The hole in the corner

This article is an excerpt from our Sefer

   

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The hole in the corner of the Tallis:

The hole in the corner of the Tallis Katan serves as the area through which the Tzitzis is tied to the corner. There are various laws relating to the location of this hole on the corner.

 

Must one specially use a hole in the corner to tie the Tzitzis to the Tallis, or may other methods of attachment also be used?

Using specifically a hole to achieve the attachment of the Tzitzis to the Tallis is brought in all Poskim as the natural way of tying the Tzitzis, even though there is no explicit source which requires specifically a hole. The earlier Poskim do not discuss whether one can attach the Tzitzis through alternative methods, such as sewing or gluing the strings onto the corner, and then making the Tzitzis braid, or through sewing a loop onto the corner and tying the Tzitzis to this loop. Practically, the later Poskim [1] negate the use of other methods of attachment due to various reasons and hence a hole is the only valid method of attaching the Tzitzis to the corner.

 

A. Where is the hole to be made?[2]

The Tzitzis must be tied to the area that is Halachicly defined as the corner of the garment.[3] It may not be tied above or below this defined area. For this reason, the corner hole to which the Tzitzis are tied must be made in this specific area. If one made the hole above or below this Halachicly defined area, and consequently the Tzitzis are not tied to the Halachic corner dimensions, the Tzitzis which are attached to it is invalid.

The dimensions of the corner: The top dimension of the corner is three Gudlin [5.9 cm[4]] from the edge of the corner.[5] The bottom dimension of the corner is a distance of Kesher Gudal[6], which is approximately two thumb worth’s[7] [4 cm[8]], from the edge of the corner.[9] This dimension is measured from both the bottom [length] and side [width] edge of the garment.[10] Thus, one may not make the hole higher than 5.9 cm from the bottom edge, or further out than 5.9 cm from the side edge, and may not make [any part of[11]] it lower than 4 cm from the bottom edge, or within 4 cm from the side edge, and if one does so the Tzitzis is invalid.[12] This applies to both a Tallis Katan and Gadol.[13] The hole is to be made slightly[14] within these dimensions [i.e. 4.1 x 5.8], and is not be made exactly on the 4 cm or 5.9 cm mark.[15] [The back of the knot that is tied to this hole is not to stretch beyond these dimensions.[16] In summary, the hole must be made within 4-5.9 cm from both the width and length of the corner egde, which is within a 4 x 5.9 and 5.9 x 4 space from the edge. This leaves slightly less[17] than 2 x 2 cm of space in the corner for the hole to be made within. Practically, the custom is to make the hole on the 4.5-5 cm mark.[18] See the picture brought in end of this Halacha!]

How to measure the dimensions?[19] The top dimension of three Gudlin [5.9 cm] and the bottom dimension of Kesher Gudal [4 cm] are measured in a straight line from both the bottom and the side edge of the Tallis. It is not measured in diagonal from the edge of the corner. These dimensions are measured from the edge of the corner when it is spread open and does not contain any folds, as explained next.

If the corner folded while the Tzitzis were tied: If the hole was made above or beyond its legal dimensions [beyond 5.9 cm], it remains invalid even if one folded and pressed the bottom of the corner together through tying the Tzitzis, and hence affected that the hole is now within the legal dimensions when measured from the folded edge.[20] Likewise, if the hole was made within its proper dimensions, the Tzitzis remain valid even if as a result of the tying the corner became pressed and folded to the point the hole is now below the required dimensions.[21] [See Q&A regarding if this may be done even initially!]

 

Summary:

The hole must be made within 4-6 cm [exact measurement is within 5.875 cm] from both the width and length of the edge of the corner. If it is made outside of these dimensions, it is invalid. Practically, the custom is to make the hole on the 4.5-5 cm mark.

 

Q&A

Must the entire hole be made within the 4-6 cm area, or so long as part of the hole is in the area it is valid?[22]

Initially, the entire hole is to be made within the area. If one made the hole partially above the 6 cm mark from the top, then it is valid so long as the Tzitzis rest within the 6cm area. If however one made the hole even partially below 4 cm then it is invalid.

 

May one tighten the Tzitzis in a way that it presses and folds the corner material that is between the edge and the hole?

Some Poskim[23] rule one may even initially tighten the Tzitzis in a way that it causes the corner material to fold and be pressed together. Furthermore, doing so is even a Hiddur.[24] Others[25] however rule that this is not initially to be done. It is possible to learn from Admur in the Siddur like either the first or second opinion.[26] Practically, the custom of the world is like the first opinion[27], and so was done by various Gedolei Yisrael.[28] However, there are Chabad Chassidim that are stringent in this matter.[29] [The above matter is only relevant by Talleisim that contain only one hole, such as a Tallis Gadol, and a Tallis Katan of the non-Chassidic sects. However, by the Tallis Katan of Chassidim which has two holes, this entire matter is irrelevant, as the Tzitzis is never tied onto the side of the Tallis and hence folding of the sides is inapplicable.]

 

If one of the corner holes was made in the wrong dimension may one tie Tzitzis to the other valid corners prior to fixing it?[30]

Yes. The Tzitzis may be tied to the other corners even prior to it being fixed.

