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Siman 11 . The Laws of Tzitzis The Laws of the Tzitzis Strings

11.1: (1) The [tzitzis] strings have to be spun (2) lishma (for the sake of the mitzva of tzitzis). {RAMA: Some authorities are machmir (stringent) to do nifutz (combing-the step before spinning) lishma. (3) However, the custom is to be lenient by nifutz (combing)} [This law requires] (4) that he should say (5) at the start of (6) the spinning that he is spinning for the purpose of tzitzis. [If a woman is doing the spinning, the law requires] (7) that he should say to her spin me some tzitzis for a tallis. If they were not spun for the purpose of tzitzis they are unfit [for use on a tallis].

MB 1: The strings - "The wording of the Rambam: One who finds tzitzis in the street even if they are cut off (perhaps it means cut off to size) and shezurim (twisted) they are unfit [for use on a tallis] because people go to lengths to make strings that look like tzitzis, therefore they might not have been made for the purpose of tzitzis. The Maggid Mishneh (The prime commentator on the Rambam's Mishneh Torah) disagrees. In the Kesef Mishneh (written by the author of the Shulchan Aruch) it is written that the Rambam withdrew this ruling later in a responsa." End of quote of the Magen Avraham. The Vilna Gaon in his commentary on Siman 301 wrote that the law is as the Rambam originally wrote. Look there.

MB2: Spun for their sake - This is a Torah law as it is written: Make gedilim (tassles, fringes) for yourself. [This implies] for the sake of your requirement (tzitzis).

MB3: To be lenient by nifutz (combing) - for that which it is written 'you shall make for yourself' refers to from spinning on for that is the primary making of the gedilim (tassels). Look in the Perisha [who writes] in the name of the Maharal of Prague who agrees that lechatchila (preferably) one should be stringent and do the nifutz (combing) for its sake (the sake of the mitzvah of tzitzis).

MB4: That he should say - out loud; not just with a thought. Even bedi'eved (after the fact) looking into is required as to whether thought helps. Look in Siman 32:9 and 32:19 and in the novella of R' Akiva Eger there.

MB5: At the start of - And that (saying I'm spinning for the purpose of tzitzis only at the start) is enough even for another day because min hastam (usually) the rest of the [spinning] is for the purpose [of tzitzis] for everyone who does (eg.spins), does so for his original reasons unless he says states explicitly that he's doing it not for the purpose [of tzitzis].

MB6: The spinning - If he spun a little and then he said [that it was for the purpose of tzitzis] it doesn't help for that which was already spun for we are unsure if we say that his later actions demonstrate [the purpose of] his earlier actions. If at the start he also thought that [his spinning] should be for the purpose [of tzitzis], but he just didn't say so out loud, it seems to me that one should lean towards ruling leniently in this case as it is a sfek sfeika (a double doubt - does the end demonstrate the beginning and is thinking instead of saying the purpose of the spinning good enough).

MB7: That he should say to the woman - He (the Mechaber (author) of the Shulchan Aruch) means to say at the start of the spinning alone. So too, if the woman herself says that she is spinning for the purpose of tzitzis it would help. She would also be believed to say that she stated [the purpose before spinning], whereas it is not so by a non-jew, deaf-mute, imbecile, or child who are not believed. A mummar (one who disregards a commandment) l'tei'avon (for pleasure reasons) who does not take the effort to attach tzitziz to his clothes is permitted to spin and is believed when he says that he spun lishma (for the purpose of tzitzis) and this certainly is the case if he only transgresses other commandments l'tei'avon. However, a mummar l'hachis (to make Hashem angry) is an apikores (heretic) for the entire Torah and is certainly spinning for his own purposes according to all authorities.

__________

11.2: If a (8) non-jew spun them (the tzitzis) with a jew (9) watching him, according to the Rambam they (the tzitzis) are (10) unfit (for fulfilling the commandment of tzitzis) and according to the (11) Rosh they are fit. {RAMA: (12) The custom is that the jew should help a little [with the spinning] as is mentioned later in Siman 32:9 and in Yoreh De'ah Siman 271 concerning Tefillin and Torah scrolls.} (13) They require (14) shezira (twisting) and the shezira must be done (15) lishma (for the sake of tzitzis).

