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Rabbi David Sperling

Elul 29, 5779
Shalom, I am in Uman, saw many different Minhags of wearing talit Katan. Please teach me how to wear talit Katan with stripes on the shirt or under? Tsitsit tucked in pants or no? Shirt tucked in pants or not? And the shirt is white or may it be blue?
Shalom, Thank you for your question. First of all – blessings for the New Year. May your prayers arise together with those of all Israel to be a blessing for the whole world. As to the correct way to wear a tallit katan – you are correct that there are many different ways that Jewish men preform this mitzvah. The main thing is to be wearing a four corned garment which has kosher tzitzit strings at each corner. There are various customs as to the correct way to tie the tzitzit strings, and also many different customs as to how to wear the tallit garment itself. While many opinions talk about the importance of having the tzitzit strings worn outside, and not tucked in – some opinions and communities believe they should be tucked into ones shirt or pants. Most people wear the tallit katan garment under their shirt (often on top of an undershirt, so it doesn't get soiled – but it may be worn next to one's skin according to Jewish law). Some have the custom to wear the tallit katan over their shirt (often under a suit jacket or long chassidic frock). Eventually you will find a community just right for you, and then start dressing as they do. In the mean time – it is all good. Wear it as you wish, and feel free to change your style as you see fit. According to the letter of the law you are fine with any of the options. As to the color of your shirt – again, according to the law, all colors are fine (and you shouldn't worry that you're wearing the wrong thing). However, many have the custom of wearing a white shirt for Rosh HaShona and Yom Kippur – and many also have that custom for every Shabat and Festival. However, again, let me stress that these are minor customs, and that the important thing is to turn to Hashem with a full heart as a part of the Jewish people who want to accept His Torah. May you be blessed with a wonderful New Year.
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