  

B. Change of area due to tearing in corner:

Tearing the hole if made beyond legal area?[31] If the hole was made beyond its legal dimensions of thee Gudlin [i.e. beyond 6 cm], and the Tzitzis was tied to this hole, the Tzitzis remains invalid even if one later cuts the hole in a way that the Tzitzis now falls within its legal dimensions of three Gudlin [i.e. below 6 cm].[32] [If however one cut the hole before tying the Tzitzis onto it, then one may even initially tie the Tzitzis to this cut hole. Likewise, even in the event that the Tzitzis was tied prior to cutting the hole, one may now remove the Tzitzis and cut the hole, and then re-attach it to the cut hole.[33] If one made even one loop and knot in an invalid corner hole, it must be undone prior to fixing the dimensions of the corner.[34]]

If the hole tore and the Tzitzis now lies below legal area:[35] The bottom dimension discussed above, which requires the Tzitzis to be attached to an area that is a distance of at least 4 cm from the bottom and side edge, is only required during the initial attachment of the Tzitzis. However, if the Tzitzis was tied to a hole that was made within its proper dimensions, then the Tzitzis remains valid even if the hole later tore, whether vertically [downwards] or horizontally [towards the side], and the Tzitzis descended and is no longer a 4 cm distance from the edge.[36] It remains valid even if the hole tore until the rim of the corner, and the Tzitzis is hanging by a mere thread that is under the hole.[37] One is not required to sew the tear so long as the Tzitzis is hanging on even a mere thread.[38] Nevertheless, initially it is proper to strengthen the hole in a way that it will not tear, as explained in C. If the hole tore prior to placing the Tzitzis into the hole, then one may not tie Tzitzis to this hole until he sews it in a way that it returns to its proper dimensions.[39] The same applies if one is replacing Tzitzis onto a torn hole, that it must be properly sewn prior to tying the new Tzitzis.[40]

If the bottom of the corner tore off:[41] Following the above ruling, if after tying the Tzitzis to a hole that was made within its proper dimensions, a tear occurred in the area of the corner which is under the hole, to the point that the hole now measures less than 4 cm from the edge, the Tzitzis nevertheless remain valid.[42] It remains valid even if the corner tore until the rim of the hole and the Tzitzis remains hanging by a mere thread that is under the hole.[43] If however the corner tore prior to placing the Tzitzis into the hole, then one may not tie Tzitzis to this hole until he sews the missing piece in a way that the hole is now found within its proper dimensions.[44] The same applies if one is replacing Tzitzis onto a torn corner, that the torn piece must be sewed back onto the corner.[45]

 

Summary:

If the Tzitzis was originally tied to a hole of correct dimensions, it remains valid even if the hole eventually tore. If however one desires to replace the Tzitzis of that corner with a different set, then one must first fix the hole prior to tying the new Tzitzis.

 

Q&A

If the hole tore and the Tzitzis is now hanging below its proper dimensions, should one Lechatchila fix the tear and resew it?

One is not required to do so even Lechatchila, and may leave the tear in place, as stated above.[46] Some[47] however learn that it is  Hiddur Mitzvah to initially fix the tear.

 

Is the Tzitzis valid if the hole tore and the Tzitzis is hanging on the tread of the rim of the hole, or the rim of the Tallis?[48]

Yes. So long as it is hanging on a thread that is attached to the Tallis, it is valid.

 

If the hole of the corner completely tore and the Tzitzis remains hanging from the square cloth placed in back of the corner, is it valid?

Some Poskim[49] rule it is invalid. Others[50] rule the Tzitzis remains valid, and so is implied from Halacha 11F!

 

Does the hole remain Kosher if it ripped upwards towards the inside of the Tallis?[51]

Yes. So long as the Tzitzis rests within the 4-6 cm area, and does not move around, it remains Kosher irrelevant as to how long the hole may stretch.

 

If one of the corner holes completely tore and have to be fixed to the right dimensions, must one remove the Tzitzis from all the corners of the Tallis prior to fixing it, and then replace the Tzitzis?

No. The Tzitzis may remain on the other corners while it is being fixed.[52] If however there are a number of corners that need fixing, [such as a number of the corner holes were made in incorrect dimensions] then some Poskim[53] hold one is to remove all the Tzitzis of the invalid holes, fix it and then replace it. Others[54] rule this is not necessary.

 

C. Sewing the rim of the hole and edges of the corner:[55]

It is initially proper [and so is the custom[56]] to sew a rim around the holes to which the Tzitzis are tied, in order to prevent the hole from tearing and causing the strings to fall below the 4 cm mark.[57] Likewise, one is to sew a rim onto the edge of the corners, in order to prevent the corner from tearing off or wearing out, hence causing the hole to be less than 4 cm from the edge.

What material is one to sew with?[58] Some Poskim[59] rule it is forbidden to sew the rim of the holes for the purpose of preventing tearing, using a white thread which is a valid material for the Tzitzis of this garment.[60] Practically, although there are Poskim that argue on this opinion, nevertheless one is to be stringent if possible. According to all opinions one may use a colored thread for this sewing.[61] [Thus, on a wool garment one is not to use white wool threads to sew the hole of the corner. On a cotton garment one is neither to use wool nor cotton white threads, and is to use threads of other materials.] See Halacha 11E and 13F for the full details of this subject!

 

D. How to measure the dimensions when there is material that extends pass the edges of the corner:

A trim that extends past the edge of the Tallis:[62] If there is a trim attached to the edge of the Tallis for the purpose of strengthening its edge, then the trim is considered as part of the garment in regards to the 4-6 cm measurement, although not regarding tying the Tzitzis to its material. Thus, even if the trim is very wide [more than 4 cm], and hence allows one to distance 4 cm from the edge of the trim and still have room to make the hole on the trim, nevertheless one may not do so, as it is not considered the natural corner.[63] This applies whether the fringe is made on the side or bottom of the Tallis.[64] On the other hand, the hole for the Tzitzis must be made a 4-6 cm distance from the edge of the trim, and not from the natural edge of the garment, without the trim. One must therefore beware that the hole is not made more than a 6 cm distance from the edge of the trim.[65] Nonetheless, although the trim is included in the measurement of 4-6 cm distance, one is to initially make the hole a 4 cm distance also from the natural edge, and hence have the hole near the 6 cm mark when measured from the edge of the trim.[66] [Accordingly, if the trim is 1 cm wide, one is to make the hole 5 cm distance from the edge of the trim, which is 4 cm distance from the natural edge.] If the trim is too wide for this to be accomplished [i.e. trim is more than 2 cm] then one is to shave part of the trim in order to for the above dimensions to be made.[67] [Practically, in order to avoid complications, one is not to have any trim near the corner, and is to cut off the trim for a 6 cm diameter of each side of the corner.[68]