MB8: Non-jews - Concerning the spinning of deaf-mutes, children, and imbeciles as to whether it helps that an adult jew is watching them and teaching them to spin lishma see Siman 460 in the Beis Yosef that there is a dispute about this and look in the Biur Halacha where we explained the consensus of the achronim (later authorities) in this.

MB9: Watching him - Look in the Biur Halacha where we wrote that this is only when the spinning isn't drawn out, but if the spinning is drawn out over a long time, then it appears that even according to the Rosh it doesn't help that which he taught the non-jew at the beginning of the spinning that he should do it lishma, and certainly if he interrupted the spinning and afterwards for another time he started to go back to spinning certainly all authorities agree that he did it for his own reasons and it's pasul.

MB10: Pasul - He holds that a non-jew spins for his own reasons and does not listen to the jew when he tells him to spin it lishma.

MB11: According to the Rosh it's kosher - In a pressing circumstance when he does not have a jew to spin for him lishma, he can rely on this, but otherwise he may not because in the commentary of the Gra he wrote that the opinion of the Tosafos and the Mordechai are also like the Rambam [which would make the majority of Rishonim (early authorities) disagree with the Rosh].

MB12: The custom is that he should help.. - All this is according to the Rosh, but according to the Rambam it doesn't help. Look in the achronim who rule that this custom is preferable but bedi'eved (after the fact) it is kosher even without any help at all according to the Rosh since the jew is watching him and teaching him to spin lishma. If the jew is not watching and telling [him to do it lishma], the helping [of the jew] does not help according to all authorities because we hold that helping is nothing.

MB13: And they require - It is referring to all tzitzis strings and not to those a non-jew spun, because in that case it does not help according to those that render them (tzitzis spun by a non-jew) pasul, even if a jew twisted them afterwards lishma.

MB14: Shezira - That is that he should double them after the spinning and he should twist them, for it is taught in the Sifri [that it says in the Torah] 'and they shall make for themselves tzitzis' I understand from this that he should make plain tzitzis. To teach us it says, 'and you shall put on the tzitzis of the corner a string of techeiles (blue wool)' [which implies] with spinning and twisting {like the mishkan [layer of the tabernacle] which was twisted, or a normal string which is twisted.} I would only say [the string of] techeilis [is required to be twisted], how do I know that the white [strings also require twisting]? The Torah said put techeiles, put white. Just like the techeiles must be spun and twisted, so too the white must be spun and twisted. Look in the Biur Halacha.

MB15 For their sake - because from spinning and on it's all part of the making since we rule that [tzitzis] require lishma. The Magen Avraham wrote that even bedi'eved (after the fact) it is me'akev (makes it unfit) if they were not twisted lishma. So too can be inferred from the commentary of the Gra (Vilna Gaon). However, there are those that are lenient bedi'eved even without twisting. Look in the Biur Halacha where we explained that one should not rely on this. However, if the twisting was regular (without a statement of lishma), one may be lenient bedi'eved (after the fact) since the spinning was lishma and whoever does, does so for his original reasons.

11.3: If they were separated from their shezirah (twisting) (16) and turned into sixteen [strings], they are kosher (fit for the mizvah). That is so long as there remains twisted, (17) k'dei aniva (enough string to form a loop). {Rama: Lechatchila (preferably) (18) it is proper to tie the strings below (at their tips) as [we see] later on in Se'if 14 in this Siman (Siman 11:14).}

MB16: And they became sixteen - that means that all eight strings came apart. This is to tell you how far the first part of the law goes [that even if all 16 come apart the tzitzis are still kosher]. However, the same law applies if only two strings come apart and become four that we still require that there be enough left over to tie, for if that is not the case it's pasul (unfit for the mizva) because it is as though he were missing two strings in his tzitzis which render them pasul if he was not careful at the time of the making that there should always be four ends on one side and like later at the beginning of Siman 12.

