According to a common custom among Ashkenazim, a man only starts wearing a tallis while davening after he gets married. Does a divorced man continue to wear a tallis when davening? Or could/should he stop wearing the tallis, so as not to give the impression that he is still married?

  • 2
    This begs a broader question: When "common custom" has no basis in Halacha, (or - as in this cases - goes against documented halacha) how does one go about deciding its "special cases"? Oct 16, 2013 at 6:30
  • @DannySchoemann How does this custom "go against documented halacha"?
    – MTL
    May 28, 2014 at 18:43
  • @Shokhet - for a start you could look at the first Halacha in Hil. Tefilin in Shulchan Aruch. (From memory:) "After putting on the Tallit, one puts on Tefillin." (After all the simanim about Hil. Talit that discuss everybody wearing a Tallit during Shachrit.) May 29, 2014 at 10:27
  • I heard the if their marriage was annulled (ie there was significant cheating in the details of the agreement) then he can stop, and probably if it will help him get married he can stop (since he can even dye his hair), but he might need to annul his vow of he did it 3 times and did not have in mind not to make a vow)
    – hazoriz
    Feb 9, 2016 at 0:25

3 Answers 3


Excellent question. Greetings and welcome to J.SE!

German and Sephardic Jewish men begin wearing a Tallis many years before marriage; the question if anything is why those of Eastern European ancestry wait until marriage.

I'm told that once a man gets married and starts wearing a Tallis, the practice (I wouldn't say "must", but certainly "normative practice") is to continue doing so (hey every fringed four-cornered garment you wear is a mitzva), even if he's no longer married.

Yes this gets confusing; it means that someone wearing a Tallis in shul may not be married -- he could be previously-married, or for that matter he could be Sephardic or "Yekkish" (of German ancestry). But if he's not wearing a Tallis, he's definitely single. (Or he just forgot his Tallis that day, I guess.) Sorry to confuse all you would-be-matchmakers!

  • 2
    For the record, I'm fairly certain that the Yemenites wear a tallit gadol from a very young age (even before Bar Mitzwah).
    – Lee
    Oct 15, 2013 at 13:05
  • @lee indeed teimonim have boys wear them at around 3. Boys begin learning how to lein the torah at this age n are even called up to lein on some occasions if need be. Oct 15, 2013 at 13:09
  • 3
    "I'm told" by whom?
    – msh210
    Oct 15, 2013 at 18:11
  • 1
    +1 to @msh210. Told by whom? And also, among whom? Eastern European is full of sub-divisions.
    – Seth J
    Oct 16, 2013 at 1:19
  • By the way, you can usually tell by the way a person wears his tallis: the accepted custom in most askenazic shuls is that the Yekkes/German-Jews who haven't yet been married will wear a hat while davening while those who have been married will wear their tallis over their head. Oct 6, 2014 at 19:55

technically one isn't obligated to have tzitzis at all unless one is wearing a 4 cornered garment. today we go out of our way to have a four cornered garment to not miss out on the opportunity of a positive mitzvah. this being the case though once one starts taking on this as a regular action they may not stop doing so.


The prevailing opinion among ashkenazi poskim is that an implicit neder is made (upon donning the tallis after the wedding for the first time) to continue doing so. Unless one had prophetic foresight the morning after the wedding and said “bli neder” before donning the tallis, he should still wear it.

Disclaimer, I'm not a rabbi.

  • 3
    Do you have any sources to back up your claim?
    – magicker72
    Jan 7, 2022 at 12:05
  • Welcome to MiYodeya and thanks for this first answer. Since MY is different from other sites you might be used to, see here for a guide which might help understand the site. See in particular the focus on sourcing your answers, whether or not you are a rabbi. Great to have you learn with us!
    – mbloch
    Jan 8, 2022 at 16:12

You must log in to answer this question.

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