Threads that extends past the edge of the Tallis:[69] If there are threads that extend past the edge of the Tallis, it is questionable as to whether these threads are considered part of the garment or not, being they are not woven. Therefore, one must beware when making the hole that it is not more than a 6 cm distance from the edge of these threads.[70] If the thread is too long, one is to trim part of it. One must also beware to measure the 4 cm from the natural edge of the garment, excluding the threads.[71] [Accordingly, the thread may not be more than 2 cm long, as otherwise one will be unable to position the hole within 6 cm from the edge of the thread, and also at a distance of 4 cm from the natural edge of the garment. Practically, in order to avoid complications, one is not to have any threads near the corner, and is to cut off all threads for a 6 cm diameter of each side of the corner.[72]

 

Summary:

Any material that extends past the natural edges of the corners has to be taken into account when measuring the 4-6 cm distance. Therefore, in order to avoid complications, one is not to have any threads or additional material near the corner and is to cut off all material for a 6 cm diameter of each side of the corner. One may have material extend past the edge of the Tallis if it is distanced 6 cm from either side of the corner.

 

Q&A

Bells and loops on Tallis:[73]

It is customary to place loops and bells on the edge of a Tallis Gadol [and in some Chassidic communities, also by the Tallis Katan] as a sign of beauty.[74] Based on above, one must beware that there are no loops or bells within 6 cm of any corner. It is for this reason that Tallis manufacturers only make the bells in the middle of the Tallis and distance themselves from adding any material in approximation to the corners. If there are bells or loops in this area of the corner, one is to cut it off. If one did not cut it off prior to tying the Tzitzis, he is to untie the Tzitzis, cut it off, and then retie it.[75]

 

E. A folded corner:[76]

In the event that one folded the edge of his Tallis and then sewed it, hence elevating the original corner towards the garment, and subsequently creating a new corner, the question is asked as to which corner the Tzitzis is to be tied, the original corner or the new corner. Being the Tzitzis must be placed in the proper dimensions of the corner, if one ties the Tzitzis to the wrong corner, the Tzitzis is invalid. This matter was also dealt with in Halacha 11C.

If one folded the corners of his Tallis in a way that it still retains a corner status [as opposed to a rounded corner], and then sewed it so it retain this form, the Tallis is obligated to have Tzitzis tied to the dimensions of the new corner area that is formed due to the fold.[77] [This is the ruling of Admur and Magen Avraham. However other Poskim[78] argue that the old corners retain their status and the Tzitzis are hence to be tied to their original corner dimensions.[79] Practically, one is to avoid folding and then sewing the bottom of the garment in order to avoid this dispute, as well as the complications that will arise as to determining the proper area to make the holes.[80]]

 

Q&A

May the edge of the Tallis be folded and sewed in order to form a strong rim?

As stated above, according to Admur the folded area creates a new corner dimension while according to other Poskim it still retains the dimensions of its unfolded state. Practically, for this reason it is the custom of all Jewry to avoid making a fold at the end of the Tallis Gadol or Katan, in order to avoid the dispute of its proper corners.[81] Nevertheless, a very minute fold may be made by the rim in order to strengthen it, so long as it does not affect the dimensions of the corner and position of the hole.[82]

 

F. The two holes of the Tallis Katan:[83]

Some Poskim[84] rule that the Tzitzis is not to be tied in its classic method, in which only one hole is made by the corner and the Tzitzis is looped through that hole. Rather the Tallis is to have two adjacent holes made by the corner and have the strings enter through one hole and exit through the other.[85] Practically, we do not rule like this opinion, and one who decides to be stringent upon himself and follow this opinion may only do so by the Tallis Katan [and not by a Tallis Gadol].[86]

Ruling of Siddur and practical custom:[87] One is to make two holes by the Tallis Katan. One is to enter the strings through one hole and exit them through the second hole. One is to tie them in close proximity to the garment in order so the first knot is above 4 cm. One does not make two holes by the Tallis Gadol. [Practically, the Chabad custom follows this ruling of the Siddur, to make two holes by the Tallis Katan and a single hole by the Tallis Gadol.[88] This is also the custom of all Chassidic Jewry. The Lithuanian and Sefaradi[89] custom is to make only one hole by both the Tallis Gadol and Katan. [90]]

How to make the two holes:[91] Both holes are to be both made within the legal corner dimensions [of between 4-6 cm, as explained in Halacha A].[92] Some people are meticulous to make these holes slightly diagonal[93] and so is the Chabad custom.[94]

Not to wear inside out: A Tallis Katan that has two holes in the corner is not to be worn inside out, as explained in Chapter 1 Halacha 14H!

From which side is one to tie the Tzitzis to the two hole Tallis Katan?[95] One is to tie the Tzitzis to the external side of the Tallis which is visible when worn. [Thus, by our Tallis Katan which is always worn with the silk corners facing the inner side, one is to make the Tzitzis on the non-silk side of the corners. See Q&A regarding Bedieved!]

 

Q&A

Must the double hole penetrate through the back of the corner, or does it suffice for it to be made on one side?

When making a Tallis with two holes in the corner, as mentioned above, the question is asked as to whether the hole must be made through the front and back of the corner, or if it suffices to make it only by the front area of the corner. This question applies to a thick corner, or a two clothed corner [as is accustomed today to place an extra corner piece under the corner], and it is thus possible to make a hole that does not penetrate to the other side. Practically, some Poskim[96] lean to rule that it is permitted to do so, and it is not required for the hole to exit the back end of the corner.