MB17: Enough to form a loop - Even though some authorities render it pasul if all the strings were cut off even if enough [string] to form a loop was left over, as is written in Siman 12, however, in the case of twisting we rely on the first opinion for the law is according to him, as the Magen Avraham and Pri Megadim rule there. Know too, that the Shulchan Aruch is referring only [to a case] where each string was doubled to two but if it was doubled and twisted to four or eight as we find nowadays and then it came apart to sixteen, even if there was not enough left over for tying, it is kosher, for the strings remained doubled to two. Concerning [why this is not contrary to] the prohibition of Bal Tossif (not adding on to a commandment eg. doubling to four or eight) look at the Biur Halacha.

MB18: It is proper to tie - There are some authorities who say the reverse; that it is better not to tie [the tips of the strings]. It is proper to be stringent if they are well twisted because it is unusual for them to come apart.

--shmuel@io.org--Shmuel-Weidberg--Toronto-Canada--

SHA_11.07

11.7: (33) Borrowed Strings are a loan [of money, rather than a borrowed item, since] he's not going to return the actual item. [Therefore,] it is (34) as if they are his.

MB 33: Borrowed strings - An explanation: any time we refer to "borrowing," we mean that he will return the same item, in the same form; but the language of loaning implies [that this is money] to be spent. These strings which are borrowed are considered a loan [of money], and they [the strings themselves] are considered his own [property, rather than borrowed].

MB 34: It is as if they are his - But if he loaned them to him with the understanding that he will return them to him in their [same] form, then the borrower does not make a blessing on them, because we can say that they were loaned to him to do a different (type of) work. But if a person loaned fringes (tzitzis) already made, then the borrower may put them onto his Talis and make a blessing on them, for certainly they were given to him as "a gift on condition that it be returned" [a method of giving an item to someone, in order that the latter should 'own' it, and yet be certain of getting the item back]. And it is like that which is written in chapter 14 on the topic of a tallis.

11.8: If someone bows to a sheep, (35) its wool (36) is invalid (37) for tzitzis (fringes). If someone bows to flax that is [still] (38) planted, then the flax is kosher for tzitzis because it is changed.

MB 35: Wool - Even though a thing which has been worshipped is not forbidden except as a korban (sacrifice), but for common things, it is permissible. Nevertheless, it is forbidden for the mitzvah of tzitzis [to use the wool of a worshipped animal], since they are needed for an exalted purpose, and this wool is disgusting against the exalted - since it does not change that much, for it still looks and appears that it is wool. This is not the case with bowing to flax which is planted, for the flax is like a tree [in appearance], and since the flax is then made into strings the initial appearance has been replaced [the general principle is that making a change in the status of an item - like from growing plant to string - can render that which was forbidden, permissible, since it is no longer the same item].

MB 36: Invalid - See the Magen Avraham (on chapt. 586 paragraph 6) who concludes that according to the M'chaber [lit. "writer" - R' Caro, author of the Shulchan Aruch] they are invalid only l'chatchila (at first) because of it being disgusting, but if they were used (after the fact) one has fulfilled the mitzvah. So too, the Gra writes in this chapter that the topic of "after the fact" is a disagreement.

MB 37: For tzitzis (fringes): The Olas Tomid writes that wool which already growing on the sheep at the time it was worshipped is forbidden, and all the more so that which was grown later. The Bnei Chaiya writes the opposite: that that which is grown after of the worshipping is permissible.

MB 38: Planted - But flax which was already harvested would become forbidden even for common usage by the law of idol worship, and no change would help - because now the flax will retain its status [it was, and remains, "weaving material" ever since it was harvested].

11.9: (39) One should make the hole [where the Tzitzis will be inserted] (40) in the length of the garment, (41) and not above 3 fingers - because (43) that would not be called "kanaf" (the corner) - (44) and not less than (45) the size of the knuckle of the thumb (46) until the fingernail, because it is said "upon the corner" and if it was less than from the knuckle of the thumb it would be considered "under the corner." {Rama: And we measure this (47) straight from the sides and not on the diagonal from the corner.}

