Should a married man say a blessing on a Tallis Katan

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Should a married m an say a blessing on a Tallis Katan? Is one to say a blessing over a Tallis Katan worn prior to Davening if he will be wearing a Tallis Gadol for Shacharis?

Introduction:

The general law when wearing two pairs of Tzitzis:[1] If one desires to wear more than one four cornered garment that contains Tzitzis at the same time, one after the other, then a single blessing suffices to cover all the garments, only if all the following conditions are fulfilled, other two blessings are required to be recited:

  1. He had in mind to place on the second Tallis during the original blessing, or prior to finishing to wear the original garment included in the blessing.[2]
  1. He did not speak of non-Tzitzis related matters in between.[3]
  2. He did not go from outside to inside or vice versa.[4]
  3. He did not switch rooms, or did switch rooms but had this mind originally at the time of the blessing.[5]

The custom today when wearing a Tallis Katan before a Tallis Gadol: Despite the above law, in today’s times that the blessing of a Tallis Katan is “Al Mitzvas Tzitzis”, the widespread custom is not to say a blessing on a Tallis Katan if one will be wearing a Tallis Gadol later on that day. Some are accustomed however to say a blessing on the Tallis Katan if they will not be placing the Tallis Gadol on for many hours. The following is the background and final ruling on this subject based on the rulings of the Achronim and the Chabad custom:

The law and custom:

The letter of the law:[6] If one will be wearing Tallis Gadol immediately after wearing a Tallis Katan, a blessing may not to be said on the Tallis Katan, and it is rather to be included in the blessing of the Tallis Gadol.[7] If much time will pass until one wears the Tallis Gadol [or one will switch areas[8]] then a blessing may be said upon wearing the Tallis Katan.[9]

The custom: The widespread custom is that those who wear a Tallis Gadol for Davening never recite a blessing over a Tallis Katan that is worn prior to Shacharis, and they rather include it within the blessing said over the Tallis Gadol.[10] This applies even if much time will pass between the two wearings.[11] Nevertheless, some communities are accustomed to follow the letter of the law and recite a blessing on the Tallis Katan [if they will not be Davening with a Tallis Gadol for several hours, or will switch areas in-between].[12] [The directive of the Rebbe in this matter, as well as the Chabad custom, is unclear due to conflicting sources.[13] Practically, there is a difference of opinion in this matter amongst Rabbanei Anash, and each person is to ask his Rav. However see the next case in which a clear Chabad custom is recorded!]

If one wore the Tallis Katan in an area that the blessing cannot be said:[14] The Chabad custom is that if the Tallis Katan was worn in an area that the blessing could not be recited, such as in a bathroom and the like, then the blessing is not said over the Tallis Katan [even if Davening many hours later], and rather upon wearing the Tallis Gadol one is to have in mind also the Tallis Katan. [When placing the Tallis Katan in an area that the blessing can be recited, there is a difference of custom, as explained above.]

Having in mind one time for one’s entire life:[15] In order to have the blessing of the Tallis Katan be included in the blessing of the Tallis Gadol it suffices to state even one time that whenever one says the blessing over the Tallis Gadol he has in mind to include the blessing of the Tallis Katan.

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[1] See Admur 8:21

[2] Admur ibid; Olas Tamid 8:15; Taz 8:10; Perisha Y.D. 19; Kaf Hachaim 8:45; See also Admur 206:9 and Seder 9:5 for a similar ruling regarding fruits; Yoreh Deah Michaber 19:6 regarding slaughtering animals

[3] Admur ibid and 432:6 regarding Bedikas Chameitz; Michaber 8:12 and 1st opinion in Michaber Y.D. 19:5; M”A 8:14 [according to correct Nussach as stated in Admur in Kuntrus Acharon 8:3]; Rosh; Tur; Shach 19:7 and “all Acharonim” [Kuntrus Acharon 8:3]; Olas Tamid 8:15; P”M 8 A”A 14; Kaf Hachaim 8:46

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule a blessing is not to be said even if an interval was made in-between. [2nd opinion in Michaber Y.D. 19:5; Final ruling of Taz Y.D. 19:9; Final arbitration of P”M 8 A”A 14; Shaareiy Teshuvah 8:12; Zivcheiy Tzedek 1:19-24; Kaf Hachaim 8:45; In M”A 8:14 there is question as to the correct version of his statement, Admur in KU”A ibid states the correct Nussach is that he has to say the blessing]

[4] Admur 8:22; 432:8 regarding Bedikas Chameitz; ; Michaber 8:13; M”A 8:17; Birchas Avraham 117; Shalmei Tzibur p. 32; See Kaf Hachaim 8:50

The reason: As this change of area is considered an interval between the blessing said over the first Tallis, and the wearing of the second Tallis and he must thus repeat the blessing. [ibid] It is not the walk and delay that is considered an interval but the actual change of area. [Admur ibid in Kuntrus Achron 5]