 

What is the law if one tied the Tzitzis to the back corner of the two hole Tallis Katan?

The Tzitzis remains valid and may be worn with a blessing. This applies even if the Tzitzis of some corners were tied onto the outer corner and the Tzitzis of other corners were tied to the inner corner.[97] Nevertheless, it is proper to undo the Tzitzis of the inner corners and replace them on the outer side of the corner, as explained above.

 

G. The small side hole of the Tallis Gadol:[98]

By a Tallis Gadol [in which only one hole is made] it is a good advice to make another small hole at the edge of the side of the width of the Tallis, which is above 4 cm from the bottom of the corner.[99] Practically, this is the Chabad custom.[100] See Chapter 4 Halacha 10B for the details of how the strings are to be tied to these holes.

 


[1] Ashel Avraham Butchach 11 and Tehila Ledavid 11/12 negate the making of a loop in the corner; Nachalas Binyamin 1 and Levushei Mordechai 1/16 negate sewing the strings to the corner; Shraga Hameir 4/98 negates gluing the strings to the corner; It likewise does not help to fold the corner and tie the Tzitzis around it. [Piskeiy Teshuvos 11/26]

[2] 11/14-16; Siddur Admur [Letters 6-7 in Raskin]

[3] In the Siddur Admur novelizes that this refers not only to the strings of the Tzitzis, but also to the first set of knots. This means as follows: According to Shulchan Aruch, so long as the strings are placed through holes that are within proper dimensions, it is valid, even if the actual braid is made a distance from this hole. Hence, Talleisim that only have a single hole [such as a Tallis Gadol by all Jewry, and a Tallis Katan by all non-Chassidic Jewry] and the first set of knots begin outside of the corner, it is nevertheless valid. However in the Siddur, Admur novelizes that even the first knot is to be made within the corner dimensions. This can only be fully accomplished by a Tallis Katan with two holes, in which case the first set of knots is made by the actual holes. However by a Tallis Gadol that only has one hole, it can only be made between 4-6 cm of either the width or length, and not both. Admur in the Siddur rules to make the first knots by the Tallis Gadol 4 cm up from the length, and make an extra hole by the side to tighten the knot there so it does not fall below that mark.    

[4] Shiureiy Torah 3/34 [p. 267]; Piskeiy Teshuvos 11/20 footnote 140

The exact measurement: Shiureiy Torah 3/34 [p. 267] writes the measurement is 6.0 cm however he then explains in brackets that this is a round off and in truth the exact measurement is 5.875 cm. [Shiureiy Torah ibid, as explained in Shiureiy Torah 3/25] Thus, whenever he writes 6 cm in his Sefer he really means 5.875. In Sefer Haminhagim English pp. 6-7 they write the measurement is 5.9 [this is not in the Hebrew original]. Throughout our text we will use either the number 5.9 or 6.0, and in truth both numbers are a round off and the true exact measurement is as stated above.

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule the top measurement is 5 cm. [Arizal brought in Shaareiy Teshuvah 11/12; Shiureiy Torah ibid footnote 80; See Biur Halacha “Haiynu Gudlin” and Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid footnote 135-136; According to Chazon Ish it is 5.4 cm according to Arizal] Others rule it is 7.2 cm. [Shiur Chazon Ish which holds each finger is 2.4 cm]

[5] 11/14; Siddur Admur [Letter 6 in Raskin]; Michaber 11/9; Menachos 40a

The reason: As the Torah states the Tzitzis are to be tied to the corner, and higher than three Gudlin is not considered the corner but the garment. [ibid]

[6] 11/16; Siddur Admur [Letter 6 in Raskin]; Michaber ibid; Menachos ibid

What is the Kesher Gudal? This is the distance between the top knuckle of the thumb, and the end of the nail. [Admur ibid] This refers to the thumb of the average individual, and not to each person’s individual thumb. [Siddur Admur ibid] This measurement is different than the measurement called an Etzba, which refers to the width of the thumb and is 2 cm. Thus Admur here states that the Kesher Gudal is two Etzbaos.

[7] Admur ibid; Raavan brought in Shach 47/13; Pardes of Rashi ; Lev Chaim 1/2; Siddur Yaavetz; Ketzos Hashulchan 6 footnote 7

Other opinions: Some Poskim argue that the measurement is not two thumbs worth. [Implication of Admur in Siddur; Mabit 143; Maharit Y.D. 19; Kitzur SHU”A in Lechem Hapanim 9/3, brought in Ketzos Hashulchan ibid and Shiureiy Torah 3/34 p. 269; Chazon Ish 3/22] It is rather 1.5 thumbs worth. [Implication of Admur in Siddur; Kitzur SHU”A in Lechem Hapanim 9/3] Others learn that the measurement is between 2-3 thumbs worth. [Mahariy Chaviv brought in Beis Yosef]

Ruling of Admur in Siddur: There is some implication from the Siddur that Admur rules that the bottom dimension is less than 1.5 thumbs worth, which is less than 3 cm. [Ketzos Hashulchan ibid]

[8] Shiureiy Torah 3/34 [p. 269]; Piskeiy Teshuvos 11/20 footnote 140 that so is the ruling of most Poskim; There are various measurements of cm. given for the Kesher Gudal and “approximately 2 thumbs worth”. See Shiureiy Torah ibid footnote 78 and Piskeiy Teshuvos 11/20 footnote 134 and 139, as well as the previous footnote. In “other opinions” brought below an attempt will be given to summarize the different opinions of measurements.

