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HALACHA-----tzitzis when playing ball

Lizard Posted - 11 December 2000 15:48

Are you allowed to take off your Tzitzes for sports(if they're uncomfortable and will become sweaty) I heard a rabbi say once that its better not to play but that doesn’t seem right??

Do you make another bracha when putting them back on.

Same Question would be if you take a shower do you need a bracha?

MODERATOR Posted - 22 December 2000 15:12

There is no heter to take off your Tzitzis when playing ball.

Lizard Posted - 25 December 2000 20:52

No heter? How can that be. If we are not obligated to wear tzitzes unless we wear a four cornered garment.

Nowadays we wear tzitzes so we can merit this great mitzvah. If your tzitzes will become sweaty wouldn’t this be mevazeh them?

MODERATOR Posted - 25 December 2000 21:15

If you are correct, then why would you give up a Mitzvah to play ball? If someone would tell you that in order to play ball you would first have to pay $100,000 -- would you do it? Or would you simply wait for the night to play, when there is no Mitzvah of Tzitzis? (Note: The halachah is, although there is no Mitzvah D’oraisa of Tzitzis at night, you have to wear Tzitzis at night l'chatchilah - if possible - if you are wearing your daytime clothing).

But first, it doesn't say anywhere that sweating in your Tzitzis is being Mevazeh them. Especially since the strings don't get sweated up much, but rather the beged, which is not the Tzitzis.

Second, even though you are correct that without the beged there is no obligation, nevertheless, Tosfos writes in numerous places that it is considered somewhat of a sin if you have the opportunity to get a Mitzvah and you turn it down.

Sources: Tosfos Pesachim 113b "V'ain", Tosfos Menachos 41a "Onshosi", Tosfos Shabbos 32b "B'avon". See also Rosh Moed Katan (ch. III:80).

Lizard Posted - 26 December 2000 22:24

Why is it any different than taking a shower?

I'm sure you have taken showers during the day. Why not wait till night even Friday afternoon just wash hands face and feet I'm sure the extra washing doesn’t trump the mitzvah of tzitzes.

Having tzitzes on when you know that they will become soaked w/ sweat shouldn’t be any worse than a tashmish meguneh which is assur even by the beged itself.

If this is your only pair then wearing it after playing is probably not kavod habrious and where there is a lack in this, the torah even permits you in certain situations to wear possul tsitzes (far worse than none).

IMHO Tosfos is talking about a case of someone who makes no effort to put on tsitzes where it is feasible this is someone who is forsaking the $100,000 but if playing ball has a tachlis in that it will help you learn better etc. and it is good enough reason to stop learning I cant believe he's talking in such a situation.

The MB when discussing sleeping in them during the day says you should wear them to sleep to avoid a safek bracha nothing about shirking the mitzva of Tzitzes.

If you prove to me there is no heter I will BLI'N not take off my tsitzes while playing sports or working out during the day again.

- 26 December 2000 23:02

The burden of proof lies on he who says there is a heter, since there is a generic Mitzvah to wear Tzitzis.

We don't wear Tzitzis in the shower for numerous reasons, not the least of which it is prohibited to have the Tzitzis touch your naked body, it is not the derech levishah of any article of clothing to wear it in the shower, it is certainly a bizayon to stand naked in them.

Playing ball is not a tashmish megunah - tashmish megunah is something degrading, and playing ball is not, and getting sweated up is not comparable to the Kovod Habrios cases in Halachah which are humiliating.

There is a heter to play ball to the extent that you need for exercise, but that heter is not what allows us to play a baseball game for instance, for 2 hours straight, most of the time which is spent not exerting yourself at all.

The heter is that Talmud Torah is obligatory according to every person on his level. The Ohr Someach says this. The light aerobic exercise that you need to do for 20-30 minutes every other day in order to maintain and enhance your cardiovascular fitness for your learning is very doable without sweating up your Tzitzis to the point that you are describing.

Plus learning is doable in day or night, while Tzitzis are only obligatory in the day.

If the removing of your Tzitzis was necessary to be able to maintain your learning, your distinction between here and Tosfos would be correct. But since you can maintain your learning without taking off your Tzitzis then you are still forgoing the Mitzvah.

The Mishna Brura did not say that you have to wear your tzitzis while sleeping because there is no obligation to wear tzitzis in your sleep (Note: the Arizal says to wear your tzitzis even while sleeping). Hence he needed the reason of sofek brachah.

Please show me which Halachicly accepted case of Tashmish megunah you believe is comparable to playing ball and getting sweated up.

