From the Rav’s Desk: 1) Checking Tzitzis strings in morning if did not change 2) The annual Shlissel Challah controversy

  1. Question: [Sunday, 29th Nissan, 5781]

If I don’t change my Tzitzis in the morning am I still obligated to check them daily? I currently have only one pair which I don’t change or take off and sleep with at night, and therefore my question.


One is obligated to check his Tzitzis daily prior to putting them on. This applies even [and perhaps especially] if one slept with them and momentarily took them off in the morning such as to change his undershirt, or upon going to mikvah. However, prior to taking them off and re-wearing them, there is no obligation to check them. Nonetheless, regardless of the above, one is still obligated to separate the strings from entanglement in order so they are loose and separated.

Explanation: The sages established that one must check his Tzitzis each morning prior to wearing it in order to prevent saying a blessing in vain and wearing an invalid pair of Tzitzis. This obligation however only applies prior to putting it on, and therefore one who is not putting it on being that he slept with his Tzitzis and did not take it off, then he is not obligated to check it. The reason for this is because the Takana was to check the Tzitzis each day upon wearing it in order to prevent a situation that one will never check the Tzitzis. However, if one is already wearing the Tzitzis there is no need to check the Tzitzis [even if one did not yet do so that day] being that he will re-check it when he removes it and wears it the next time.

Sources: see regarding the obligation to check daily: Admur 8:13; Siddur Admur; Michaber 8:9; Rosh end of Hilchos Tzitzis; see regarding if one did not remove: Tehila Ledavid 8:4; see regarding the obligation to separate the strands daily: Admur 8:12; Siddur Admur; Michaber 8:7; Menachos 42a


  1. Question: [Sunday, 29th Nissan, 5781]

Dear Rabbi, for years I have been doing the custom of braiding the challahs in the shape of a key for the Shabbos after Pesach and each year I see a flood of controversy on social media regarding this matter and if it’s a good custom or not and whether it should be followed by Chabad. What is your opinion on the matter.


As we wrote in our article on the subject, the above is a Jewish custom like any other Jewish custom and may be followed without any halachic question, and is especially to be honored by those who have a tradition to do so. While certainly I do not see any basis to claim that doing so is the Chabad custom and therefore should be adapted by all Chabad Chassidim, I also do not see any basis for claiming that the matter is negated according to Chabad custom and that one who has a tradition to do so should stop. I’ve yet to see any documentation or literature from the Chabad Rabbeim on this matter, and they are the sole authorities to establish Chabad custom. There are many matters that are not specifically a Chabad custom to follow but are likewise not necessarily negated according to Chabad custom, and each person and family retains the right to keep the custom or not adapt to it. Throughout the generations, there were hundreds of customs that were not the legacy of Chabad Chassidim as a whole, but were followed by various Chabad communities throughout Russia. I suspect that the annual obsession that some people have in abolishing the custom and trying to convince Chabad Chassidim that it is forbidden for them to follow it, does not come from a place of purity or the good inclination but rather the opposite. Whoever wants to place energy into the subject, I would suggest that rather than focus on this specific custom they should focus on spreading the custom that is explicitly written in the Poskim, the Rama and the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, to bake bread for Shabbos every Shabbos and not to buy bread from a bakery.

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