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      Hilchos Tzitzis 18 (page 59)

Tzitzis is an Elective Mitzva

Mezuza is an Elective Mitzva 

Selling Tzitzis to a Goy

Tzitzis is an elective mitzva

The mitzva of tzitzis is elective. The Torah does not mandate that people wear four-cornered garments in order to fulfill the mitzva. The mitzva only requires those wishing to wear four-cornered garments to affix strings to the corners. Nonetheless, there is an ancient custom for all men to elect to wear tzitzis. Only garments worn for the purpose of being dressed are required to have tzitzis. It is permissible to try on a four-cornered garment for size or to demonstrate how it is worn without attaching tzitzis.

(???? ??, ???? ? ??"? ?; ??????? ??????? ????, 5)




Mezuza is an elective mitzva

Another elective mitzva is affixing a mezuza on a door post. The halacha does not mandate that people own houses with doors requiring ?mezuzos. Chazal call mezuza chovas hadar - i.e. only someone who dwells in a house with proper doors is required to have mezuzos. According to some poskim, 'dwelling' is not limited to actually living in the home. Someone who sets up his belongings in preparation for moving in, is obligated to attach mezuzos. Someone who was away from his apartment for a long time does not recite a new beracha on the mezuzos upon returning. The beracha is recited only when the mezuzos are affixed to the posts.

(???? ??, ?"? ?; ??????? ??????? ????, 3-4)




Selling tzitzis to a goy

Chazal were concerned that a goy with tzitzis on his garment might be able to lure a Jew into accompanying him on the road and then attack and kill him. Therefore, Chazal forbade selling a garment with tzitzis to a goy. For the same reason, storing tzitzis with a goy is also forbidden. Additionally, Chazal were worried that the goy would pass it on to a woman of ill repute, who in turn would claim that she received it from a specific Jew. The former reason does not apply today since goyim are no longer suspected of unprovoked murder, but the latter reason does apply.  Bearing the second reason in mind, one is permitted to briefly leave a garment with tzitzis in the care of a non-Jewish man; since the garment must be returned, it would not be passed on to the wrong person. However, it would be forbidden to leave the garment with a non-Jewish woman who could use it to make a false accusation.

(???? ?, ???? ?, ?"? ?-?, ????"? ?"? ???; ??????? ??????? ????, 5)




  • According to the Rambam, a four-cornered garment worn during the day is required to have tzitzis, but the same garment worn at night is not required to have tzitzis. According to the Rosh, a day garment requires tzitzis even if worn at night, but a night garment worn by day does not require tzitzis.
  • According to some poskim, only garments worn as clothing are obligated to have tzitzis. Blankets and the like, although placed on the body, are not considered clothing and do not require tzitzis. There is a stringent opinion that mandates even such items to have tzitzis.
  • The earliest time to recite the beracha on tzitzis is from misheyakir - when it is light enough to distinguish between the blue and white strands of the tzitzis. This time can also be described as enough light to recognize a casual acquaintance from a distance of four amos.






  • Reusable mitzva items

  • Disposing used mitzva items

  • Using a talis for non-mitzva purposes