By Rabbi Berach Steinfeld
The Achronim ask a chakira regarding tzitzis. Is the “begged” of the tzitzis considered part of the mitzvah or is it considered a hechsher mitzvah, as we find that a house is just a hechsher for the mezuzah.
The Bais HaLevi in Chelek Alef, siman alef, ois heh and the Avnei Nezer Yoreh Deah, siman shin tzaddik say that the ikkar reason one puts on the “begged” of tzitzis is to have an extra covering on the body. The Kehillas Yaakov in Yevamos, siman zayin concurs and says the mitzvah of making tzitzis only applies to the strings of the tzitzis, but putting on the begged itself is not the mitzvah.
The Shailos U’Tshuvos Eretz Tzvi, chelek alef, siman alef disagrees and says that in our day and age the begged is also a part of the mitzvah as we put on this begged only for the mitzvah of tzitzis.
Reb Reuven Grozovsky brings down in his sefer on Sukah daf daled in the name of his father-in-law the Birchas Shmuel, that the mitzvah of tzitzis is dressing himself with the begged of tzitzis. Reb Reuven argued with his father-in-law and said the mitzvah is making the tzitzis and the putting on the begged is just a mechayev for putting on the strings of tzitzis. A problem arises if you hold that the begged is just a hechsher mitzvah based on the gemara in Yevamos daf daled where we see that an asseh pushes away a lo sa’aseh from the fact that one can wear k’laiim on his tzitzis. The question is if the begged is not part of the actual mitzvah, how could the hechsher mitzvah be docheh the lo saaseh of k’laiim? The answer could be that since there is no way to put on tzitzis without the begged despite the fact that the begged is only a hechsher mitzvah; nevertheless, it is still a key component to doing the mitzvah of tzitzis. Therefore, it would be docheh the issur of k’laiim.
The Bach in siman ches writes that the bracha of tzitzis is a birkas hanehenin. This would prove that wearing the begged of tzitzis is just a hechsher mitzvah and therefore one needs to enjoy the begged of tzitzis.
A difference that can result as per the above chakirah is if there is a mitzvah to buy a beautiful begged for the tzitzis. If the begged is part of the mitzvah, then one would be required to buy a nice begged as it says “zeh Kaili Ve’Anvehu.” If it is not part of the mitzvah, and is just a hechsher mitzvah, one would not be required to get a nice begged.
If you hold that the begged is part of the mitzvah, then one would have to wear the same beautiful begged both on Shabbos and weekday as the mitzvah of hiddur mitzvah comes before the mitzvah of kibbud Shabbos. The Mishmeres Chaim says that even if we hold that the begged is just the hechsher mitzvah, but once it has the tzitzis tied to it it becomes part and parcel of the mitzvah. Therefore one would be required to wear a nice begged both during the week and Shabbos.
Let us all be mekayem the mitzvah of tzitzis in a beautiful manner and not wear flimsy begadim of tzitzis. We will then be mekayem the mitzvah of tzitzis be’hidurah.