Lizard Posted - 27 December 2000 16:46

Meikar hadin one is not required to wear tzitzes w/o the 4 cornered garment this is mashma from the Rambam as well as the shulchan aruch 8:17 where you are only "bitel mitzvas tzitzes" when you put on a 4 cornered garment and don’t put on Tzitzes. Where there is no absolute obligation I think there's room for a heter.

I know that you are not allowed to wear tzitzes in the shower, but I’m asking how according you should one be allowed to take a shower during the day when he is able to do it at night.

Playing ball is not a davar meguneh but using your tzitzes to absorb sweat is the only example I saw given for davar meguneh was to make pants out of beged.

Kavod habrious is talking about humiliating cases walking around with sweaty smelly tzitzes is humiliating to many people.

If the Ohr Sameach says that talmud torah is obligatory according to every person on his level then maybe basketball for 2 hours once a week for your typical HS boy is permitted. (I've seen people after 30 minutes on the treadmill sweating buckets too.)

"The Mishna Brura did not say that you have to wear your tzitzis while sleeping because there is no obligation to wear tzitzis in your sleep (Note: the Arizal says to wear your tzitzis even while sleeping). Hence he needed the reason of sofek brachah."

The MB did say you should wear them to sleep during the day to so you definitely don’t need a bracha. Why don’t you have to wear them if you sleep during the day? It is a chovas gavrah you’re wearing them and it is day. So what if you are sleeping?

The Arizal says you should wear them at night to sleep. The safek bracha I think MB was talking about at night is between Rosh and Rambam.

My point from this MB was that he never mentioned that you shouldn’t take them off because of losing the mitzvah of Tzitzes it seems taking them off for a purpose is ok just you get into problems of hesach hadaas.

MODERATOR Posted - 27 December 2000 20:49

I don't believe that having your Tzitzis get sweated up is a tashmish bazui. Tashmish bazui is where you use the Tzitzis for a demeaning purpose. When you take a beged that is used for a Mitzvah and make pants out of it, and things like that, you are using the beged for something less than it was before. It can't even get you a Mitzvah now.

But by wearing your Tzitzis when you play ball, the Tzitzis is serving the same purpose that it always did - being a 4 cornered garment that you wear on your chest that gets you a Mitzvah.

You are not "using it absorb sweat" -- if you would make it into a headband you would be correct. But as it is, it's still a regular garment, and the purpose of a regular garment is to cover you, through sweat or cold or rain or whatever.

Re: Humiliation. I don't see anyone take off their tank tops or t-shirts when they play ball because they're embarrassed at the sweaty beged. Your Tzitsiz can go between your shirt and t-shirt anyway.

But never mind all this. To permit something because of Kovod HaBriyos you need a proof that this level of humiliation is called a lack of Kovod HaBriyos. We can't make these things up on our own, or else people would have a permit to refrain from Mitzvos whenever they feel uncomfortable doing them for whatever reason.

You must qualify this as Kovod HaBriyos issue through Halachic methodology, and I don't see a way to do that.

As far as the sleeping guy with the Tzitzis, first. according to many poskim a sleeping person does not fulfill any Mitzvah he does while sleeping anyway - see Sheailas Yaavetz II:97 and Sdei Chemed III:34 - and especially by Tzitzis, since "The primary Mitzvah of Talis Koton is wear it in order to remember the Mitzvos constantly" (Shulchan Aruch 8:11) - it would not give him any Mitzvah even if he slept in his Tzitzis. Therefore the Mishna Brura needed the reason of Sofek Brachah.

As far as the shower goes, since you are not allowed to wear Tzitzis in the shower, you currently do not have the problem of not wearing the 4-cornered beged, since anyway you couldn’t put Tzitzis on it. There is no obligation to not take a shower for this, and therefore there is no problem.

As opposed to playing ball, where there is no prohibition of wearing Tzitzis as you play, and you do not have to refrain from playing in order to fulfill the Mitzvah, you are then losing a potential Mitzvah.

And losing a potential Mitzvah where you do not have to refrain from your normal activity is a problem.

My point with the Ohr Someach was to show that it’s not the importance of playing ball that allows you to interrupt your learning to do it, but rather the lack of obligation on the average person to learn all day.

Since this Halachah - that the intensity of the obligation depends on the individual person - is a din in Hilchos Talmud Torah and applies to no other Mitzvah, you cannot use the fact that you may play ball and not learn as a proof that you can play ball and not wear Tzitzis.

That's just the way I see it.

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