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MBY 14:1-5 Tzitzis: A non-Jew or woman; a borrowed talis
MBY 14:1-5 Tzitzis: A non-Jew or woman; a borrowed talis
Here are a few brief “bullets”:
● Although we learned that a non-Jew could be used, as a last resort, to make the tzitzis strings - since he can be instructed to make them for the sake of the mitzvah - he may definitely not tie them onto the garment. This exclusion is based upon the verse (Bamidbar 15:38) “Speak to the Children of Israel, and say to them that they shall make themselves tzitzis on the corners of their garments…”

● Although women are not invalid for tying tzitzis, it is preferable that it be done by a man.

● Just as the spinning and twisting of the tzitzis strings must be done with a verbal declaration that they are being made ‘lishmah’ (for the sake of the mitzvah), so should the tying of the strings on the garment. If this intent was only thought, but not verbalized, that is acceptable. If even the thought was not there, the tzitzis may still be used if there are no others; however, a bracha should not be made when donning that particular talis!

● If a person borrows a garment without tzitzis, he is not required to tie tzitzis on it for the first thirty days of the borrowing period. After that, he is required by the rabbis to tie on tzitzis, because it looks like his garment.

● If one borrows a talis with tzitzis on it, does one make a bracha? (Note: The premise of the question is that one does not make a bracha on someone else’s talis.)
It depends:
a) If the borrower is wearing the talis to daven his own tefila in, he should preferably ask the lender to “gift” it to him, on the condition that he will return it when he is through, and then he may make a bracha, just like he would on his own talis. If the lender did not expressly gift it to him, it is presumed that he did in his heart.
b) If the owner is not present, but the borrower knows that he would not mind if he used it, he may use it, but he should intend not to acquire it, and therefore, not make a bracha on it. The borrower must be careful to fold up the talis as he found it.
c) If the owner is present, but he lends it merely to be worn by the borrower for an aliyah or some other honor; since the wearing is for the honor to the Torah or the congregation, but not primarily for the fulfillment of the mitzvah of tzitzis, it is best that the borrower intend not to acquire it, and not make the bracha.
d) If the talis that he is using for the aliyah belongs to the congregation, of which he is a member - and thus a “shareholder” in the talis (i.e. because part-owners do make a bracha) - the minhag (custom) is for him not to make the bracha, (Ed: even though the sources give good arguments in favor of his making it.)

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