MB 39: Make a hole - The Beis Yosef [R' Yosef Caro, author of the Shulchan Aruch, in his commentary on the Tur - a preceding legal compilation] writes that even though there are those who say to make two holes like the Hebrew vowel "tzeirei") [two dots next to each other, ..] and to put the tzitzis in them and have them come out on one side, there is no reason to worry about doin this. And one who tries to be 'stringent' in this area is not from those who are stringent, but rather from those who appear arrogant - so says R' Caro. The Bach writes that on the small talis, one should make 2 holes, for this would not seem arrogant since they are not visible to the pubic. And similarly he writes that the Ari Zal [R' Yitzchak Luria] did this. This became the prevailing custom in Poland, but in Germany and Hagar (? - Ger?) we do not do this. V'Nehara Nehara U'Pashtei [Idiomatic - R. A. B. didn't translate. I think the meaning is that different customs developed in different places according to tradition. Corrections would be appreciated. - YM]

MB 40: In length - See later in MB52, that which has been written there.

MB 41: Not more than 3 - For that is not called the corner of the garment, but rather (it is called) the garment (itself), and the Torah writes "on the corners of your garments." The Beis Yosef writes that it is permissible to make the hole at exactly three tight fingers from the side. Many poskim (legal decisors) differ on this and they hold that since it is 3 fingers-breadths into the garment, that is called on the garment and not the corner. Therefore one should be careful to begin the hole _within_ 3 fingers. The Magen Avraham writes that if one made the hole more than 3 fingers away, this is invalid even if he ties the tzitzis so tightly that it folds the garment over, and brings the corner to within 3 fingers, because nonetheless that corner is the necessary size to be considered a garment itself. So too if he made the hole more than the thumb knuckle's distance, and then ties it so tightly that the garment folds inwards to less than the required distance, it is still Kosher because nonetheless the corner is still the required size.

MB 43: It is not called a corner - It prevents (doing the mitzvah) even after the fact [even if he made tzitzis this way already, they are no good]. And even if after one puts on the tzitzis - or even attached only one string - he cut the the hole so that the tzitzis would come further down, even here it would be invalid because one must make the tzitzis and not put on tzitzis which were already made. The opposite is also the law: if one tied the Tzitzis within a thumb knuckle of the edge, and then cut inwards, brought up the tzitzis and sewed up the bottom part - or alternatively added on to the garment below the tzitis - this also has the problem of "ready-made" tzitzis. If one has a tallis which had tzitzis on it according to the halacha, and then one finds in the silken edge of the tallis threads of linen - requiring that that area be removed from the tallis - it is proper to be stringent and to remove the tzitzis and retie them.

MB 44: And not less - It will prevent the mitzvah even after the fact. And it appears to me that the entire hole also should be above this, and even this might also prevent performance of the Mitzvah, even after the fact, and see the Bi'ur Halacha.

MB 45: The size of [the knuckle] - measured, obviously, on an average person.

MB 46: Until the fingernail - Where the fingernail meets the flesh.

MB 47: Straight - Meaning from the edge of the garment measure the 3 fingers directly. Similarly the measurement for the thumb both in width & length, as we see later at the end of paragraph 10. And we do not measure these distances along the diagonal, because by using the diagonal one would reduce the length [from the edges] approximately two fifths.

A.B. SHA_11.10 Siman 11. Laws of the Strings of the Tzitzis (cont.)

11.10: If the Tzitzis were originally hung a distance equal to the length or a thumb's joint from the garment's corner, and then some of (49) the weave of the garment (48) fell apart, so that the required distance no longer remained between the edge of the garment and the place the Tzitzis were hung, nevertheless, it remains kosher, since the proper distance existed (50) at the time these Tzitzis were hung. {Ram"a: The custom is to make a hem around the hole through which the Tzitzis are hung, so that the garment will not tear there and leave (51) less than the required distance, and similarly, one makes a hem around the outer edge of the garment for the same reason.} (52) There are those who say that (53) there is no minimum distance from the edge of the garment in the width-wise direction, but there are those who say that the law regarding the width is the same as the law regarding the length, and this view appears correct. MB48: Fell apart - The same law applies if there was a tear in the hole to the point that the required distance no longer existed, and this is so even if the tear occurred immediately after he had tied the first loop, as discussed shortly. MB49: The weave of the garment - As a result of this falling apart, the length of the garment was lessened. As will be explained below, the same rule applies to the width of the garment. MB50: At the time - This is based on the verse, "And they will make Tzitzis for themselves on the corners of their garments". From this we learn that the Torah was particular that the Tzitzis be in the corner only at the time that they were made and not necessarily thereafter. However, this rule applies only to those Tzitzis which were hung in a proper fashion; however, if he wishes to place new Tzitzis on the garment, which would constitute a new "making," it would not be acceptable until he first repaired the garment, as is set out later in Siman 15. MB51: Less than the required distance - Even though, in the absence of doing so, it would be acceptable after the fact, it is nevertheless best for him to make this hem, so that observers will not say that he is wearing improper Tzitzis, since not everyone is familiar with the law. MB52: There are those who say - The basis for this opinion is that the primary connotation of Kanaf, "corner," would refer to the bottom edge of the length of the garment and not to the width of the garment. For these purposes, the "width" of the garment refers to the vertical dimension from the head towards the feet, while the "length" refers to the horizontal dimension in which one enwraps oneself in a garment. MB53: There is no minimum distance - That is to say, there is no minimum dimension and the Tzitzis can be hung even less than the measure of a thumb joint from the edge of the garment. However, it is not acceptable to hang them more than the size of 3 fingers from the edge. ----------

