Getting around by bike can be a sweat-provoking task. I wear a backpack; not only my undershirt can get sweaty, but also whatever's atop it. I only own a couple of tallitot k'tanot, and I wash them by hand. I don't want to buy more tallitot k'tanot, or to have to wash them more often, unless there's a good reason to.

During daylight hours, when should a commuter cyclist wear a tallit katan? When shouldn't he?

Please do not answer unless you cite a source.

  • Can you please explain why you think it would be a problem? Is it just because of your comfort (perhaps you don't enjoy being excessively sweaty), or is it for fear that you are ruining the beged? If the former, I would think that מצות לאו ליהנות נתנו, and in the case of the latter would advise that you wear a garment between the tallit qatan and your skin. If I'm not mistaken, such a garment needs be worn anyway...
    – Shimon bM
    Jun 20, 2013 at 1:46
  • @ShimonbM: Thank you for your comment. I've edited my question to answer your question. Do you now agree that my question is worthy of an upvote? :) Jun 20, 2013 at 2:25
  • 3
    Related, methinks: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/170/…
    – yydl
    Jun 20, 2013 at 4:22
  • Okay, +1 :) It's an interesting question, and I would think goes for working out in the gym as well.
    – Shimon bM
    Jun 20, 2013 at 5:57
  • You might want to consider buying a mesh one. Some of my friends have done that. I just smell bad when I do it in cotton =) Jun 20, 2013 at 16:28

3 Answers 3


Rav Yisroel Belsky, in his English-language responsa book Shulchan Halevi (question 3), was asked if one can be lenient and not wear tzitzs during a hike or other such activities.

He answered that while technically one is only obligated when he is wearing a four corner garment one should still wear it always as the Tur(24) brings down and the Mishna Brurah(8:1). He mentions that one should wear a lighter material or wear a pair that you won't mind getting sweat on.Lastly,he brings the gemara in Menachos 44a which details a story of a man who was saved from great sin by his tzitzs (see it inside; the English version is here).


HaRav Asher Weis shlita, the author of Minchas Asher, was asked about removing one's tallis katan when biking or joging and he answered that there is only a concern about removing it without good reason so one may do so if it is causing extreme discomfort.

Sam has already shared Rav Belsky's opinion forbidding it.


I asked my local Orthodox rabbi: the (Chareidi) morah d'asrah of a mid-sized Orthodox shul in a North American city of about three million people. I think he'd prefer I not specify his name.

In the past, I've generally avoided wearing a tallit katan while biking. But when I asked him earlier today, he encouraged me to start wearing one while on the bike.

I guess now I'll designate one pair as "road tzitzis" and one pair as "indoor tzitzis", and go into the bathroom a few times a day to change.

  • Let's see, we have LA, Toronto, and Chicago in the running...
    – yitznewton
    Jun 20, 2013 at 13:21
  • 3
    @yitznewton: If the rabbi would rather not be identified, then perhaps it's best not to play guessing games. Jun 25, 2013 at 22:39

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