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I often daven at Chabad shuls and I have noticed that they have some particulars regarding tallit usage inconsistent with the rest of Ashkenazi Jewry, including:

  • not wearing when receiving an aliyah or davening (even shacharit)
  • not wearing for leining
  • Chabad Ba'alei Teshuva discontinue the wearing of a tallit when the "become fromm"

I have read, in sources related to MMS that it is for the kavod of the kehilla and of the sefer torah that we do so. Furthermore, when I discussed this with R' Avram Grossbaum of Chabad, he provided a rationale which does not work in context, that of a minyan of bachurim. I have also been told that the Shulchan Aruch haRav brings that it is correct to wear a tallis before marriage (although I have not seen this inside).

Does Minhag Lubavitch bring any sources for their rationale?

  • (regarding 1&3) There is a need for Ittuf. A hat/jacket fulfills that. regarding 4, I never saw that a Rov would tell a BT to stop wearing a Tallis (to not put one on is a different story) – Shmuel Brin Feb 16 '14 at 22:43
  • @ShmuelBrin, Every fromm shul that I've been, excluding Chabad, to has the sha"tz, baal koreh, olim, et c. wear a tallit gadol. In relation to 4, my question is based on judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/31660/…, where there is a mention of possible problems with discontinuing the wearing a tallit gadol. – Noach MiFrankfurt Feb 17 '14 at 4:00
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    So? Just because everyone else does it doesn't mean we do it. Different communities had different customs – Shmuel Brin Feb 17 '14 at 4:17
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    @ShmuelBrin Everyone but you doing something is excellent justification for asking a question! – Double AA Feb 17 '14 at 5:13
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    Considering there's no basis for not wearing one before marriage in general, it's hard to imagine there's any basis for this variant. – Double AA Dec 1 '16 at 22:04
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I emailed Rabbi Eliezer Zalmanov (from Chabad.org) about your question. Here's what I said:

B''H

In most Ashkenazi communities, the custom is that bochurim do not wear a tallis. However, when a bochur is called to the Torah or to the amud, he puts one on anyway, although he makes sure not to cover his head with the tallis so that it's not considered an atifah.

But in Lubavitch, bochurim don't put on a tallis even in the above cases. Bochurim are called to the Torah and the amud and lead without a tallis.

What is the reason for this minhag?

Sincerely,

Ezra

His response sheds some light on this subject:

Hi Ezra,

That's a good question.

The truth is that Lubavitcher bochurim probably should wear a tallis when being called up to the Torah or the amud, because it is a matter of 'kavod hatzibur"--everyone is wearing a tallis so it is disrespectful to the congregation when a person on the bima is not.

The reason it does not happen in Lubavitch is because the main weekday minyan in 770 for many years was considered the "bochurim's minyan." Often the Rebbe would join the minyan for Torah reading and he would receive an aliyah. Because he had already davened, he would not be wearing a tallis, and he would not put one on because there was no issue of kavod hatzibur, because in this case the majority of the minyan was not wearing one.

On Shabbos, though, when the main minyan was the community minyan, bochurim receiving aliyahs then (usually a chosson the Shabbos before his wedding or on rare occasion a bar mitzvah boy) would most certainly wear a tallis.

I hope this helps.

All the best,

Rabbi Eliezer Zalmanov for Chabad.org

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I have also asked this question, and I was told by my yeshiva-educated fiancee who grew up going to a chabad shul because it was the only Orthodox shul within walking distance of his house the following. His understanding is that Chabad men who have never been married do not wear a tallis gadol ever even when being called up or as shatz. He contrasted this with the custom he was taught which is to wear a tallis gadol when being called up or as the shatz, but not to wear one for davening until marriage. I apologize for not being able to quote a source for this. Perhaps the men you are seeing not wear a tallis have never been married?

  • I also daven in a schul led by a Chabad Rabbi. He explained that it's their custom not to wear a tallit gadol before marriage for davening. They put on tallit gadol when called up. I asked because I saw his sons not wearing tallesim. – Yerucham David ben Mordecai Jun 3 '18 at 9:12
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I think that it is not true that Chabad does not wear Tallit during Shacharis or Leining.

The following video shows the Rebbe, as well as others, praying Shacharis with a Tallis:

http://www.chabad.org/862984

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    Only if they are wearing it anyway for Tefillah. Bochurim aren't, and married men who happen to not be davening Shacharis at that time (say they are given an Aliah, or leining) don't either. – Yishai May 22 '14 at 5:14

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