Part I: Orach Chayim
Chapter 2 - FRINGES (TZITZIS)
A garment that has four or more square corners on opposite sides
(10:1-3,5-9,12) requires fringes (TZITZIS), provided it is big
enough to cover most of the body (see 16:1), is primarily used
for that purpose (10:10-11;19:1-2), and is owned by Jews (see 14:3,5).
TZITZIS are required when the garment is worn during the day, or when
it is worn at night if it is normally worn during the day; see 18:1-2.
The requirement of TZITZIS applies only to garments made of cloth (see
10:4), and is only rabbinical unless they are made of linen or sheep's
wool (9:1); according to some opinions, the garment or the TZITZIS
should not be of linen (9:2,6). The TZITZIS may be made either of wool
or of the same material as the garment (9:2-4); they may be white or of
the same color as the garment (9:5).
The threads used for TZITZIS should be spun and twisted for that purpose
by a Jew (11:1-2), and the TZITZIS themselves should be made by a
(preferably male) Jew (see 20:1), preferably for that purpose (14:1-2).
They should be made of material that is permitted and of good quality;
see 11:5-8. They should be at least 12 inches long (11:4, and see the
next paragraph). If they become untwisted they remain valid provided
they remain partly twisted (see 11:3), but they should be knotted at
the ends so they do not become untwisted (11:14). On what to do if some
of them break see 12:1-3.
The TZITZIS are passed through holes near the four corners of the garment
(see 11:9-11,15) that are farthest apart (10:1). Four TZITZIS are passed
through each hole (11:12-13), and the two groups of four ends are
double-knotted to each other at the edge of the garment near the hole
(11:14,15). One of the TZITZIS is made longer than the others (11:4);
the long end of that one is wound around the other seven ends and double-
knotted; this is done repeatedly so as to make a total of five double knots
separated by four sections of winding, with a total length of at least
four inches, leaving free-hanging ends that are twice that long (11:14).
TZITZIS should not be removed from a garment that is used by a person
except to insert them in another garment; see 15:1. If a piece
of a garment that has TZITZIS in it is attached to another garment, the
TZITZIS are not valid (15:2); but if the piece is big enough to wear,
TZITZIS may be inserted into its other corners (15:3). On cases where
a garment is torn, or a piece is added to it, near a corner see 15:4-6.
TZITZIS should be treated with respect even if they are no longer in a
garment (see 21:1,4), and so should a garment that has (had) TZITZIS
in it (see 21:2-3), but it is permitted to sleep in such a garment or
to wear it in the toilet (21:3) or in a cemetery (see 23:1-3).
It is not mandatory to wear a garment that requires TZITZIS, but if a person
wears such a garment, he is required to put TZITZIS in it (see 8:17), and it
is proper to wear such a garment every day, preferably all day, but
especially at prayer times (24:1,6). On borrowing such a garment (or other
religious objects) without permission see 14:4. It is proper to wear the
garment on top of one's other clothes (8:11;24:1) and to hold the TZITZIS
and look at them while reciting SHEMA (see 24:2,4-5 and Ch.6). A blind man
should wear TZITZIS even though he cannot see them (17:1), but it is not
proper for a woman to wear them (see 17:2). A child should start wearing
them when he is old enough to do it properly (17:3), as described in the
next paragraph. On giving a garment with TZITZIS to a non-Jew see 20:2.
A garment that has TZITZIS should be put on while standing (8:1). It
should be put on the upper body, and preferably (at least briefly) over
the head (see 8:2-3); the TZITZIS should hang down in front and back
(8:4). Each time such a garment is put on (see 8:12-15), the blessing
"...Who commanded us about TZITZIS" is recited (if the garment is big
enough: "...to cover ourselves with TZITZIS"); see 8:5-6. [This
blessing is not recited when making TZITZIS (19:2), but the blessing
"...Who kept us alive..." is recited then or when putting them on for
the first time (22:1).] The blessing may be recited after dawn, but
preferably when it is light enough to distinguish light from dark
threads (18:3). It is recited in the morning even if the TZITZIS were
worn all night or put on before dawn (8:16). Before reciting the
blessing, a person should look at the TZITZIS (24:3), separate them
(8:7), examine them closely to ensure they are intact (8:9), and
remember that he is wearing them to be reminded of all the Commandments
Shulchan Aruch, Copyright (c) 2000 Project