Friday, February 29, 2008

Exposed Tzitzis & the Arizal

(courtesy of

A Simple Jew has a really good article on Tzitzis of the Tallit Katan, and whether you should wear them in or out. Please read it, maybe before you read mine.

Just last shabbos I learned the Lekuti Sichos by the last Lubavitcher Rebbe on the questions of whether the Tzitzis of the Talit Katan should be worn exposed or concealed.

I started wearing tzitzis with the strings exposed in Israel, an easy thing to do. A taxi driver once asked me, do you wear those out in America? I told him yes which when I look back was a lie but i justified it in my mind that i "planned" to wear them out.

Easier said than done in Galus. I didn't wear them out for awhile then after a couple months i decided to try it. I wore them out at work, at school, anywhere except once i tucked them in when i went to see a play which i don't think i plan to do again, and I'm referring to seeing a play. Then i realized something which at first confused me. My Rabbi doesn't wear his tzitzis out. I asked him about it and he told me he wears them inside because, his Rebbe wears them inside. His Rebbe does it because his father did it, so we can only assume that his father's Rebbe did it, who was the last Radomsker Rebbe, one of the greatest Polish Rabbi's in history.

So there must be a very good reason behind this. the Lekuti Sichos enlightened me as to why, even if the end result was the Lubavitcher Rebbe not supporting the idea of concealed tzitzis and me very much so supporting the idea.

This is what i took from my Rabbi's response.
When the Torah and Gemara refer to tzitzis being exposed so you should see them everyday, its refering to the Tallit Gadol. We wear the Tallit Katan not as a requirement but as an extra layer of protection. Just as this protection is hidden, so too should the garment that protects be hidden.

It took me a while to feel comfortable wearing them inside because I was so accustomed to having them hanging out and always getting stuck in the door of my truck. I get married iy"H in 37 days and when I wear my Tallit Gadol I don't think it will be as weird for me. Like when i tuck them in after Shema on Shabbos and this kid is staring at me so confused.