Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Tzitzit Conundrum

You guys will know what I'm talking about. You are getting pimped up, ready for a night out. You find your one good shirt that doesn't need ironing, slip on your bestest pants and slide into your finest shoes. Ready to shine, dressed to kill. Now do you or don't you leave on the Arba Kanfos?

Let's take it as granted that you don't have the stinky brown smelly things that are enamoured by Yeshiva Bochurim worldwide. The ones that poke out of their neck accusingly at you - look at me, they say, I'm being worn every day for years on end without any time to take me off and wash me (like the Rogachover legend about not getting his hair cut). Not those. If you have them - wash them please. Right now. On behalf of all mankind, thank you.

I'm also not talking about those of you for whom a night out entails you not being able to say Hamapil because you are Bemakom Ervah, vehamevin yavin. For you people I'm not sure whether to tell you davka to wear them (the mussary side of me) and it might prevent you, or to tell you to keep up the good work (the jealous side). Oh the joys of being conflicted.

I'm also not getting involved in the machlokes whether or not to wear them at night. Way too convoluted for this forum.

My question is, when we are getting ready to go out, do we leave them on? My personal minhag is when I'm feeling all frum and fuzzy then I will, if I am getting dressed to impress, then I won't. What's yours?

TRK

33 Comments:

At 12/13/2005 5:43 AM, Blogger Joe said...

No one sees them anyway, why not wear them?

 
At 12/13/2005 6:38 AM, Blogger Mata Hari said...

ok...so i think you mean primped, not pimped.
i must be naive --- i thought guys wore them all the time.

 
At 12/13/2005 6:46 AM, Blogger Littleredridinghoodie said...

Tell me more about the styles. What would men want in a pair of tzitzit that would make them inclined to wearing them? Any fabric choice? shape? fit comfort? Tzitzit for the metrosexual man of today… I was under the impression that if you make the bracha in the morning you are good for the day unless you wear a poncho or 4 cornered beged.

But I did hear once that the 4 angels that go with you, hold on to those 4 tzitzit. When you take it off they are with you but not holding you...

 
At 12/13/2005 7:28 AM, Blogger FrumGirl said...

Scandalous! You mean guys don't wear their tzitzis all the time? :-)

K guys, 'fess up now....

 
At 12/13/2005 7:29 AM, Blogger Pragmatician said...

I wear them all the time except to go to bed and take a shower.
If they smell, odd shall I say, I sprinkle some perfume on them.

Really helps:)

 
At 12/13/2005 7:40 AM, Blogger Masmida said...

Scoring for competitive kipps spotting on campus:

2 pts. for kippa
2 pts. for tzitzes tucked in.

total score doubles for tzitzes hanging out.

I've always been kinda of jealous of guys b/c they have something to mark them as different

 
At 12/13/2005 7:59 AM, Blogger FrumGirl said...

I like to see the tzitzis hanging out, it shows a lot of confidence... and I do luv that + the spirituality aspect.

 
At 12/13/2005 9:39 AM, Blogger Lost said...

I honestly would love to understand the implication behind;

"My personal minhag is when I'm feeling all frum and fuzzy then I will, if I am getting dressed to impress, then I won't."

Where does 'dress to impress' mean? Does it mean that you are going to some place where you will be chiling with girls and you are nervous of how they will peg you? or just a night on the town, where you want those hot shiksas to check you out and not think your shirt is threading and falling apat. run on sentence, but im sure you get my drift.

 
At 12/13/2005 11:28 AM, Blogger Elster said...

haha Mata, you just marked yourself as innocent. Good for you.

As for TRK's question: This is history for me now. I am married with 2 kids. I don't GO out all pimped up anymore.

BUT - I wear cotton tz's with a slit neck. As Joe said, no one can see em anyway so why not?

 
At 12/13/2005 11:53 AM, Blogger Eshet Chayil said...

Masmida, if you wore the frum girl uniform, you'd stand out too. And about tzitzis...I think the topic is a little out of my league. Something I know nothing about.

