Do I Have to Wear Tzitzis?



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    Do I Have to Wear Tzitzis?

    The mitzvah of tzitzis isn’t a mitzvah chiyuvis, one that we are commanded to actively seek out, but rather a mitzvah kiyumis, one that becomes obligatory only if a man chooses to wear a four-cornered garment. By Horav Yosef Yeshaya Braun, member of the Badatz of Crown Heights • Full Article

    By Horav Yosef Yeshaya Braun, member of the Badatz of Crown Heights

    The mitzvah of tzitzis isn’t a mitzvah chiyuvis, one that we are commanded to actively seek out, but rather a mitzvah kiyumis, one that becomes obligatory only if a man chooses to wear a four-cornered garment. However, the Gemara states that a malach (angel) informed Rav Katina that those who don’t wear tzitzis are a target for Divine punishment b’idan rischa (at a time of Heavenly anger).

    Poskim add that since wearing tzitzis at all times has become accepted by Klal Yisrael, this minhag (custom) has become mandatory and has assumed the status of a neder (vow), and falls under the category of “Al titosh toras imecha” (Do not forsake the Torah of your mother). This principle applies to all minhagim that have been accepted by Klal Yisrael, but is particularly true for the mitzvah of tzitzis since it has the status of a mitzvas aseh min haTorah (Biblical commandment), a mitzvah which is fulfilled every moment while wearing it, and in view of its vital purpose—“Uzchartem es kol mitzvos Hashem”, to remember Hashem and His mitzvos at all times.

    Poskim also cite the Arizal’s enjoinder never to remove our tzitzis except as necessary in the bathroom or when bathing, or under similar circumstances. Tzitzis should be worn even when it’s hot, while exercising or when doing work that might make the tzitzis dirty; Still, we should try to prevent the tzitzis from getting soiled, and if necessary, have spare tzitzis for davening, and for Shabbos and Yom Tov.

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    Do I Have to Wear Tzitzis?



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