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Section: Questions   Category: Halacha
Halacha - Wrapping tallis around head after saying brocha
Submitted by Abba Silver  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question: Dear Rabbi, After we say the brocha "l'hisateif batzitzis" we wrap the tallis around our head and shoulders and keep it there for a few seconds. My question is: what is the reason for wrapping it around our head for a few seconds? And, if we don't wrap it around our head after we say the brocha, do we still fulfill the mitzvah? Thank you.
Answer:

There are two reasons mentioned for this custom. Since in the beracha on the tallis we say "l'hisatef b'tzitzis" many Gaonim held it was necessary to do the form of "ituf" the Gemara refers to as "atifas Yishmaelim" in the halachos of mourning, which means wrapping the entire body. However, the Shulchan Aruch rules like the Itur that for a tallis it is sufficient to wear it in the normal fashion, and therefore if one does not wrap himself he has still fulfilled the mitzva. Additionally, the Magen Avraham bring from the writings of the Ari zal that according to Kabbala it is appropriate to wrap oneself in the tallis. According to this reason also, one would still fulfill the mitzva if he did not wrap himself.

posted:2008-07-26 23:39:21


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Visitor Comments: 2

Rabbi Peretz Moncharsh, 2008-08-04 15:42:46
Just for the beracha is enough.
Abba Silver, 2008-08-04 15:38:13
Dear Rabbi,

Thank you very much!

When the Ari zal says it's appropriate to wrap oneself, do you think he meant that one should preferably try to remain with 'atifas Yishmaelim' the entire time one is wearing the tallis; or just after the brocha as we do these days?
Thanks again.
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