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Halacha - Wrapping tallis around head after saying brocha
Submitted by Abba Silver  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh

There are two reasons mentioned for this custom. Since in the beracha on the tallis we say "l'hisatef b'tzitzis" many Gaonim held it was necessary to do the form of "ituf" the Gemara refers to as "atifas Yishmaelim" in the halachos of mourning, which means wrapping the entire body. However, the Shulchan Aruch rules like the Itur that for a tallis it is sufficient to wear it in the normal fashion, and therefore if one does not wrap himself he has still fulfilled the mitzva. Additionally, the Magen Avraham bring from the writings of the Ari zal that according to Kabbala it is appropriate to wrap oneself in the tallis. According to this reason also, one would still fulfill the mitzva if he did not wrap himself.

posted:2008-07-26 23:39:21

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