Sunday, December 1, 2013

Removing the Tallit

With H-shem's help, we have begun learning Hilchot Tzitzit with the Ben Ish Chai, Hacham Yosef Hayyim of Baghdad. The sefer is translated by Shmuel Hiley and published by Yeshivath Ahavath Shalom Publications in Jerusalem 5765/2005. He calls the names of the Chapters by the names of Parashiot, so instead of Chapter One, the first chapter is called Parashath Bereshith, Laws of Ziziyoth. Please note these are for learning purposes only.  For the halacha lemaaseh, i.e. for what to do yourself please ask your own Rav.  

Parashath Bereshith, Laws of Ziziyoth, Page 8: This is a long entry so we will break it up over a few days, BE"H
10 (continued). [Odh Yosef Hai (6) Our teacher R. Hayyim Wital z'l writes in Sha'ar Ha-Kawwanoth (Sedher Nusah Ha-Tefillah, page 51d) 'One should take off the tefillin shel rosh and put them away in their bag, and then sit down and take off the tefillin shel yadh whilst sitting... only then should one take off the tallith.  Sometimes, when it was very hot, my teacher {the Ari} z'l used to slip the tallith off his head, and leave it on his shoulders, once he had taken off the tefillin shel rosh.  After that, he would take off the tefillin shel yadh and, only after that would he take off the tallith itself, completely.'

We learn from here that, as long as one is wearing the tefillin shel rosh, one should not remove the tallith from one's head.    Those who are accustomed to slip their tallith off their head in hot weather are not acting correctly, even if they are careful to cover their heads with the tallith when they pray the 'amidah.  However, on Shabbath and on Yom Tov, when tefillin are not worn, there is no reason why one may not slip the tallith off one's head, and drape it over one's shoulders, once one has completed the amidhah.

This learning should be in memory of Maran, HaRav HaGaon Ovadia Yosef, ztz'l.

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