 
At 12/13/2005 1:07 PM, Blogger Masmida said...

ec-
No, I just look like the weird girl with long sleeves and long skirts in the heat and humidity of August

I like the fact that tzitzis and kippot are clearly jewish. while my 'frum girl uniform' well its clearly unusaul.

Every once in a while someone comes up to me and asks very quietly, as if they don't what such a personal question overheard, "Do you only wear skirts"

 
At 12/13/2005 2:04 PM, Blogger Littleredridinghoodie said...

Prag,
Is that the excuse you use for the perfume smell in your tzitzis? jk

lost,
I always thought "dressed to impress means showing pecks or biceps...

Masmida,
Skirts in the summer are soooo sexy I used to wear tattered jeans/corduroys no make up and a hoodie to ward off the guys and "blend" in and hide from the Jewish guys, never had much of a problem with the gentiles. joke: why do Jewish boys have long arms? Because Jewish girls wear long skirts…

 
At 12/13/2005 2:54 PM, Anonymous Chai said...

Bein a gal, I don't have this issue, obviously, but I think it's something that is so easy to do, so why not do it? We girls put up with a lot more - long sleeves in the summer, and it's alot harder to hide, if that's what you're tryin to do. Amongst my friends, I'm always the weird one who never shows cleavage or wears jeans...

But I agree with you, masmida, amongst gentiles, we're way too self-concious - they don't usually realize that you're dressing for religous reasons as opposed to style... Def less 'in your face' I'm Jewish.

p.s. Bout the Metro thing, I think I saw an ad for Tzitzit that are attached to a fitted undershirt, or something like that... I didn't pay too much attention to it :)

 
At 12/13/2005 5:21 PM, Blogger Karl said...

Its woollen, T-cut tzitzis all the way for me baby!

The question for me, is always do I wear them: in; out; or tucked in pockets?
Or do I wear the talis string ones? or the black stripe, or white on white?
Depends on situation. Even some dates will be different to others.

If you are wearing them completely in, then it doesnt serve much of a musser purpose, but at least you are getting a mitzva, whatever else you are doing.

I can nearly always tell a Jewish girl on public transport, or on campus. Its not only the long skirt and/or shaitel that give them away, but everything else as well.

I have never heard anything about the 4 angels - may be a kabbalistic / sefardi thing.

The undershirt tzitzis are called Neatzit(C). Like a T-shirt with corners and tzitzis all in one.

 
At 12/13/2005 5:31 PM, Blogger Littleredridinghoodie said...

"a rejewvenated TRK"

are you still rejewvenated?

funny story:

My guy friend was wearing tzitzis on a plane and one of corner was hanging out. The stewardess came over and whispered,

"Excuse me sir, some of your Judaism is leaking"

 
At 12/13/2005 5:32 PM, Blogger Mata Hari said...

for whatever it's worth, i vote that you should wear them (are we allowed to vote?)

 
At 12/13/2005 5:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My husband used to tuck in his tzitzis until 9/11, then after that he started to leave them out. interesting, no? His Goyish co-workers are either used to his kippah and fringes, or are very curious and want to learn all about the "strings". I say wear them with pride, man!!!

 
At 12/13/2005 11:20 PM, Blogger Eshet Chayil said...

I wonder if goyim outside of ny even know what they are. I mean a kippah is self explanitory, but tzitzis are a "jewish thing"

 
At 12/14/2005 12:26 AM, Blogger Karl said...

At work I have never been asked "what those strings are for" (they are nearly always clearly visable) and it was only after 10 months did anyone mention anything about my kippa. I think they are more afraid of offending or not being PC by asking any questions,

 
At 12/14/2005 12:43 AM, Blogger -y- said...

re goyim: i was once asked while shopping stateside which 7th Day Adventists church i go to... at which point I looked at the woman like she was from mars until she explained that i "dress that way." "beanies" and strings hanging out are a bit less ambiguous.

as to tzitzit on a guy. i find visible tzitzit a plus if they are warn well (as opposed to well warn) and seems to fit the person/outfit, but that then that's just personal sense of aesthetics.

