What do you do with Tzitzis after they become Pasul?


Tzitzis strings are considered tashmishei mitzvah, articles used for a mitzvah. This means that they themselves are not sacred; they are merely used for a mitzvah. Therefore, after they have been detached from a Tallis, they may be discarded, even put in the garbage. So long as they are attached to a Tallis, however, it is forbidden to use them for any mundane purpose, e.g., to use them to tie an object or the like, for this would indicate disrespect for the mitzvah.

Some authorities hold that even after they have been detached they may not be treated disrespectfully, e.g., by being thrown in the garbage or in any repulsive place. (They may, however, be discarded in a respectful manner.) One is not obliged to bury them, however, for they are not intrinsically holy.

Although the Halachah follows the first opinion, the Alter Rebbe writes that blessings come upon any man who is stringent and precise in his observance of the mitzvos and follows the second view.

There are, however, pious individuals who are stringent to bury worn-out tzitzis (or treat it as sheimos) or use the strings as bookmarks for seforim, having in mind that since they were used for one mitzvah, they should now be used for another.

It’s acceptable to put the tzitzis in geniza together with the Tallis, even though the Tallis per se doesn’t require geniza.


עפ”י שוע”ר סי’ כא סעי’ א.

וראה כאן שקו״ט בכ״ז.

May one clean his glasses with a Tallis Gadol or Tallis Katan?