11.11: If the threaded area which is (54) called "orlaiza" (not a Hebrew word) (55) is broad, he should not place the Tzitzit/Tzitzis there, and if they were placed there, they are not acceptable, since the Torah says "On the corners of your garments", and this is not considered to be part of the garment. However, this area does count towards the minimum and maximum distances of a thumb's joint and (56) 3 fingers, respectively, so long as the hole the Tzitzit/Tzitzis are placed in is within the garment itself. {Ram"a: It is best if he takes the minimum measurement of a thumb's joint (57) without the fringe and still places the hole within 3 fingers of the edge of the fringe.} MB54: Called "orlaiza" - The "orlaiza" is an area in which threads are left hanging without cross-threads and are then woven together only at the edge. There are those who have written that this is what is called, in Yiddish, "krikes". There is no distinction whether the fringe is in the length or width of the garment. MB55: Is Broad - The reference to a wide fringe means one which is larger than a thumb's joint, for if this is not the case, it appears that it would in any case not be acceptable. MB56: Three fingers - That is, that he should not make the hole more than 3 fingers' distance from the [outside edge of the] fringe. MB57: Without the fringe - If the fringe is wider than 2 or 3 fingers, he should trim it down. The same law applies if there are threads without cross-threads or vice versa -- there is doubt whether they count for purposes of measuring where the Tzitzit/Tzitzis should be hung, and therefore he should trim the threads at the corners. Therefore, the edge of our Tallis, which we call the "shlak" in Yiddish, which does not have woven threads, should be trimmed before the Tzitzit/Tzitzis are placed in the corners. ---------- 11.12. The number of threads of Tzitzis which is hung in each corner is (58) four doubled threads, (59) which makes 8 threads. If he increased the number of threads, the Tzitzis are (60) not acceptable. One should (61) cut off the tips of the 4 threads, push them through the corner, and double them up, so that they will be 8. MB58: Four doubled threads - As it says in the Gemara, "G'dil would be 2, G'dilim are 4". This means that, if the Torah had used the word G'dil, which means fringe, it would have meant that 2 threads are required, since there is no fringe with fewer than 2 threads. Since the Torah used the plural form "G'dilim", it means 4 threads. At the time when Techailes was available, 2 threads were dyed with this material and 2 threads were white; now, we use white instead of this and make 4 long white threads. MB59: Which makes 8 threads - After the threads are placed in the garment, they are doubled over. This is derived from the Torah's use of the word "P'sil" which is similar to the word "P'sila", which means a wick, which is doubled over. MB60: Not acceptable - The reason for their unacceptability is that he violated the prohibition of "Bal Tosif" (not to add on the Torah's Mitzvos). However, the Gr"a is of the opinion that this is not a violation of Bal Tosif and that the only situation in which the Gemara ruled that such Tzitzis are unacceptable is when an additional species, such as canvas or cotton, is added to the threads. According to this view, it would be acceptable, even from the start [l'chatchila - if he came to ask before making his Tallis], to add on an unlimited number of additional woolen threads. This is also the view of several great Rishonim, and therefore, one would conclude according to this view, that if such Tzitzis (with extra woolen threads) were already made, and it was impossible to fix them, a person would be permitted to wear the garment; however, as soon as it was possible to remedy the situation, he would be required to do so. All agree that with fewer than 4 threads the Tzitzis are unacceptable. MB61: Cut off - This means that it is proper to cut the threads (from the ball of thread) prior to putting them through the corner of the garment. It is best to tear the threads with the teeth, rather than with a knife.

