Monday, February 05, 2007

Polyester Tsitsit

Q: Dear Rabbi,
My minhag is Edot ha Mizrach (Iraqi descent). What do you think about 100% Polyester Mesh Arba Canfot (or what about if they are only partially made of polyester?)? And do they need to be Menupitz Lishmo Tzitzits (regardless of the material of the garment)?
Michael N.

A: Dear Michael,

According to all opinions, it is preferable to use a 100% wool garment to fulfill the mitsvah of wearing tsitsit. In fact, in the view of the Rambam and the Shulhan Aruch - the bases of Sephardic halachic tradition - garments made of materials other than wool or linen are only obligated in tsitsit on a rabbinical level. This means that, for us, wearing polyester tsitsit will not be considered a fulfillment of the Biblical mitsvah. However, if there is no four-cornered woolen garment available, then garments with tsitsit made of other fabrics are certainly acceptable.

The threads of the tsitsit must be prepared for the sake of the mitsvah. This requirement applies equally to all tsitsit, regardless of the material out of which they are made.

Best Regards,

Rabbi Maroof