More Discussions for this daf
1. Folding a Tallis on Shabbos 2. Wearing a Tallis 3. Preparing on Yom Tov for Shabbos
4. Dibur Asur, Hirhur Mutar 5. Why is There No Problem of Melaben 6. מספר סגולי
DAF DISCUSSIONS - SHABBOS 113

Robert Karr asked:

Could you explain further about putting on the Tallis. We seems to follow what the Arabs do. This seems strange to me. Why is this so. We place the tallis on the left shoulder and check it. Why the left?

Thanks

Robert Karr

The Kollel replies:

Let me begin with your second question first. I could find no source for placing the Talis on one's left shoulder (or on the right shoulder for that matter), and I wonder whether it is a Minhag or just a convenient way of checking the Tzitzis. Alternatively, it may have become confused with the Minhag of throwing the Tzitzis behind one on the left hand side when performing Ituf (wrapping).

As for your first question, the Minhag to put on the Talis the way we do seems to be based on the definition of 'Ituf', which we learn from the Arabs, who actually wear their headgear that way, whereas we do not (at least not nowadays). Incidentally, this Minhag follows the opinion that the head is included in the Ituf. There are opinions that hold that it is not.

Incidentally, the Roke'ach bases the Minhag of throwing the Tzitzis behind one (he does not mention the left-hand side) on a Medrash. The Medrash, commenting on the Pasuk " ... and the water was for them a wall ... ", relates that the Angel Gavriel warned the water of the Reed Sea that was behind Yisrael not to crash down on Yisrael, since they would later throw their Tzitzis behind them (and wear the knot of Tefilin at the back of their heads). Note that the Medrash does not mention the left-hand side in this regard and the Mishnah Berurah cites it from the Ba'er Heitev.

As a parting thought, the significance of the left-hand side in connection with Tzitzis may well be connected with the fact that Tzitzis, which remind us to fulfill all the Mitzvos, open up our hearts to serve Hash-m, and that the heart is on the left-hand side. Bear in mind that Tzitzis comprises thirty-two threads, which is equivalent to 'Leiv'.

This is very similar to a thought expressed by Seifer Charedim on Tzitzis.

Kol Tuv

Eliezer Chrysler.

Yitzchok Zirkind comments:

Minhag Chabad is to put on right shoulder.

Ksiva vaChasima Tova,

Kol Tuv,

Yitzchok Zirkind

Meir Eliezer Bergman comments:

Interestingly, that posuk carries on "MiYeminam UmiSemolam" - "from their right side and from their left side". Maybe there is some hint to the left hand side there? e.g. we throw the Tzitzis from the right-hand side over to the left hand side (together with those already on the left)?

Kol Tuv

Meir Eliezer Bergman

The Kollel replies:

I too, thought that the Medrash (cited in Da'as Zekeinim mi'Ba'alei Tosfos) might say what you said, but it doesn't. It refers to the merit of Torah, that was given with Hashem's Right Hand, Tefilin, which we lay on our left arm, and Tzitzis, which we wear behind us..

May you and yours be inscribed in the Book of Good Life.

Kol Tuv.

Eliezer Chrysler.

Joel Schnur asked:

Any basis for the people who hold their talis way above their head and then make the bracha as opposed to the Mishna Brura's specificity of holding it in front of the face, options given there, and then making the bracha saying b'tzitis and not ba'tzitis?

The Kollel replies:

The Mishnah B'rurah (in 8:1) writes that one recites the B'rachah over one's Talis, after taking it from its bag, and before wrapping oneself in it (and not afterwards, like the opinion cited by the Chayei Adam). I do not see where he requires the B'rachah to be recited whilst holding it in front of one's face, and not above one's head. In fact, above one's head seems more correct, since it closer to the performance of the Mitzvah ('Over la'Asiyaso').

And in S.K. 10, he writes that one reads the word 'be'Tzitis' and not 'ba'Tzitzis' (is that what you meant?). The Ba'er Heitev however, cites the Bach, in whose opinion the word ought to be read as 'ba'Tzitzis'.

May you and yours be inscribed in the Book of Good Life.

Kol Tuv

Eliezer Chrysler.