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Hilchos Tzitzis 24 Hilchos Tefillin 25 (page 63)

Embroidering Pesukim on a Talis
Buying Tefillin Before Tzitzis
Not Bypassing a Mitzva

Embroidering pesukim on a talis 

It is forbidden to embroider pesukim on a talis.  This is because people frequently bring a talis into the bathroom and also because it is forbidden to write pesukim out of the context of Tanach. It is likewise forbidden to use pesukim on announcements and invitations for these reasons. Even inscribing pesukim on a Torah cover is forbidden, since doing so takes them out of context.

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Buying tefillin before tzitzis 

Tefillin is compulsory; every adult male must perform the mitzva daily.  In contrast, tzitzis is a voluntary mitzva, incumbent only on those who choose to wear four-cornered garments.  When there is a choice between the two (e.g. someone can afford to perform only one), tefillin takes precedence. It is proper for every person to have his own talis and tefillin and not to rely on borrowed items. This is more important regarding tefillin, which require a proper fit.  The knot on borrowed tefillin is often not set appropriately.

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Not to bypass a mitzva

There is a halachic principle not to bypass a mitzva (ein ma'avirin al hamitzvos). Once the opportunity to perform a mitzva presents itself, a person may not forgo it for another mitzva. One situation in which this rule applies is when a person has two mitzvos to perform and the objects needed for one mitzva are more accessible than for the other; in such a case, he may not bypass the easier/closer mitzva in favor of the one that is less accessible. It is permissible for a person to bypass a mitzva that he is not ready to fulfill in favor of a mitzva that he wishes to fulfill sooner. Some poskim permit bypassing the closer mitzva if the objects needed are still in their case and not ready to be used. However, most poskim hold that the mitzva may not be bypassed even then.

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  • It is forbidden to wear visible tzitzis in a cemetery or near a corpse. To wear tzitzis in the proximity of the dead mocks them, for they are no longer able to perform mitzvos.

  • Tzitzis are meant to serve as a reminder of the mitzvos, as it says: "So that you should remember all the mitzvos of Hashem." According to many poskim, it is a mitzvad'oraisa to utilize the tzitzis in this way.

  • 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. When beginning the third paragraph, it is appropriate to take the strings in both hands and gaze at them.





  • Wearing talis and tefillin to shul

  • Reciting Shema with talis and tefillin

  • Fulfilling the mitzva of loving Hashem