 
At 12/14/2005 7:11 PM, Blogger dietgarage said...

dedication is cool. i say where them all the time - leave em out , heck where them over your shirt if youd like.... and the biggest kippa you can find in the brightest color....

wait a sec - i hav to wear a skirt?

jk

but if your dressed for a night on the town tucking is better i suppose..

 
At 12/15/2005 8:48 AM, Blogger Eshet Chayil said...

I know this is a past post, but I had to add to it. Diet's comment. Ugh. The school I go ot is full of these really modern guys who wear bright colorful kippahs, and have shiksas following them around. Seriously...bright colorful kippahs reallllly annoy me. What's wrong with a plain bacl velvet kippah? Classy and modest.

 
At 12/15/2005 3:59 PM, Anonymous Navi Sheker said...

you should be so lucky, MH seems like a super catch,

the key to getting the drugs is act nuts then they will make you take them and they are covered by insurance

they tried to stone me but they could not catch me

 
At 12/15/2005 4:49 PM, Blogger dietgarage said...

"a kippah worn without intention is no kippa at all but a bit of crocheted yarn." - me (agreeing with eshet)
true --- i actually just meant a kipah srugah

 
At 12/16/2005 4:18 AM, Blogger Mata Hari said...

ns - thank you so much for your kind words. the question is...how much is the opinion of a navi sheker worth :)
or perhaps it's just the prophesies i should worry about.

question for you - why do you call yourself by that name?

 
At 12/16/2005 4:31 AM, Blogger Chai18 said...

just tuck them in and dont wear the wool kind that smell

 
At 12/17/2005 5:14 PM, Blogger TwennyTwo said...

...ahem, goy alert...

Because I don't speak hebrew I don't know exactly what you asked but. I did grow up in a conservative orthodox community with an athiest-leaning but still knowledgeable Jewish Kid as a best friend. Therefore, I have knowledge of tzitzit beyond what I should.

My vote: go for it. Wear'em loud and proud. This from the muslim chick who will be out all night dancing with hijab intact.

you go.

peace/shlm/slm
TwennyTwo

 
At 12/19/2005 1:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

re: tzitzis, this non-Jew knows what you're talking about. but maybe it's because I live in NYC and see it almost daily since moving to Williamsburg.

This may be a poor analogy, but in reference to dietgarage's comment, I know there are some Christians who feel the same about people wearing crosses.

 
At 12/30/2005 12:56 PM, Blogger iSrAeLiWannab said...

i know this was from a while ago but i just found it...

i think guys shud wear tzitit if theyre on that level...its harder- a LOT harder- for girls, because if we decide not to dress tznius or wear pants or if your married and uncover your hair- everyone can see, its not something you can hide like tzitit-so its not really a question for us...

 
At 6/22/2006 12:42 PM, Anonymous Nathan said...

Hey,

I wear my tzitzit tucked all the time even when I'm not wearing a kippah... I tuck them because I eat traif Chicken and Fish outside the home and don't want people thinking that frum kosher people do the same... That said, even though I'm conservadox, I want to fufill this particular mitzvah...

My question is this: I'm trying to have a hoodie with tzitzit on it manufactured. It would be a white pull over hoodie with slits on the sides to make it 4 cornered with reinforcements and eye holes on each corner. The tzitzit would be tied on and the hoodie would also have blue stripes on the outside of the hood and along the base of the sweater. There would be no cuff on the sweater... a) Would anyone wear this? b) Does anyone want me to make more? (Currently I'm just going to have a few made for myself.)

 
At 12/15/2010 12:16 AM, Anonymous Dan Slobodkin said...

The real question is for those who want to start wearing tzitzit, but aren't ready to wear them out, and want to know if it's alright to go ahead and tuck them in. (To encourage people to try wearing a yarmulke, my father would always say, "Be scientific: try it.") There's a good article on the subject called "Tzitzit: Tucked in or showing?", including an interesting anecdote by Rabbi Berel Wein.

 
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