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Hilchos Tzitzis 23-24 (page 62)

Wearing Tzitzis in a Cemetery or Near a Corpse
The Allusions of the Strings and Knots
Grasping the Tzitzis Strings During Kriyas Shema

Wearing tzitzis in a cemetery or near a corpse 

It is forbidden to wear tzitzis in a cemetery or near a corpse. To wear tzitzis in the proximity of the dead mocks them, since they are no longer able to perform mitzvos. Only visible tzitzis are a problem. It is permissible to wear them under other garments (e.g. tucked into a pocket or beneath a jacket). The issur applies to the grave of a young child as well. There is a machlokes as to whether the prohibition applies to a woman's grave. It is similarly forbidden to recite Torah or prayers within four amos of a corpse or grave, with the exception of those recited for the benefit of the deceased (e.g. Kaddish)

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The allusions of the strings and knots 

Tzitzis are meant to serve as a reminder of the mitzvos, as is written:  "So that you should remember all the mitzvos of Hashem."  The number of strings and knots serves as an allusion for this. For example, the five knots on every corner recall the five chumashim. According to many poskim, it is a mitzva d'oraisa to use the tzitzis as reminder of the mitzvos. It is proper to gaze at the tzitzis when putting them on and at intervals during the day, particularly when one is experiencing inappropriate thoughts or anger. Gazing at the tzitzis at these times will aid in controlling the yetzer hara.

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Grasping the tzitzis strings during kriyas Shema

When beginning kriyas Shema, it is a proper to hold the tzitzis between the pinky and ring finger of the left hand, near the heart. Some have the custom of holding just the front two sets, while others have the custom of holding all four sets of strings. When beginning the third paragraph, it is appropriate to take the strings in both hands and gaze at them. They should be held until the words "ne'emanim v'nech'modim" at the beginning of the beracha of "Emes v'yatziv," after which they are to be kissed and released. Some have the custom of holding the tzitzis before their eyes when saying the words "u'reiseim oso." Some have the minhag of kissing their tzitzis during Shema and there are several variations regarding when this should be done.

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  • It is permissible to wear a talis koton in the bathroom, even when it is worn over other clothing. A talis gadol which is worn only for davening may not be worn in a bathroom.
  • Some poskim were opposed to wearing a talis koton while sleeping, but the Arizal advocated wearing it even when sleeping at night.
  • Someone who acquires a new garment and affixes tzitzis to it recites a shehechiyanu just as he would when acquiring any new garment. A shehechiyanu is not recited on the mitzva (i.e. tying the strings or donning the talis) since tzitzis is a constant mitzva.



  • Embroidering pesukim on a talis

  • Buying tefillin before tzitzis

  • Not bypassing a mitzva