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that changing areas is never considered an interval, even if he went from inside to outside, unless he talked in-between. [Bach 8; Olas Tamid 8:17; Taz 8:11; Zera Emes 1:2; Chayeh Adam 12:5; M”B 8:34; Kaf Hachaim 8:50; Piskeiy Teshuvos 8:23-6 and 8:26 that so is the practical custom] The Poskim negate this opinion. [Michaber 8:13; M”A 8:17; Admur ibid] In Kuntrus Achron 8:5 Admur answers all the questions of the Taz and concludes “After answering all the questions of the Taz, certainly we rule like the Shulchan Aruch.” However, some Poskim rule a blessing is not to be said even if an interval was made in-between. [2nd opinion in Michaber Y.D. 19:5; Final ruling of Taz Y.D. 19:9; Final arbitration of P”M 8 A”A 14; Shaareiy Teshuvah 8:12; Zivcheiy Tzedek 1:19-24; Kaf Hachaim 8:45; In M”A 8:14 there is question as to the correct version of his statement, Admur in KU”A ibid states the correct Nussach is that he has to say the blessing]

The law if one can see original area: Regarding Birchas Hanehnin [178:1; Seder 9:11] and Kiddush [273:2] Admur rules that if one sees the original area from his new area, then it is not considered an interval. Seemingly, the same law applies regarding Birchas Hamitzvos, that if one can see the original area it is not considered an interval. Vetzaruch Iyun, as no mention of this has been made either here in 8:22 or in 432:8 regarding Bedikas Chameitz.

[5] Admur ibid; 432:8; M”A 8:19

The reason: As since the two rooms are within the same house it is not considered an interval for him to go from one room to another. [ibid]

Other rulings of Admur in Shulchan Aruch and Siddur: In other areas of Admur it is implied that switching rooms is considered an interval. See Admur 273:2 in parentheses regarding Kiddush; Admur in 432:7 mentions “After one has begun the search, the going from room to room and from house to house to check for Chametz is not considered an interval to require one to repeat the blessing”; Siddur Admur writes that “… and they should be careful to first check [the room that they are in or] the room near the room in which they heard the blessing and not go right away and check another room” thus implying even going from room to room constitutes a Hefsek. Perhaps the explanation of the above difference in ruling could be the following: There are two opinions in the Rishonim with regards to if changing rooms constitutes an interval. The Ran is of the opinion that it is always considered an interval, even if the person had intention to switch rooms. While the Tosafos and Rav Nissim Gaon holds that if the rooms are in the same house and one had in mind to do the switch, then it is not considered to be an interval. Thus, we see that in the Shulchan Aruch Admur rules like the latter opinion, while in the Siddur he rules like the former. [Miluim of Rav Raskin in back of Siddur] To note however that neither the Shaar Hakolel in his pirush on the rulings of the Siddur, nor the Ketzos Hashulchan in Piskeiy Hassidur, mention any change in ruling between the Siddur and Shulchan Aruch in this matter. This is despite that the entire purpose of their Sefer is to bring the places that Admur rules differently in the Siddur versus the Shulchan Aruch. Furthermore, the Rebbe in his commentary on the Haggadah of Admur does not make any issue of the ruling in the Siddur, and actually writes that the reason for why one needs to check in the nearby rooms is because one may not go from house to house as Admur writes in Shulchan Aruch. Thus, the Rebbe implies that he learns that the ruling in the Siddur is not at all contradicting what was said in the Shulchan Aruch.

[6] Ruling by a Tallis Katan that receives the blessing of Lehisatef: In previous times when it was possible to recite the blessing of Lehisatef even on a Tallis Katan [see 8:7  and 22], the following was the ruling: [One who desires to wear a Tallis Katan and a Tallis Gadol one after the other, then even] if he wears the Tallis Katan at home and says the blessing of Lehisatef, nevertheless if he then goes to Shul to put on the Tallis Gadol, he must repeat the blessing of Lehisatef on the Tallis Gadol, and is not exempt with the first blessing recited. The reason for this is because the walking from his house to the Shul is considered an interval, even if he did not speak at all in-between, and even if his house is very close by to the Shul. Furthermore, even if he intended to wear the Tallis Gadol in his house, but prior to doing so he left his front door and then returned, it is considered an interval between the blessing of the Tallis Katan and Gadol, and he must hence repeat the blessing. If however he did not leave the entrance of his house but switched rooms in-between, such as he said the blessing on the Tallis Katan in one room and then went to a second room to put on the Tallis Gadol within the same house, he is not require to repeat the blessing if he did not talk in between. [Admur 8:22]

[7] M”B 8:24 and 30; See also Admur 8:20 regarding one who wore a Tallis in an area that a blessing cannot be said and plans to wear another Tallis immediately afterwards, that he is to include the blessing of the first Tallis within the blessing of the 2nd Tallis; See also Siddur Admur [letter 26 in Raskin] regarding one who will be wearing a Tallis Gadol for Shacharis that he should not say a blessing on the Tallis Katan if he wears it in an unclean area.

