It says in the Shulchan Aruch Harav in sif 5 and 6 that there are two opinions as to what garments are obligated in tzitzis:

  1. Since the blessing says "Lehisateif BaTzitzis", only garments which can be worn "KeAtifas Haishmeilim" are obligated in Tzitzis. Therefore, our Tzitzises which are too small are not obligated in Tzitzis.
  2. All garments which have four corners are obligated, as the formula of the bracha is not mentioned anywhere in the Torah. Therefore, our Tzitzises must have Tzitzis, but the blessing is "Al Mitzvas Tzitzis".

He says that the Halacha is like the second opinion.

In Sif 7, however, he says that if one wants to fulfill his obligation of wearing Tzitzis according to all opinions (and to be able to say "Lehisatef"), he should wear the tzitzis over his head with it draping down his back (which is ituf).

I have two questions on this:

  1. Is a Tallis Katan big enough to do Ituf? If yes, one should be obligated to place tzitzis on it according to all opinions. If not, what is the idea of draping it down his back?
  2. He says that one should do this if "he wants to fulfill his obligation according to all opinions, if he wants to say the blessing 'Lehisatef batzitzis'" ... If one wants to be stringent like the first opinion, he must do ittuf whatever blessing he says.
  • 2
    Two things - Do you mind being more precise with your title (ie., is that the only stirah, such that mentioning the subject is redundant)? And do you mind if I remove the 'es' at the end of 'Tzitzises'? It's driving me nuts. ;-)
    – Seth J
    Jul 17, 2012 at 1:26
  • You're asking if atifah is a shiur in the cheftza or maaseh?
    – Double AA
    Jul 17, 2012 at 1:55
  • 1
    Side Note: The Alter Rebbe's dikduk in the siddur is B'Tzizis with a Shva which differ with the dikduk of Nusach Ashkenaz which says BaTzitzis with a Patach. I only mention because you type BaTzizis.
    – user1292
    Jul 18, 2012 at 2:22
  • To clarify for others, @mochinrechavim is referring to the "alter rebbe" of Lubavitch, better known (except to Lubavitchers) as the baal haTanya, the Graz, or the rav, i.e. the author of the Shulchan Aruch Harav. He/She's not referring to any of the hasidic rebbes named Alter (of the Ger/Gur dynasty).
    – msh210
    Jul 18, 2012 at 20:06
  • @mochinrechavim I know, but that's how it is in the Shu"A of the Alter Rebbe Jul 19, 2012 at 3:54

1 Answer 1


It appears as follows:

Opinion A: The text of the blessing "to wrap" indicates that the mitzva requires wrapping the talis. A full flege wrap is an Ishmaelian wrap. Those garments that cannot be worn such are exempt.

Opinion B: The text of the blessing was not based on the performance of the mitzva, but on common dressing practices of the time, which was to do a quasi-wrap. But certainly even garments that cannot be wrapped still have the mitzva.

Shulchan Aruch haRav: One may fulfill both opinions when donning a large talis by starting with an Ishmaelian wrap and switching afterwards.

Opinion C: Implied by the SAhR, even according to the 2nd opinion, the blessing "to wrap" requires wrapping. If you are not wrapping, you may not make this blessing. (Others may hold that although the blessing is "to wrap", that's just b/c that's what they did, but it isn't necessary, as long as the mitzva of wearing is done.)

Shulchan Aruch haRav: to fulfill "all opinions", meaning even Opinion C within Opinion B, one should do some sort of wrap.

Granted that one will not fulfill Opinion A.

  • @ShmuelBrin, although one cannot do atifas Yishmaelim (and are therefore patur acc. to A, one can do a quasi atifa enough to qualify for the language of the bracha of l'hisatef.
    – YDK
    Jul 19, 2012 at 5:12
  • The halachic definition of atifa differs from the colloquial usage. The argument between A and B is whether the chachamim created the text of the bracha l'hisatef to reflect the halacha (in which the definition of atifa is specificly Ishmaelian), or to reflect common practice which was not necessarily Ishmaelic, but the text of atifa is nevertheless appropriate in a colloquial sense.
    – YDK
    Jul 19, 2012 at 22:50

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