Other opinions: Some Poskim learn that according to the Arizal [brought in Shaareiy Teshuvah 11/12] the bottom measurement is 5 cm. [See Biur Halacha “Haiynu Gudlin”; however see Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid footnote 135; Artzos Hachaim 11/9 and Shiureiy Torah ibid footnote 80 that clearly learn the 5 cm mark of the Arizal is the bottom dimension and not top.] According to those that hold the Kesher Gudal is 1.5 thumbs worth the measurement can be anywhere between 3-3.5 cm. [See Shiureiy Torah ibid footnote 77; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid footnote 139] In the English Sefer Haminhagim p. 6 [not found in Hebrew original] they record 3.5 cm as the measurement, thus seemingly following the understanding of Admur in the Siddur that it is 1.5 thumbsworth. In Shiureiy Torah ibid footnote 78 he writes that he measured many thumbs of people and the majority had 3.25 and some had down to 2.5 and some had up to 3.5.

Bedieved in bottom measurement: If the hole is below 4 cm but past 3.5 cm. it possibly remains Kosher Bedieved. Nonetheless, one is to be very careful to initially make the hole above 4 cm. If one made the hole below 3.5 cm then it is very likely invalid. If one made it below 3 cm then it is certainly invalid according to all. [Shiureiy Torah ibid; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 11/20 and footnote 139 and 143 that Bedieved one may be lenient if it is above 3.5]

[9] 11/16; Siddur Admur [Letter 6 in Raskin]; Michaber 11/9; Menachos 40a

The reason: As below this measurement is too close to the edge of the corner and the Torah states the Tzitzis are to be tied “Al Hakenaf/On the corner”, and if it is too close to the edge of the corner it is considered under the corner. [Admur ibid]

[10] 11/17; Siddur Admur “In order to be Yotzei according to all”; Michaber 11/10 in second and main opinion; Mahariy Abuhav; Smag; Nimukei Yosef; Ittur; Rabbeinu Yonah

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule the above dimensions are only measured from the bottom edge of the Tallis and not from the side edge. [First opinion in Michaber ibid; Tur based on Gemara] In the Siddur, Admur states that in the generation of the Mishneh and Gemara the hole was made at the edge of the side of the Tallis, hence showing they did not require the distance of 4-6 cm to be also from the side of the Tallis.

Bedieved-Ruling of Admur in Siddur: It is implied from the wording in the Siddur that the side dimensions is only initially required in order to “fulfill the obligation according to all.” This would suggest that if Bedieved the hole was made outside of 4-6 cm from the side, it is valid Bedieved, as rules the 1st opinion in Michaber ibid. However from the Shulchan Aruch ibid it is clear that Admur rules it is invalid, as he completely omits this lenient opinion. [See Siddur Raskin footnote 25]

Definition of bottom and side: The corner of every garment has two edges. The above dispute [brought in other opinions] is only regarding the dimensions of the side edge, while the bottom edge everyone agrees requires the above dimensions. The question however is regarding how to determine which edge is called the side and which edge is called the bottom. Some Poskim define the bottom as the edge of the length and the side is the edge of the width of the garment. [Tashbatz] Admur in the Siddur however defines the bottom and side based on how the Tallis is worn. Thus, by a Tallis Gadol that the width of the Tallis is worn as  the length, then the edge of the width is really considered the bottom edge, and the edge of the length is considered the side edge which is under dispute. [See M”A 11/16; Taz 11/11; Tzemach Tzedek Piskei Dinim 2]

[11] As if even part of the hole is below this mark the Tzitzis will hang below the mark. [Shiureiy Torah 34 footnote 75]

[12] 11/14

Cases of leniency Bedieved: See previous footnotes that there is room for leniency Bedieved if a) The hole was not distanced properly from the side of the Tallis [but was properly distanced from the bottom] b) The hole was distanced less than 4 cm but more than 3.5.

[13] Siddur Admur

[14] See Shiureiy Torah 3 footnote 75 that this means to say that the entire thickness of each string is to be within this dimension. [This excludes a narrow hole in which the strings rest on each other, and hence its possible for the back of a certain string to stretch beyond the three Gudal/6 cm mark.

[15] Siddur Admur; Bach 11; P”M 11 M”Z 9

Ruling of Admur in Shulchan Aruch and other Poskim: In the Shulchan Aruch 11/14 Admur rules that the hole may be made on the 4 or 6 cm mark, so long as it is not above 6 cm or below 4 cm. So also rules Michaber 11/9.

Must the entire hole be made below the 5.9 mark? So long as enough of the hole reaches below the 5.9 cm mark for the entire knot of the Tzitzis to be below this level, it suffices even if the top of the hole stretches past the 5.9 cm mark, as nevertheless the Tzitzis is hanging below this mark. [Shiureiy Torah 34 and footnote 75; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 11 footnote 138; Chazon Ish 3/12]

Must the entire hole be made above the 4 cm mark? Yes, as if even part of the hole is below the 4 cm mark the Tzitzis will hang below the 4 cm mark. [See M”B 11/44; Biur Halacha “Velo Lematah”]

[16] Shiureiy Torah 3 footnote 75 based on Siddur ibid

[17] As one may not make the hole on the 4 or 5.9 cm mark, as stated above, and hence the dimensions in truth is less than 1.999 x 1.999.

