Take the 2-minute tour ×
Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

According to a common custom among Ashkenazim, a man only starts wearing a tallis while davening after he gets married. Does a divorced man continue to wear a tallis when davening? Or could/should he stop wearing the tallis, so as not to give the impression that he is still married?

share|improve this question
    
This begs a broader question: When "common custom" has no basis in Halacha, (or - as in this cases - goes against documented halacha) how does one go about deciding its "special cases"? –  Danny Schoemann Oct 16 '13 at 6:30
add comment

1 Answer

Excellent question. Greetings and welcome to J.SE!

German and Sephardic Jewish men begin wearing a Tallis many years before marriage; the question if anything is why those of Eastern European ancestry wait until marriage.

I'm told that once a man gets married and starts wearing a Tallis, the practice (I wouldn't say "must", but certainly "normative practice") is to continue doing so (hey every fringed four-cornered garment you wear is a mitzva), even if he's no longer married.

Yes this gets confusing; it means that someone wearing a Tallis in shul may not be married -- he could be previously-married, or for that matter he could be Sephardic or "Yekkish" (of German ancestry). But if he's not wearing a Tallis, he's definitely single. (Or he just forgot his Tallis that day, I guess.) Sorry to confuse all you would-be-matchmakers!

share|improve this answer
    
For the record, I'm fairly certain that the Yemenites wear a tallit gadol from a very young age (even before Bar Mitzwah). –  Lee Oct 15 '13 at 13:05
    
@lee indeed teimonim have boys wear them at around 3. Boys begin learning how to lein the torah at this age n are even called up to lein on some occasions if need be. –  MoriDoweedhYaa3gob Oct 15 '13 at 13:09
2  
"I'm told" by whom? –  msh210 Oct 15 '13 at 18:11
    
I thank Shalom and everyone thus far for your responses. –  JJLL Oct 15 '13 at 22:33
1  
+1 to @msh210. Told by whom? And also, among whom? Eastern European is full of sub-divisions. –  Seth J Oct 16 '13 at 1:19
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.