Kol Tuv, Yechiel Pisem ypisem@dorsai.dorsai.org

SHA_11.13

Siman 11. The Laws of the Strings of the Tzitzis (Continued)

11:13. (62) One should be careful to cut the ends of the strings (so that there are four doubled strings and not one long string that is folded over four times, placed through the hole and doubled again - that is considered one string) to make them into eight, before he begins wrapping them (making the loops), because if he wrapped even (63) one link {meaning, the part of the Tzitzis between two knots} (64) tied them one time and then cut them the Tzitzis are posul because of the general principle of "you shall do - and not from that which is already done," because (if he wrapped and knotted the Tzitzis before he cut them) he made them in an invalid manner.

MB 62: One should be careful - He means to say that if he ignored the fact that it was one long string and did not cut them before he inserted them (into the corner of the garment) nevertheless he should be careful now before wrapping them - and look in the Taz.

MB 63: One link - even if it has only three loops.

MB 64: And knotted etc. - He means to say that if he made one link and knotted it after the link even only one time he fulfilled his Torah obligation, even if he didn't even tie a knot near the corner (before he wrapped the Tzitzis) -- and if so [if he did this before cutting the long string into four], he violates the principle of "you shall do - and not from that which is already done" [as described earlier - the garment and strings must be completely prepared, or else he is using 'prefab' tzitzis, that were made before being Kosher to use]. But if he didn't tie a knot after the link was formed - even if he tied a knot before the link - he still did not complete the Tzitzis, because without the knot the link will unravel, and [it is as if] there is no braided (wrapped) part [which is required by the Torah] - and he can therefore cut the Tzitzis now. And there are those that are more stringent about this [requiring that the strings be unraveled and re-tied], and it is better to adhere to that ruling. And you should know, that when it says "one knot" it means from the five knots that one normally makes when tying Tzitzis, which are double knots like it is explained later, but if the knots are not double they are not considered knots because they will not remain tied.

11:14. He should take four strings from each side (after he inserts the four strings into the hole and doubles them) and make a double knot. After that he should wrap the long string around the other seven a few times and make a double knot and then wrap it some more times. He should continue to do this until he has five double knots with four spaces between them that are full of wrappings. There is no predetermined number (65) of loops (66) only that all the knots with the wrappings should be four (67) (68) thumb widths and the hanging strings should be eight thumb widths. {Rema: and if he made the Tzitzis longer, he should be careful that one third should be the braided part (69) and two thirds the unbraided part} and we are accustomed to wrap the Tzitzis seven times in the first space, (70) nine in the second, 11 in the third and 13 in the fourth which add up to 40 (7+9+11+13) like the numerical value of "Ha-shem echad" (the name of Ha-shem (yud=10, 2*he=10 and vov=6 is 26 and the word one in Hebrew (echad) is Aleph (1), Ches (8) and Daled (4) a total of 13) and with the singularity of Ha-shem a grand total of 40. And people are accustomed to tying a knot (71) at the end of every string so that the strings don't unravel.

MB 65: Of loops - He means to say the number of wrappings and also the number of links and knots are not critical, but only that it is a special mitzvah, because the five knots signify the five books of the Torah, the doubling of the knots equals 10 representing the 10 countings of Hakadosh Boruch Hu like is mentioned later in Siman 24 and for the reason for the links look in the Beis Yosef.