[18] Shiureiy Torah 3/34 [p. 270]; Piskeiy Teshuvos 11/20 footnote 141; See however the English Sefer Haminhagim p. 6 that writes it is to be placed on the 4 cm mark, and so also writes Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid according to the Gra”ch Naah. This is clearly incorrect as the Gra”ch Naah clearly holds it is to be placed near the 5 cm mark as he explicitly writes in Shiureiy Torah ibid

[19] 11/17; Rama 11/9

[20] 11/14; M”A 11/14; M”B 11/41

[21] 11/16; M”A 11/14; M”B ibid

Other opinions: Some Poskim question this matter and suspect that perhaps the fold does diminish the dimensions of the hole, and hence jeopardizes its validity. [Chayeh Adam 11 Nishmas Adam 3 The Poskim however negate this ruling: See Ashel Avraham 11 Mahadura Tinyana; Maharsham 3/273; Tehila Ledavid 11/5; Piskeiy Teshuvos 11/22 footnote 156-157]

[22] Shiureiy Torah 3/34 p. 268; See ”B 11/44; Biur Halacha “Velo Lematah”; Piskeiy Teshuvos 11 footnote 138; Chazon Ish 3/12; M”B 11/44; Biur Halacha “Velo Lematah”

[23] Makor Chaim 11; Aruch Hashulchan 11/19; Shulchan Hatahor 11/2; Ketzos Hashulchan 6/6; Leket Yosher p. 8 that so was the custom of the Terumos Hadeshen; Poskim in Piskeiy Teshuvos 11/22 footnote 158

[24] Doing so is a Hiddur being that it secures that the Tzitzis will hit the side of the corner and that the knot will remain above the 4 cm mark, as explained in Chapter 4 Halacha 10. [Ketzos Hashulchan ibid; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid]

[25] Ashel Avraham Telisa; Chayeh Adam 11 Nishmas Adam 3 and other Poskim brought in Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid; To note however that in Ashel Avraham Tinyana 11 he writes there is no problem with doing so and that so is the custom.

[26] See Piskeiy Hasiddur 30 [and Siddur Raskin footnote 41] that one can possibly learn from Admur in the Siddur that one is initially not to tighten the Tzitzis onto the side in a way that it folds the material. This can be deduced from Admur from the fact that if this were to be allowed, then why did he need to novelize the making of a small side hole by the Tallis Gadol, if one can simply tighten the first knot and hence secure it that it never fall. Vetzaruch Iyun! [Piskeiy Hasiddur ibid] On the other hand, the simple wording of Admur in the Siddur implies that the knot may be tightened and cause a fold as Admur writes “And also if he strengthens and fastens the knot onto the side of the Tallis”. Thus [in the author’s opinion] Admur’s opinion in the Siddur is inconclusive. To note that the Piskeiy Hasiddur concludes with a Tzaruch Iyun and does not conclusively state that one may not fold it. In Ketzos Hashulchan 6/6 he rules one is even initially to cause the side to fold, as explained above.  

[27] Ashel Avraham ibid

[28] Leket Yosher p. 8 that so was the custom of the Terumos Hadeshen; Rabbanim mentioned in Piskeiy Teshuvos 11/22 footnote 158

[29] I was told by Harav Eliyahu Landa Shlita that one must be careful in this matter, in order so the corner remain spread open to its proper Shiur during the tying, as rules the second opinion here. This was the custom he received, and that he has seen done in all our circles. To note however that the Ketzos Hashulchan 6/6, who was a famed Chabad Chassid and Rav, did not mention any tradition amongst Chabad Chassidim.

[30] Chazon Ish 3/3; Piskeiy Teshuvos 11/24; See Admur 10/12; 15/8 that an invalidation of a single corner does not invalidate the Tzitzis of other corners.

[31] 11/15; M”A 11/15; M”B 11/43

[32] The reason: As the verse states “Gedilim Taaseh” which teaches us that the Tzitzis must be initially made valid, Taaseh Velo Min Hassuiy. [ibid; as explained in 10/10]

The law if the hole was made below the legal dimension of Kesher Gudal [i.e. below 4 cm]: It follows the same law as above, that it does not help to widen the hole upwards and then pull the Tzitzis to the legal dimensions, due to Taaseh Velo min Haasuiy. Rather, one must remove the Tzitzis, fix the hole and then retie them. [P”M 11 A”A 15; M”B ibid] However, some Poskim rule that if the hole was made below the legal dimension of Kesher Gudal, it is valid to simply widen the hole and one is not required to undo the Tzitzis. [Chazon Ish 3/23] The Poskim negate his opinion. [Piskeiy Teshuvos 11/23, Vetzaruch Iyun as he mentions in footnote 160 that Admur negates this opinion when in truth Admur [and others] never discuss this case of the hole being made below the Kesher Gudal.]

[33] See previous Halacha in Q&A that the hole is not required to be completely within the 6 cm mark.

[34] See Admur 11/23 and M”B 11/43 that once the first loop and knot is made, it is invalid due to Taaseh Velo Min Haasuiy and must be undone prior to fixing.

[35] 11/18; 15/15; Siddur Admur [17 in Raskin]; Michaber 11/10; 15/5; Menachos 42a

[36] The reason: As the Torah was only particular that the Tzitzis be tied to the legal corner area at the time of its attachment to the corner, as the verse states “And make for them Tzitzis on the corner”, which hence implies that only when making the Tzitzis must it be on the correct area of the corner. [Admur ibid; Levush 11/10]

How much of the Tzitzis must be tied to the hole prior to tearing? If even one loop and knot were made prior to tearing, it is valid. [M”B 11/43; See Admur 11/23]

[37] 15/15; Siddur Admur; Biur Halacha 11 “Ad” in name of Rambam

[38] Siddur Admur

[39] See 15/15; Siddur Admur brought next

[40] Siddur Admur [16 in Raskin]

[41] 11/18; 11/15; Siddur Admur; Tur 18

[42] The reason: As the Torah was only particular that the Tzitzis be tied to the legal corner area at the time of its attachment to the corner, as the verse states “And make for them Tzitzis on the corner”, which hence implies that only when making the Tzitzis must it be on the correct area of the corner. [Admur ibid in Shulchan Aruch and Siddur; Levush 11/10]

[43] Siddur Admur; 15/15

[44] 15/15

The reason: Although the hole is not a 4 cm distance from its torn edge, nevertheless the sewing acts as a legal attachment and hence considers the corner complete and whole regarding the dimensions of the hole. This applies according to all opinions, being that there still remained some corner material below the hole. [ibid; Taz 15/5]

[45] Siddur Admur [17 in Raskin] regarding if the actual hole tore, and the same applies in this case.

