Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
  Page title
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

A Tallis on One's Head

Many men follow the practice of keeping their tallis on their head during tefillah. Halachic authorities explain that wearing a tallis on one’s head humbles a person’s heart and brings him to fear Hashem (Beis Yosef 8,2; Bach 8,5). Therefore, it is proper to keep one’s tallis on his head from the beginning of the tefillah until its conclusion (Mishnah Berurah 8,4).

“Rav Chisda came to visit Rav Huna. When Rav Huna asked Rav Chisda why he didn’t cover his hair with a head covering, Rav Chisda replied that he was not married” (Kiddushin 29b). The Gemara implies that only a married man should cover his head with a tallis.

Some Ashkenazi authorities infer from the aforementioned Gemara that a single man should not cover his head with a tallis, even if he is a talmid chacham (Mishnah Berurah 8,4). However, Sephardi authorities argue that wearing a tallis on one’s head is an important part of tefillah. Therefore, they rule that a man should wear a tallis on his head even if he is not married (Kaf Hachaim 8,12).

A Fallen Tallis

Men who wear a tallis for tefillah keep them on for the duration of Shacharis. It is quite commonplace that one’s tallis accidentally drops from his shoulders in the course of long prayer services, especially on the Yamim Nora’im or Simchas Torah. Does one need to recite another blessing when putting it back on?

In a similar situation, if one’s tefillin slips off during Shacharis, the accepted halachah is that one does not recite a new blessing, since the person is still involved with prayer and we assume that his mind is still focused on the mitzvah of wearing tefillin. Some authorities apply the same halachah to wearing a tallis and do not require one to recite another blessing (see Rav Akiva Eiger 8,12).

Moreover, even when the tallis gadol slips off, a man still fulfills the mitzvah of tzitzis with his tallis katan. Since one is still involved with the mitzvah of tzitzis, we do not require another blessing when a man’s tallis falls off (Maharasham 4,148). Based on these reasons, the custom is that as long as they are wearing a tallis katan, men do not recite another berachah when their tallis falls off (Rav Shlomo Zalman Aeurbach as cited in Halichos Shlomo 3[23]).


Text Copyright © 2012 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and Torah.org


 






ARTICLES ON SHOFTIM AND ELUL / ROSH HASHANAH:

View Complete List

Temimus: Wholeheartedness Is Necessary To Build Torah Institutions
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5765

Accidental Manslaughter
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5757

Preparing for Rosh Hashana and Shmittah
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5774

> Past, Present, and Future
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5763

Ideas for Inspiration
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5760

The System Must Prevail – Right Or Wrong
- 5768

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Protection For The Way
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5771

Happy New Year!
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5762

Under God's Control
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5772

ArtScroll

The Mystical Tug of the Shofar
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5766

More and More Ourselves
Rabbi Label Lam - 5764

Protection For The Way
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5772

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Deceitful Prayer
Shlomo Katz - 5759

Wordless Prayers
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5771

Life Without Parole
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5762

Justice
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5769



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information