Beracha on costume?


I’m dressing up as a chassid for Purim and I plan to wear tzitzit.
Should I make a beracha when I put them on?

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Asked on February 26, 2020 5:16 pm
Private answer

The main halachic rationales given for women not to wear tzitzit voluntarily are keli gever, cross-dressing, and yuhara, spiritual aggrandizement. (See more here and here.) Although there is some debate about it and it is often frowned upon, Rema (O.C. 696:8) does allow for cross-dressing for adding to rejoicing on Purim. Since they are being worn as part of a costume, the tzitzit would not fall under the category of yuhara, either.

If the tzitzit belong to you, then reciting a beracha would depend on your usual custom regarding berachot on voluntary mitzva observance and on whether you actually intend to fulfill the mitzva of tzitzit by wearing them.

If, however, you are borrowing the tzitzit for your costume, then you do not recite a beracha. Here’s why:

The Torah (Devarim 22:12) refers to the four-cornered garment upon which the tzitzit are tied as “kesutecha,” “your cloak.” The Talmud (Chullin 136a) takes “your” to exclude borrowed four-cornered garments from the obligation of tzitzit, and Tosafot infer that one should also not recite a beracha over borrowed garments with tzitzit (unless the loan is long-term).

Though Shulchan Aruch rules that one should recite a beracha in this case, commentators explain that this applies when we can presume that the garment was lent for the purpose of performing the mitzva of tzitzit, in which case we construe the loan as a sort of temporary gift in order to enable mitzva performance (Mishna Berura 14:11). Lending tzitzit for a Purim costume would not fall under this ruling.

Purim Same’ach!

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Answered on February 26, 2020 5:17 pm