[46] See Admur in Siddur “The Tallis is Kosher and one is not required to sew the tear so long as the Tzitzis is hanging on even a mere thread.” So is also implied from all Poskim mentioned above. All this is unlike the Piskeiy Teshuvos 11/24 footnote 165 and 15/5 which states one is to Lechatchila fix the tear just as one is required to initially make a rim around the hole to prevent tearing.

[47] Piskeiy Teshuvos 11/24 footnote 165 and 15/5 states one is to Lechatchila fix the tear just as one is required to initially make a rim around the hole to prevent tearing. This is also based on the Aruch Hashulchan 11/14 which states it is not a Hiddur Mitzvah to have the Tzitzis left in a torn fashion

[48] Admur 15/15; Siddur Admur; Biur Halacha 11 “Ad” in name of Rambam; Piskeiy Teshuvos 15/5

[49] Ashel Avraham Butchach Tinyana 11; Tehila Ledavid 11/9 and Nefesh Chayah 10/4 leave this matter in question. Vetzaruch Iyun as to why any of these Poskim rule it is invalid or question its validity, as the entire reason for sewing this cloth is to serve as a backup corner, as explained in Admur 15/14, and if in truth this corner is invalid then what use is it to begin with!

[50] Chelek Levi 5; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 15/5 footnote 35

[51] See Shiurei Torah 3/75 p. 268 footnote 78

[52] Pashut, as an invalidation of a single corner does not invalidate the Tzitzis of other corners. See Admur 10/12; 15/8

[53] Beis Baruch 11/184 in name of Shulchan Melachim; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 11/23

[54] Peri Hasadeh 4/16; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid

[55] 11/18; Rama 11/10; Smak Kol Bo

[56] Rama ibid

[57] The reason: Although even if the hole were to tear, the Tzitzis remains Kosher, as explained in B, nevertheless initially one is to prevent this from happening in order so people do not think that the hole was like this before the Tzitzis were tied [in which case it would be invalid]. [ibid; 2nd reason in Beis Yosef] The M”B 11/51 records the 1st reason in Beis Yosef that “So people don’t come to think it is invalid.” Other say the reason is because it is not a Hiddur Mitzvah to have the Tzitzis left in a torn fashion. [Aruch Hashulchan 11/14]

[58] 15/16; Michaber 15/6

[59] Rashi Menachos 41a; Rosh 2/11

[60] The reason: These Poskim rule it is forbidden to sew within the legal dimensions of the corner [4-6 cm] any thread which is a Kosher material of Tzitzis for that clothing. The reason for this is because one may come to use one of these threads to make the Tzitzis. This is forbidden being that the thread was not woven for the sake of Tzitzis. [ibid]

[61] The reason: There is no need to suspect that one may come to join a colored thread to the other Tzitzis strings, as in today’s times we are no longer accustomed to ever make colored Tzitzis. [Admur ibid]

[62] 11/19-21

[63] 11/19; Michaber 11/11

The reason: As the Torah states “On the corner of the garments” and the trim is not considered an integral part of the garment and is rather secondary and an accessory to the garment. [ibid] 

[64] Admur ibid

[65] 11/20; Michaber 11/11; Baba Kama 119b

[66] 11/21; Rama 11/11

[67] Admur ibid; M”A 11/17

[68] Ketzos Hashulchan 6/7

[69] 11/22; M”A 11/17; M”B 11/57; See Tehila Ledavid 11/6

[70] The reason: As perhaps these threads are included within the measurement of the corner. [ibid]

[71] The reason: As perhaps these threads are not included within the measurement of the corner. [ibid]

[72] Ketzos Hashulchan 6/7

[73] Piskeiy Teshuvos 11/27

[74] There is no source or requirement according to Halacha to have these bells attached.

[75] See Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid; Mishneh Sachir 19; Orach Yisrael 1/63

[76] 10/6; M”A 10/4; Levush; brought in M”B 10/8

[77] Admur ibid; M”A ibid; Levush

The reason: Although the original corner is still considered a corner even in its folded and sewed state, nevertheless since this fold created the appearance of a new corner, the Tzitzis is therefore to be tied to that new corner. [Admur ibid]

[78] See M”B 10/8 in name of Artzos Hachaim; Machatzis Hashekel; Aruch; Mordechai; Perisha

[79] Poskim in previous footnote rule one is to follow the old, unfolded corner dimensions in this case. However the M”A and Levush rule one is to follow the new dimensions, and so rules Admur. [See M”B ibid; Piskeiy Teshuvos 10/6]

[80] Kaf Hachaim 10/8; Even those that follow the ruling of Admur ibid are advised to avoid making a fold and sewing it being that it requires a new positioning of the corner holes into the new corner dimensions. Nonetheless, from the letter of the law, those that follow Admur may do so without hesitation, so long as they reposition the holes in the proper dimensions.

[81] Piskeiy Teshuvos 10/4; Kaf Hachaim 10/8

[82] Kaf Hachaim ibid; Biur Halacha 10 “Lo”

[83] 11/35; M”A 11/13

[84] Baal Haitur Tzitzis 3 in name of Ravi

[85] The reason: The reason for this is opinion is because they hold that the Tzitzis may only be apparent on one side of the corner. If however it is apparent from both sides, then it is as if one placed 8 sets of Tzitzis and is hence invalid based on the Gemara’s teaching of “4 and not 8”. Accordingly, it is forbidden to tie the Tzitzis to a single hole. [Baal Haitur ibid; Machatzis Hashekel 11/13] The other opinions however argue that no such invalidation exits.

