by Gutman Locks
There was an argument at my Shabbos table. One of my guests was insistent, and I was adamant. He is in a Chassidic kolel, (married men full time Torah learning) and has been learning Torah and Chassidus for years, yet as far as I am concerned, he sums up exactly what is wrong with Torah education today.
The conversation went something like this:
Gutman: Do you sleep with your tzitzis? (a fringed Torah garment)
Guest: No. Why should I?
Gutman: Because they are gorgeous.
Guest: There is no obligation to sleep with your tzitzis on.
Gutman: But you are allowed to…, and if you loved them you would sleep with them. But since they are merely an obligation to you, you do not want to continue what seems to you to be a burden.
Who is correct?
According to halacha (Jewish law), you do not have to sleep with them on at night, but Rebbe Yehudah slept in his tzitzis. And the Ari, (the greatest Kabbalist) taught that you do have to sleep with them. He said that they help produce awe (or fear) of Hashem.
The reason the halacha says that we do not have to wear tzitzis when we sleep is because the commandment is to wear them so we will see them and be reminded of the commandments. Since one cannot see in the dark, there is no obligation to wear them at night.
The actual halacha is that we do not have to wear tzitzis at all, unless we are wearing a four cornered garment, then we are obligated. So, we purposely put on such a garment in order to fulfill the commandment.
But if you knew what tzitzis really were, you would not only wear them when you had to, but you would kiss them, and say to them, “I love you, and I am not going to take you off.”
 Gemora Menachot 43a