MB 66: Only that etc. - And that which it states in 11:13 "that if he wrapped even one link" (which seems to indicate that there is a Torah requirement to have some links) I will explain the root of the issue: The Sages understood that in Tzitzis we require a braided part which is the part that must be wrapped as it says in the Torah "Braided strings you should make for yourself" and also that there should be loose strings as it says "Tzitzis" like the word used in another place "in the Tzitzis of the head" (This is a phrase in Yechezkel 8:3 where the word Tzitzis refers to hair), however, from the Torah there is no requirement to the length of the braided part, if he only made three loops with a knot on it that suffices according to the law handed down to Moshe at Sinai and is considered a braided string and this is already sufficient for the Torah law and this is the reason of the Shulchan Aruch. One can rely on this right before Shabbos when he has no time to make the Tzitzis properly and he can go out (it is not considered carrying) and make a bracha on the Tzitzis. [It is better to make the knot before the link like we are accustomed to doing, because there are opinions that rule that the knot referred to - requiring one link and one knot - is the knot before the loops.] All this is according to Torah law, but rabbinically one must make the Tzitzis one third braided, and two thirds unbraided and since the total length of the Tzitzis are 12 thumb widths, like was stated earlier in 12:4, one should make the Tzitzis 4 thumb widths braided and leave eight loose - because that is the beauty of Tzitzis. Therefore if he made one link before Shabbos he must complete the rest of the Tzitzis immediately after Shabbos, because if he doesn't he is transgressing a rabbinical decree and there are those that are not careful with this (literally - they stumble with this).

MB 67: Wide etc. - This is the proper way a priori, but after the fact even if most of the Tzitzis are bound it is permissible, because there is an unbound section. But if he wrapped the entire Tzitzis they are posul.

MB 68: Four thumb widths - with the knots. In the R"EM it is written between each pair of knots there should be one thumb width. The R"osh wrote that all the links should be the same width because this beautifies the Tzitzis, and therefore in the first area he should loop the Tzitzis loosely and after that in each space the loops should be closer together.

MB 69: And two thirds the unbraided part - Look in the explanation of the Maharshal on the Smag, and according to all rulings this is not critical post facto.

MB 70: And nine in the Second - And in the Kavanos it is written that the second link should contain 8 loops, and the later commentaries agreed to this because seven and eight is the name of Yud - Hei (same numerical value - Yud=10 and Hei=5, total of 15) after that there should be 11 loops and with the initial 15 this is a total of 26 the name of Yud-Hei then Vov-Hei (26) and after that 13, the numerical value of "echad" (one - see above in the Shulchan Aruch for the calculation) and this is "Ha-shem echad."

MB 71: At the end of every string - Look previously in MB 18 what we wrote there. It is proper to make the strings of medium thickness - not thin and not thick because of "this is my G-d and I will beautify Him." (The standard sorce for beautifying Mitzvos.)

11:15 There are those that say that one is required to hang the Tzitzis (72) along the length of the Tallis because the Tzitzis (73) should drape the edge {this means that they should hang from the edge} and if they are on its width they won't be draping the corner because they are hanging towards the ground. There are those that say that one should not place (74) any cloth in the holes, of the Tallis, that one places the Tzitzis in (75) and there are those that permit this and the custom is according to the second opinion.

MB 72: Along the length of the Tallis - Look earlier in MB 52 what is considered the length and look in the Beur Halacha (where it is pointed out that the length is that direction which is wrapped around the person and the width is the dimension that is along the height of the man. However there are those that question this - that when the Tzitzis are put along the length of the Tallis, the upper two Tzitzis will not drape over the corner of the Tallis and they therefore state that it is better that the upper two be along the length and the lower two along the width of the Tallis. However, this is all the optimum but even if they are not draping over the corner the Tallis is still fine.)

MB 73: Should etc. - that is at the time when the Tzitzis are attached or at some later point if they move to the bottom of the Tallis he should return them. All this is a priori, but post facto there is no strictness. However, one should be very careful that the Tzitzis should not hang directly on the corner at an angle because this was the Karaite (those that rejected the Oral Law) custom and if they are hanging like that it is a Mitzvah to move back to the rightful position.

MB 74: Any cloth - Because we require that the Tzitzis should be placed on the corner and not on something that is placed on the corner.

MB 75: And there are those that permit - Because this is only done to strengthen the garment so that it does not rip and it is ancillary to the garment, and even if it is made of leather (which doesn't require Tzitzis) it is permissible and the authorities agreed to this.

Binyamin Rudman


 
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