The ArtScroll siddur says to hold the tzitzit in the left hand for the first two paragraphs of the Shema and then to hold them in both hands for the third paragraph (and a bit more).

My question is, how do people hold the tzitzit with both hands and kiss the tzitzit at three points in the last paragraph while also holding a siddur. (Many synagogues have no table or the like in front of the daveners, so there is no place to put the siddur down.) Also, some people say the shema while standing.

  • 1
    They don't. With no table it's not possible. All synagogues I know have tables, btw.
    – N.T.
    Aug 31, 2022 at 15:48
  • 1
  • @N.T. Most synagogues I have davened in have no tables.
    – magicker72
    Sep 1, 2022 at 0:14
  • @magicker72 Where are you? I want to avoid places like that.
    – N.T.
    Sep 1, 2022 at 2:57
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    @N.T. I did encounter some shuls in Israel that did not have tables like OP describes. I do agree it seems odd
    – ezra
    Sep 2, 2022 at 10:59

3 Answers 3


I recommend you put the sidur on your lap.

  • If you are leading the davening, you will be standing. Of course in that situation, your siddur will be on the bimah.
    – Dennis
    Aug 31, 2022 at 19:07
  • Sitting is not required. What does a person who is standing during the Shema do?
    – Yehuda W
    Sep 6, 2022 at 19:46
  • @YehudaW I never said it's required. I said it's advisable if you want to hold a book and have no table.
    – msh210
    Sep 7, 2022 at 3:50

The tzitzis are held in the fingers. The Siddur can be placed on the arms and held that way. This is done by Hoshanos as well, when your holding a lulav, esrog, and siddur.


from Kitzur Shulchan Aruch printed by Moznaim Translated by Eliyahu Touger ch 17 page 153 halacha 7:

Before reciting the Shema, [in the blassing, Ahava rabbah] when reciting the phrase ve'havi'einu ("and bring us [from the four corners of the world"]), a person should take his tzitzis in his hand. During the recitation of the Shema, he should take hold of them in his left hand. During the recitation of the Shema, he should take hold of them in his left hand, between his forefinger and middle finger, opposite his heart.

When he reaches the passage vayomer, the passage concerning the tzitzis, he should hold them in his right hand. When he recites the verse ur'isem oso, he should place them on his eyes, look at them and kiss them. It is customary to kiss them every time one recites the word "tzitzis".

Practically this means that initially he hold the tzitzis just with the left hand and during the passage concerning tzitzis while still holding the base of the tzitzis in the left hand he also takes hold of the tzitzis in his right hand in order to bring them to his eyes and to kiss them. Note in this passage quotes it might sound like a switch but it is not, as it only says to take hold of them implying that one does not release them from his left hand only that he also takes hold of them with his right hand for the third paragraph of Shema.

additions from shulchanharav website footnotes in regards to this matter:

[14] Arizal in Shaar Hakavanos p. 27b “When one begins Vayomer he is to take hold of the Tzitzis also in his right hand, leaving the roots in the left hand”; Kaf Hachaim 24/8; Ketzos Hashulchan 19/25; Custom of Rebbe as witnessed by congregants; See Sefer Haminhagim p. 24 [English] of the custom of the Rebbe Rashab “They were held [in the left hand] throughout the Shema, including the stages when they were kissed.”

Other opinions: Some Poskim write that at Vayomer one is to hold the Tzitzis only in the right hand. [P”M 24 A”A 1; See Kaf Hachaim ibid that negates this ruling.]

  • 1
    This is more of a comment than an answer.
    – N.T.
    Aug 31, 2022 at 15:46
  • So you are citing a source that disagrees with the instructions in the ArtScroll siddur. With this alternative approach, the difficulty I mention disappears.
    – Yehuda W
    Aug 31, 2022 at 17:24
  • @YehudaW I don't see a disagreement here
    – Dude
    Aug 31, 2022 at 20:03
  • You wrote: "When he reaches the passage vayomer, the passage concerning the tzitzis, he should hold them in his right hand." That is different from holding the tzitzit in both hands, as written in the ArtScroll siddur.
    – Yehuda W
    Aug 31, 2022 at 21:09
  • @YehudaW that's a quote. read everything I wrote. I'm explaining what hold in both hands means.
    – Dude
    Aug 31, 2022 at 21:25

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