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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 '13 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? :) – unforgettableid Jun 20 '13 at 2:25
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    Related, methinks: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/170/… – yydl Jun 20 '13 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 '13 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 =) – Charles Koppelman Jun 20 '13 at 16:28
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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).

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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.

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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 '13 at 13:21
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    @yitznewton: If the rabbi would rather not be identified, then perhaps it's best not to play guessing games. – unforgettableid Jun 25 '13 at 22:39

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