The reason: The reason for this is in order so one not make an unnecessary blessing, being that one can include it within the later blessing said over the Tallis Gadol. [M”B ibid in name of Chayeh Adam] This applies even though the blessing of a Tallis Katan is different than that of a Tallis Gadol. We push off the first blessing, which is on the Tallis Katan, rather than have the blessing of the Tallis Gadol be included within the blessing of the Tallis Katan, because: 1) We do not say the blessing of Lehisatef over a Tallis Katan and Lehisatef is the main blessing over Tzitzis, it is therefore better to push off the blessing of the Tallis Katan and have it be included within the blessing of the Tallis Gadol. Or 2) Since one generally places his Tallis Gadol on in Shul, therefore he cannot have its blessing included within the blessing of the Tallis Katan, as it is an interval to go from ones house to the outside. Thus, in order to prevent saying two blessings we push off the blessing over the Tallis Katan.

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule one is to say the blessing of Al Mitzvas on a Tallis Katan even if he will wear a Tallis Gadol immediately afterwards, as it is two different blessings and one does not fulfill one blessing with the other. [Zera Emes 1:2; See however Kaf Hachaim 8:50 that we do not rule like this opinion]

[8] Michaber 8:13; Admur 8:22; Kaf Hachaim 8:50; Thus if one places his Tallis Katan on at home and places his Tallis Gadol on in shul, then he says two blessings, one on the Tallis Katan and a second on the Tallis Gadol.

[9] See Admur 8:20-21 brought in Halacha 15; M”B ibid; Leket Yosher p. 12; Mishmeres Shalom 3:1; Kaf Hachaim 8:56 that the Arizal would recite a blessing immediately after Mikveh; Beir Moshe 6:4-13; Hayom Yom 14th Sivan; Hilchos Tzitzis Gurary

[10] M”B 8:24 based on Darkei Moshe 8 that states one is to teach the masses to have the blessing of the Tallis Katan included within the blessing over the Tallis Gadol; Piskeiy Teshuvos 8:16 and 26 footnote 141; See Igros Kodesh 16:271 “It is already ruled that one who wears a Tallis Gadol has in mind to exempt his Tallis Katan” [published in Shulchan Menachem 1:39]; Hiskashrus that so is the Rebbe’s opinion; Rav Raskin in Siddur p. 60; Rav Heller of the CH Beis Din; I was told by Harav Y.L. Groner, the secretary of the Rebbe, that “Harav Zalman Shimon Dworkin said, that those who put on a Tallis Gadol do not make a brocho on the Tallis katan. When they make the brocho on the Gadol, they are to have in mind also the Tallis Katan.”

[11] M”B ibid; See Piskeiy Hasiddur 25; Halichos Shlomo 6 footnote 34; Minchas Shlomo 2:4; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid

The reason: As a) We suspect the Tallis Katan is not fit for a blessing due to being too small, or having slept with it. [M”B ibid] b) We suspect for the opinion of the Taz that the change of areas between the Tallis Gadol and Katan is not a true interval [See Halacha 14; Kaf Hachaim 8:50]; and c) We suspect for those that hold the blessing of Al Mitzvas is invalid. d) We suspect one may wear it in close proximity and transgress a Bracha Sheiyno Tzericha.

[12] Leket Yosher p. 12; Siddur Tzelusa Deavraham, that so was custom of the Tchechonuv; Mishmeres Shalom 3:1; Tzadikim in Piskeiy Teshuvos 8 footnote 153; Kaf Hachaim 8:56 that the Arizal would recite a blessing immediately after Mikveh; The Kaf Hachaim 8:50 rules that in order to avoid all doubt one is to wear a Tallis Katan in the morning with a blessing and have in mind to not exempt the Tallis Gadol, and the say a blessing on the Tallis Gadol when he arrives to Shul; Beir Moshe 6:4-13; Custom of Mishmeres Shalom; Custom of Chazon Ish brought in Orchos Rabbeinu 1:22; Implication of Hayom Yom 14th Sivan; Hilchos Tzitzis Gurary; Rav Osdaba of the CH Beis Din

Ruling in Hayom Yom: From Hayom Yom it is evident that in a scenario that one places his Tallis Katan on in a pure area where the blessing can be recited, then one is to recite the blessing even if he will be wearing a Tallis Gadol for Davening. One can learn in Hayom Yom, that even when there will not be a great time interval between the two Talleisim, one says a blessing on the Tallis Katan if he does not plan to immediately wear the Tallis Gadol.]

[13] See footnotes above that some Chabad Rabbanim suggest the former custom while others suggest the latter custom, each one bringing proofs from different sources of the Rebbe. Rabbi Groner, upon being asked, did not reply to me that he knows of any set Chabad custom, but simply the Pesak he heard from Rav Dworkin.

[14] Siddur Admur [Letter 26 in Raskin]; Hayom Yom 14th Sivan; Kitzur SHU”A 9:9; Kaf Hachaim 8:41

Ruling of Admur in Shulchan Aruch: In 8:20 Admur rules that a blessing is not to be said on the first Tallis which was worn in an unclean area, only if one will immediately afterwards wear a second Tallis. No mention is made regarding any difference between a Tallis Katan and Gadol in this matter.

[15] Ashel Avraham Butchach; See Biur Halacha 8:13 “Im Hayu”

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