Tallit Katan & Tzitzit

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Shop for Tallit Katan and Tzitzit Strings a special garment, the tallit katan, is worn in order to fulfill the mitzvah of tzitzit.

The tallit katan is a four-cornered garment that is worn under boys and mens clothing. Usually it is simple and white with a small hole in the middle for the head. Sephardic tradition encourages that the tallit be made of wool. However, Azkenazi Rabbis argue that the particular fabric is not important and that it can be made out of anything other than a mixture of wool and linen (which the Bible forbids).

Unlike the tallit gadol (the prayer shawl), the tallit katan is not only worn during morning prayer services, but rather, it is worn all day. Some individuals even wear the tallit katan to sleep, though most mainstream Orthodox Rabbis suggest that this is not necessary. Another difference between the tallit katan and the tallit gadol is the age at which boys and men begin to wear it. In most Orthodox circles young boys around age three, begin to wear the tallit katan, whereas they don’t start wearing the tallit gadol until age 13 or their wedding day.

The tallit itself is simply a four cornered garment; each tallit katan has specially twined and knotted fringes called tzizit attached to each of it’s four corners. These special fringes are worn to fulfil the Biblical commandment that any four cornered garment must have tzizit on each of its four corners. One of the common misunderstandings regarding the tallit katan, is that the donning of the tallit katan itself is not actually a biblical commandment. Instead, the commandment states that anyone who wears a four cornered garment must wear tzizit. Rabbinic law strongly encourages boys and men to wear this special four cornered garment, which enables them to fulfill the commandment of wearing tzizit.

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