It has been mentioned previously that Sephardic custom, according to R. Ovadia, is to wear the tzitziot from a talit katan inside rather than exposed.

Can someone provide an explanation for this custom. I've only heard that it was due to "kabbalistic" reasons, and would like to learn more about it.

  • kol kevodo bas melech pnima. read this somewhere in the poskim as the reason for the sefardi minhag – ray Jun 9 '13 at 20:12
  • @good_ole_ray: Isn't that about women (usually applied for tzniut explanations)? – Aryeh Jun 10 '13 at 6:06
  • perhaps the soul is also bat melech. we can see klal yisrael was like a kalla at sinai. so it applies to everyone. – ray Jun 10 '13 at 9:20
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    @Shalom: R. Kaplan's book does not discuss why Sephardim tuck in their tzitzit. He only cites Mahari Bruna (as Ofer Livnat writes in his answer), that tzitzit may be worn completely under one's clothing. – Aryeh Jun 13 '13 at 16:50

Yaskil Avdi (vol. 8 Orah Haim 2) writes that the reason the Sisit should be under the Begadim is because the Arizal writes that the Talit Katan is בחינת זעיר אנפין בהיותו בעיבור (represents a fetus in its mother's womb) and the Talit Gadol is כנגד זמן לדתו והגדלתו (represents the time of its birth and growing up) and therefore the Sisit Katan musn't be seen out at all like a baby in his mother's womb.

I'll explain as simply as possible: when something is in his mother's womb it is concealed and that's what Talit Katan represents therefore the Sisit Katan must be concealed. However, the Talit Gadol is like when it is born and it is raised therefore the Talit Gadol must be exposed.

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  • FTR Hacham Yaakov Hillel Shalit"a has a rebuttal to his logic. – Hacham Gabriel Jun 16 '13 at 14:11
  • Thanks for the answer, but...what does that mean? – Aryeh Jun 16 '13 at 17:50
  • @Aryeh I hope my edits helped. – Hacham Gabriel Jun 17 '13 at 22:31

See the responsa of the Mahari Bruna (Rabbi in Germany in the 15th century) siman 96 who seems to write that it is considered haughtiness to wear the tzitzit exposed. This is one of the reasons many Ashkenazim also do not wear their tzitzit exposed.

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    I don't think this directly answers the question because 1) this is an Ashkenazic teshuva, who despite having a huge influence on the Rema does not seem to have directly impacted Sephardic minhag, and 2) R. Ovadia discounts arrogance as a reason for tucking in tzitzit. – Aryeh Jun 13 '13 at 16:55
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    I don't see why this should be a Sephardim versus Ashkenazim issue. The reasons for tucking or not tucking are valid both for Ashkenazim and Sephardim. – Ofer Livnat Jun 15 '13 at 21:34

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