Having a beautiful Tallis

This article is an excerpt from our Sefer


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Having a Beautiful Tallis: [1]

It is a Mitzvah to have a beautiful Tallis and beautiful Tzitzis. The same applies for all Mitzvos, as they all must be done with Hiddur [adornment] to the best of one’s ability.[2] [One is thus to launder his Tallis occasionally in order so it be clean and beautiful.[3] Many Poskim[4] have spoken against those that are particular to always wash their clothing, but their Tallis they allow to become dirty and torn. Some Poskim[5] even write that a Tallis which is unwearable due to its dirty and torn state loses its Tzitzis obligation and one may not recite a blessing over it. Although other Poskim[6] negate this opinion, nevertheless it is certainly proper for one to be particular in it and beautify the Mitzvah.]


Is having a beautiful Tallis a Biblical or Rabbinical Mitzvah?

It is disputed amongst Poskim whether the command of Hiddur Mitzvah is Biblical or Rabbinical.[7] Some Poskim[8] rule that having a beautiful Tallis is a Biblical Mitzvah, and so is implied to be the opinion of Admur.[9]


Changing an old Tallis Gadol for a new one:

Some Gedolei Yisrael[10] were accustomed to not change the Tallis they used for prayer, even after the Tallis was torn and worn out, saying that this itself is the Hiddur of the Tallis.


[1] 24/3; M”A 24/1; Shabbos 133b

[2] The reason: As the verse states “Zeh Keili Veanveihu” which teaches us that one is to beautify himself in Mitzvos before Hashem. [ibid]

[3] Chesed Lealafim 24/5; Kaf Hachaim 24/3

[4] Poskim in Kaf Hachaim ibid

[5] Ashel Avraham Butchach 16 and Siddur Daas Kedoshim; Birchas Habayis 37/8; P”M 16 M”Z 1; Mahariy Ashkenazi 3; Nimukei Orach Chaim 16; See Maharsham 8/10

[6] M”B in Biur Halacha 16 “Lashuk”; Chesed Leavraham 2; Shinaver in Hakdama to Daas Kedoshim; See also Aruch Hashulchan 16/5; Hisorerus Teshuvah 1/7; Igros Moshe Y.D. 3/52; Tzitz Eliezer 20/8

[7] Sdei Chemed Klalim Mareches Zayin 12; Maharsham 5/61; Shoel Umeishiv Mahadurah Gimel 3/33; Beis Shlomo 6; Haemek Sheila Shlach 126/5

[8] Emek Shielia ibid

[9] Likkutei Sichos 11/241

[10] So is told of the Taz that when he was approached with a new Tallis he refused to wear it, claiming that his Tallis contains the sweat of all of his prayers and hence he did not want to switch it.


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