The common and accepted practice among married Ashk'nazim, at least, is that they don a talis katan in the morning without saying a b'racha for the mitzva, and, later, when donning the talis gadol for morning prayers, they say a b'racha to cover both talisos.

But someone who borrows a talis gadol does not say a b'racha on it (Mishna B'rura 14:14, q.v.). So suppose someone arrives in the synagogue without having said a b'racha on his talis katan and realizes that he needs to borrow a talis gadol (where the loan is effected in such a manner as he would not normally be saying a b'racha on it[1]). What should he do?

  • Should he, perhaps, say the b'racha on the talis gadol, having in mind also the talis katan (and touching it or moving its strings as in Shulchan Aruch 8:16, q.v.)?

    This seems reasonable, as the talis katan 'deserves' a b'racha, but the current act of donning is of a talis gadol (which anyway, according to some opinions, requires a b'racha. I'm following the Mishna B'rura that in this hypothetical scenario one would not normally follow those opinions — but perhaps they should be allowed for).

  • Or should he say the standard b'racha for a talis-katan ("al mitzvas tzitzis") on the talis katan at that point?

    This seems reasonable, as he never said it on donning the talis katan and the usual reason for skipping it — that he'll later say a b'racha on the talis gadol — turns out not to have applied.

  • Or should he say no b'racha?

    This seems unreasonable to me, but I consider it somewhat likely because we're generally strict about saying unnecessary b'rachos and because I haven't found a source that says he should say a b'racha in this case (and the case doesn't seem like a very rare one to me).

  • Or what?

[1] To clarify: Often, when someone 'borrows' a talis gadol, he actually gets it as a gift (to be returned), or is a part-owner, and may therefore say a b'racha. My question is assuming a situation in which the loan is a true loan, and asking whether the borrower's wearing a talis katan since the morning affects whether he says a b'racha.


2 Answers 2


He should not make a b'racha on the borrowed talis-gadol.

If he will later that day get his own talis-gadol, he should then put his own on with b'racha, as if it had been tisha b'av.

Regarding the talis-katan, it depends on several disagreements among authorities, and therefore goes accordig to the person-in-questions's accepted shitos:

  1. If he holds that a b'racha cannot be made on that talis-katan,* then so be it.

  2. If he would make a b'racha on that talis-katan tisha b'av morning, he should do so now too:

    a) If he holds that the talis-katan is only eligible for an al mitzvas tzitzis, then that is the b'racha he should make, however he should take it off first if he slept overnight with it.

    b) If he holds that the talis-katan is eligible for a l'his'atef batzitzis, then he should take it off, make that b'racha and atifa.

* Either because he holds that this garment is too small or because he holds such a b'racha never should be made.


The Shulchan Aruch Harav 14:5 writes that one is allowed to say a blessing on a garment on which one isn't obligated to place Tzitzis, just like women say blessings on Mitzvos which they're not obligated to keep.

Dayan Raskin writes in his notes to the Siddur that R' Shneur Zalman of Liadi writes that one who has a Tallis and Tzitzis should wait until he has a Tallis (even if he'll have to wait a few hours) and not make a Bracha on the Tzitzis (which he can do right after washing his hands through holding the Tzitzis strings) since:

  1. We don't like the text of "Al Mitzvas Tzitzis". When there's no other choice (like a Bachur who doesn't wear a Tallis), we have to use this Nusach since the Tzitzis is too small for Ituf.
  2. We don't like to make a Bracha for Mishmush (holding) the Tzitzis since some Rishonim hold that Mishmush only works for Tefillin. Since Tefillin have to be held in mind all the time they're being worn, touching them (and reminding oneself of them) is an obligatory part of wearing them, in contrast to Tzitzis.

Therefore, CYLOR but it appears that while the Shulchan Aruch says you can make a Lehisatef Be(or Ba)Tzitzis Lechatchila, saying an Al Mitzvas Tzitzis (especially though Mishmush) should only be done BeShaas Hadchak.

Option 1 seems to win.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .