Tzitzis In or Out?

Should one’s tzitzit strings be exposed or tucked into one’s clothes?

In OC 23, the Beit Yosef writes, “the tallit katan – including the strings -- should be worn under one’s clothes.”

However, in OC 23:1, the Shulchan Aruch writes, “One is permitted to enter a cemetery while wearing tzitzit as long as the strings don’t drag upon the graves…In our day and age, however, when the tallit katan is worn specifically for the mitzva (and is not our primary style of dress), it is forbidden [to enter a cemetery] even if the strings do not drag upon the graves…but if the tzitzit strings are tucked in, then it is permitted”.

This seems to imply that tzitzit strings should be worn outside of one’s clothes.

How do we reconcile this contradiction?

It appears that the Shulchan Aruch prefers that one wear one’s tzitzit in an exposed manner (OC 24:1, 2). In fact, he prefers that the entire garment be exposed – not merely the strings, similar to the way most Chassidim wear their tallit katan today. However, perhaps this is simply his preference, but not a halachic requirement.

Of interest:

According to the following sources, the tzitzit should be tucked in: Shulchan Aruch Ha’arizal, OC 8:6,9; Rema OC 13:3; Aruch Hashulchan, OC 8:17; Yaskil Avdi, OC 5:3; Yechave Da’at 2:1; Igrot Moshe, OC 1:3; Vilna Gaon, Maase Rav, 17; Mahari Bruna, 97.

According to the following sources the tzitzit should be exposed: Magen Avraham 8:3; Levush 8:10; Mishna Berura 8:26; Aruch Hashulchan, OC 8:17.