• Rabbi Anthony Knopf

From the Desk - Wearing Tzitzit on the Outside


Shalom Friends! On Friday, we hosted a lovely event with PJ Library where we learnt about Shabbat. Volunteers lit candles and said the blessing on the bread as Rebbetzin Carly and I provided explanations. It was wonderful to meet and get to know young families from the St Laurent area. Many thanks also to Mireille Alvo and Howie Brown for all their work in making this event a success. You can see photos from the event here.


What an incredible Shabbat we had last week with Yossi Goodman! It was wonderful to see so many new faces in synagogue and Yossi's story left us all uplifted and inspired. Long may it continue! Have a wonderful Shabbos, Rabbi Anthony and Carly Knopf Dovid, Rachelli, Yehuda and Avrami

What's the Deal With... Wearing Tzitzit on the Outside? This question was asked by David Guttman. The Torah says regarding tzitzit: “This shall be tzitzit for you and, when you see it, you will remember all the commandments of G-d and you shall perform them.” So, we see that one reason for wearing tzitzit is that seeing them reminds us of the other mitzvot. Accordingly, Rabbi Yosef Karo (16th century, Safed) writes in his Shulchan Aruch that one should wear the tzitzit over his other clothes so that he can constantly see them and be reminded of the mitzvot. Another reason for wearing tzitzit out is advanced by the Chafetz Chaim (19th century, Poland). The Chafetz Chaim compared the tzitzit to an autographed gift from a king. A recipient would surely want to wear them in the most visible manner so the Chafetz Chaim condemns the practice of tucking them in and considers it a denigration. On the other hand, the great Kabbalist known as the Arizal (16th century, Safed) would wear his tzitzit under his other garments. His students explained that it is the tallit that many men wear in synagogue that represents the external and is worn over other garments. The smaller tzitzit garment, by contrast, represents the internal level and is therefore not worn on the outside. So, on this understanding, the importance of seeing the tzitzit applies to the larger tallit, worn during morning services. Others say that the tzitzit are seen when the person puts them on. It is not necessary to see them constantly, only at the point at which the person is getting dressed. The bottom line is that there are different practices and there are justifications, both for tucking in the tzitzit and for wearing them on the outside.


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