Making knots at the end of strings

This article is an excerpt from our Sefer

   

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May one make knots at the end of the strings to prevent them from unraveling? [1]

Some[2] are accustomed to make a single knot at the ends of each of the eight strings in order to prevent the strings from unraveling. Others[3] however avoid doing so.[4] This especially applies if the strings are woven well and is thus uncommon to unravel. [The Chabad custom is to avoid making knots at the end of the strings.[5] Nevertheless, even those that avoid making knots are to find other ways in strengthening the ends of the Tzitzis to prevent them from unraveling.[6]]

 

Q&A

May one dip the tips of the Tzitzis in glue?[7]

Yes. This applies even to those who are particular not to make knots at the ends of the strings.

 

May one glue the top knots of the Tzitzis in order to prevent it from opening?

Yes.[8] However some[9] question whether doing so can consider the knot invalid.

 

Summary-Checklist for tying Tzitzis to a Tallis:

  • Purchase Tzitzis strings under a reliable Kashrus supervision.
  • Separate three normal length strings and one long string.
  • Some are accustomed to begin with the front corners of the Tzitzis.
  • Say “Lesheim Mitzvas Tzitzis” prior to entering the strings into the hole. Some repeat this statement throughout the tying and between corners.
  • Enter all four strings simultaneously into the hole.
  • Even out the strings so they are of equal length on both sides, aside for the long string which remains longer on one side.
  • Make a double knot.
  • The Tzitzis is to be tied to the side of the corner which will not be facing the floor while worn, in order to ensure that the braid of the Tzitzis hits the corner.
  • Some are particular not to tighten the knots onto the side of the corner in a way that it causes the corner to be pressed together and fold. [This is not relevant to the Chassidic Tallis Katan that has two holes.]
  • Make a sign [loop] on the Tzitzis of one side in order to keep them on the same side throughout the tying.
  • Begin to make the loops and knots. The loops may be made in any direction-right to left or left to right.
  • Make the loops of the 1st set: 3, 3, 1
  • Make a distance between each group of 3, 3, 1 in order so all the four sets are of equal space. Some are particular that each set is a space of exactly 2 cm.
  • Tie a double knot
  • Make the loops of the 2nd set: 2, 3, 3
  • Make a smaller distance between each group of 2, 3, 3 in order so all the four sets are of equal space. Some are particular that each set is a space of exactly 2 cm.
  • Tie a double knot
  • Make the loops of the 3rd set: 3, 3, 3, 2
  • Make a smaller distance between each group of 3,3,3,2 in order so all the four sets are of equal space. Some are particular that each set is a space of exactly 2 cm.
  • Tie a double knot
  • Make the loops of the 4th set: 1, 3, 3, 3, 3
  • Make a smaller distance between each group of 1, 3, 3, 3, 3 in order so all the four sets are of equal space. Some are particular that each set is a space of exactly 2 cm.
  • Tie a double knot


[1] 11/33

[2] First custom in Admur; Michaber 11/14; Rama 11/3; The Kaf Hachaim 11/13 brings from the Arizal that there is no need to refrain from doing so. The Mishnes Chassidim Tzitzis 2/8 writes that this should be done. Sefer Baal Shem Al Hatorah brings from Rav Pinchus Mikoreitz that it should be done to all the strings the day after tying them, in order so there be a total of 72 knots. The Sheveit Haleivi 10/8 is lenient if the strings will unwind.

[3] Second custom in Admur; Levush 11/14; M”A 11/23

[4] The reason: Some avoid making knots at the end of the strings in order not to add to the five knots that are made specifically to correspond to the numerical value of 613. [ibid] However see 263/1 regarding lighting more than 2 candles, which is permitted being that “One may add to a corresponding amount, so long as one does not subtract.”

[5] Sefer “Tzitzis Halacha Lemasseh” By Rav Yochanan Gurary 7/28; Heard from Harav Eliyahu Landa

[6] Ashel Avraham Butchach 11

[7] Shevet Halevi 10/8; Rav Gurary, author of Tzitzis Kehilchasa; Heard from Harav Eliyahu Landa

[8] See Shevet Halevi 10/8

[9] See ibid; Halacha Berurah 11/4; Piskeiy Teshuvos 11 footnote 85

 

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