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Q&A From the Bais HaVaad Halacha Hotline

A Tallis Tale

Rav Aryeh Finkel

November 18, 2021


Q To avoid soiling my tallis, I remove it after davening on Shabbos morning before attending a kiddush. After eating, I put it back on for the walk home. Do I need to make another bracha?

A A hefsek (interruption) dissociates the original bracha from the mitzvah act that follows the hefsek, thus requiring a new bracha. But poskim differ regarding what constitutes a hefsek. According to the Shulchan Aruch (O.C. 8:14), taking off a tallis, even just for a moment, constitutes a hefsek. The Rama maintains that removing it for a brief period is not a hefsek. The Mishnah Brurah rules in accordance with the Rama, so one who removes his tallis to eat briefly does not repeat the bracha. This holds true even if the kiddush is in a nearby building, as the Mishnah Brurah (ibid. 37) says that shinui makom (change of location) is not a hefsek for this bracha.

The Biur Halacha (ibid., first) recommends that if one anticipates that he might remove his tallis for a short time, he should have that in mind when reciting the original bracha, in which case even the Shulchan Aruch agrees that he doesn’t require a new one, because he intended for the original bracha to cover the second donning as well.

If he plans to stay at the kiddush for a while, which is surely a hefsek, a new bracha is required. The Biur Halacha (ibid., second) is uncertain whether intending during the original bracha to take this break would help. Sheivet HaLevi (10:2), based on the suggestion of the Biur Halacha, advises that when reciting the original bracha, one should deliberately intend not to include a second wearing. He may then repeat the bracha later without hesitation.

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