Another advantage of making two holes: A separate advantage of making two holes, in addition to suspecting for the above opinion, is that doing so ensures that the braid of the Tzitzis steadily hits the corner, as explained in 11/35. [Siddur Admur “In order so the first knot be above 4 cm”; Yeshuos Yaakov 11/5] See Chapter 4 Halacha 10A!

[86] Admur ibid; M”A ibid in name of Bach

The reason: In order so his stringency is not apparent to others and he not appear like a haughty individual. [ibid]

[87] Siddur Admur

[88] Sefer Haminhagim p. 7 [English]

[89] Birkeiy Yosef 11/5 that so was the custom of Rav Chaim Vital; Ben Ish Chaiy Noach 15 that so was custom of Arizal and Rashash; Kaf Hachaim 11/24

[90] M”B 11/39; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 11/21

[91] Siddur Admur; Ashel Avraham Butchach Tinyana 11

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule it is not necessary to make both holes specifically in the legal corner dimensions, and rather only the more inner hole, or top hole, must be within this dimension. They rule the knot is to be made on the most outer hole. [P”M 11 brought in Biur Halacha 11/9 “Yaaseh”; Chazon Ish 3/12; Implication of Poskim in Shulchan Aruch who omit the above requirement; See Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid] From here one can learn that if Bedieved by the Chabad Tallis Gadol one accidently entered the strings into both holes and made a knot, or entered the Shamash string into the side hole before making any knots, then it is valid Bedieved. Nonetheless, according to Admur ibid one should be stringent and retie the Tzitzis properly. [Shiureiy Torah p. 373; Zichronos of Rav Yaakov Landau, that so he was told by the Rebbe Rashab]

[92] Siddur Admur

[93] Siddur Admur; not found in previous sources; See Glosses of Rav Raskin footnote 86

The reason: The purpose of making it diagonal is to effect that the fringes hit within 4cm of the width of the corner, in order to follow the opinions which require this to occur. [Siddur Admur] This means as follows: There are three parts by the corner of the Tallis, the Keren which is within 4 cm to the corner; the Kenaf which is between 4-6 cm from the corner; the Beged which is above 6 cm from the corner. [See Ateres Zekeinim 11/9] Now, since there are opinions that require the Tzitzis to hit the area called Keren, therefore one is to make the two holes diagonal so the Gdil hits within the 4 cm space of the corner. See Rav Raskin ibid

How is the diagonal made? The diagonal is made in a way that the Tzitzis bends towards the side of the corner. This is accomplished by making the two holes facing the edge of the corner, in which the top hole is the one closest to the side.  [Igros Kodesh 2/313 that so was done on the Tzitzis of the Rebbe Rayatz; Likkutei Sichos 28/330; Shulchan Menachem 1/44] In Shiureiy Torah p. 270 however he writes to make the diagonal facing the middle of the Tallis like this in which the bottom hole is closes to the side. Practically, the custom follows the former view.

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule the two holes are to be made parallel to each other, like a Tzerei, and not in diagonal. [P”M 11 A”A 13; Beir Heiytiv 11/8; Ateres Zekeinim in name of Arizal, brought in Ketzos Hashulchan 6/8] The reason for this is possibly to suspect for those Poskim that rule that when the Tzitzis are hanging in a diagonal it appears like there are 8 Tzitzis, as it appears as if it is made for each side of the corner. Alternatively, it is because placing it in diagonal is a custom of the Karaits. [See M”A 11/24; See Glosses of Rav Raskin footnote 86]  The holes are not to be made one on top of the other, although Bedieved it is valid even in such a case. [Chazon Ish 3/12]

[94] Sefer Haminhagim p. 7 [English]

[95] Siddur Admur which states “One must to be careful that the Tzitzis be hanging on the upper, external, part of the clothing and not on the inner lower part”; Olas Tamid 11/12; Likkutei Maharich in name of Kitzur Shlah; Arizal brought in Shaar Hakavanos Tzitzis 6; Peri Eitz Chaim Tzitzis 1; Nagid Mitzvah. “A Tallis [Katan that has two holes in the corner] is not to be worn inside out.”

The reason: As the verse states “Ureisem Oso” that the Tzitzis must be seen [Admur ibid] and when worn inside out, the inner corner blocks that area of the fringe from visibility. [See Tehila Ledavid 11/8; Ashel Avraham Butchach Tinyana 16] There is also Kabalistic reasons mentioned behind this. [Arizal ibid]

[96] Tehila Ledavid 11/12 “If the holes were only made on the upper part of the garment and not the lower part, it is valid”; Ashel Avraham Butchach 11 that leans to permit it; Piskeiy Teshuvos 11/26

[97] Tehila Ledavid 11/8; Piskeiy Teshuvos 11/21

[98] Siddur Admur

[99] The reason: According to Admur in the Siddur, aside for the requirement to have the braid hit the corner as written in 11/34, one must also have the first knot remain above 4 cm from the corner. Now, even if initially one tightens the first knot to the side of the corner in a way that it is 4 cm above, it is difficult to ascertain that this knot will constantly remain 4 cm above and not slide with time below the 4 cm mark. It is difficult to require one to constantly check the position of the first knot, especially during prayer. Thus the best advice to achieve a permanent solution to prevent the first knot form falling below the 4 cm mark, is to make a small hole at the edge of the corner that is 4 cm above the corner. After properly making the first [double] knot, prior to beginning to make the loops, one inserts the long string which will be used to make the loops through this hole, and hence secures that the first two knots will always remain above the 4 cm mark. [ibid]

[100] Sefer Haminhagim p. 7 [English]

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