tzitzis, that they soil when you got to work: Nevertheless, you need to wear your Tallis Kattzan and try as much as possible that they should not soil. You should have a second (clean) pair of Tzitzis that you use for davening and shabbas.” (Igros volume 17 page 27 #6174)

    2 – “This that you write a rumor in my name in regards to being lenient with wearing Tzitzis at night – I do not remember ever saying such a thing.” (Igros volume 18 page 436 #6917).

    In regards to wearing Tzitzis “night-tzitzis”, I feel it important to share the opinion of the Tzemach Tzedek (from Halacha2go): “the Tzemach Tzedek points out that one should not designate the tzitzis specifically for the night, because then one would be wearing a k’sus leilah, a night garment, and according to many opinions night garments do not require tzitzis. Accordingly, the tzitzis on this garment would not be considered to have the sanctity of tzitzis and he would not be considered fulfilling the mitzvah.

    I am bachur. I have a full-time job that includes much manual labor. When I wear my Tzitzis, I sweat and it becomes dirty and soiled. I am wondering: 1) Is it more respectful for my Tzitzis if I remove them during my work? 2) Do I have to wear them at night? If yes, should I switch to a pair of night-tzitzis?

    Answer: The pair of tzitzis should therefore be for use during both day and night, and since it is used for both day and night, it requires tzitzis. The fact that the wearer sleeps in the tzitzis into the morning does not make it a day garment; it should be a pair of tzitzis that is worn both day and night. The common practice of having a night tzitzis only is not correct. One should therefore change their tzitzis in the morning in order to recite a brachah on a different pair and wear the same pair of tzitzis until the following morning. The brachah on the tzitzis is said only in the morning, even if one puts on a different pair of tzitzis at night.”.

    The Moshiach connection:

    The source of the Mitzvah of Tzitzis is a passuk in Shelach (15:38), which we read in the third paragraph of shema:”Speak to the children of Israel and you shall say to them that they shall make for themselves fringes on the corners of their garments, throughout their generations, and they shall affix a thread of sky blue [wool] on the fringe of each corner.” Rashi explains: “An allusion to God having delivered them from Egypt, as it states, (Exodus 19:4) “And I bore you on eagles’ wings” (cf. Rashi in this verse). The tzitzis are to be placed on a garment having four corners but not on one that has three or on one that has five corners (cf. Zevachim 18b), thereby alluding to the four different terms used by God in describing the deliverance from Egypt, for it states, (Exodus 6:6—7) “And I will bring forth”, “and I shall deliver”, “and I shall redeem”, “and I shall take out”.

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