Tallit Katan (Tzitzit)

Tzitzit (also spelled tzitzis or tzitzith) are fringes or tassels that are attached to the four corners of a tallit, a traditional Jewish garment worn during morning prayers and other religious ceremonies. The tzitzit are a reminder of the commandments of God and are believed to serve as a spiritual protection for the person wearing the tallit.

According to Jewish tradition, the tzitzit are made of a special type of wool called tekhelet, which is dyed using a natural dye extracted from a type of snail. The tzitzit are tied in a specific way, with a series of knots and wraps, and they are worn as a sign of devotion and piety. In addition to being worn on the tallit, tzitzit are also sometimes worn on other garments, such as a four-cornered garment known as a tallit katan, which is worn under the clothing.

Tzitzit (Tallit Katan) Size Chart

US Size Cm Inch
size 2 8 22×33 8.5″x13″
size 3 10 25×35 10″x14″
size 4 12 30×40 12″x16″
size 5 14 35×45 14″x18″
size 6/XS 16 40×50 16″x20″
size 7/S 18 45×52.5 18″x 20.5″
size 8/M 20-22 52×56-55×65 20.5″x22″-21.5″x25.5″
size 9/L 24 63×63 25″x25″
size 10/XL 26 70×70 27.5″x27.5″

The measurements – by Mishkan Hatchelet

Tallit Katan (Tzitzit or Tzitzis)

In ancient times most clothes had four corners. In the past, they would fulfill the Mitzvah by tying Tzitzis in the four corners of the garment. A tallit katan is made from cotton or wool (or synthetic substances. Wool is a material favored by most Hasidim and Sephardim). a tallit katan is often known just as “tzitzit.” A tallit katan has a small hole in every corner of the garment in which a thread of woolen Tallit Katan is threaded. Chassidic Jews have two aligned holes in each corner, a custom based on Chabad (The holes stand against each other.)

Tzitzit are the tassels or fringes worn as ceremonial or traditional garments by Jewish males that remind them of the Deuteronomy commandments. These are specially-knotted ritual tassels and fringes worn with antiquity mainly by Israelites and nowadays by observant Samaritans and Jews. Tzitzit are also attached to the four corners of the prayer shawl known as tallit and the tallit katan – an everyday undergarment. The word Tzitzit also pertains to poncho-like mini tallit, usually worn under a shirt throughout the day.

Etymology of Tzitzit

The word might be derived from the Semitic root N-TZ. The “It” end is the feminine adjectival suffix used to form a feminine singular noun. The N-TZ-H originates from the root word “Flower” and originally means “lock” or tassel, as it is in the Book of Ezekiel wherein Ezekiel was chosen by the angel and was carried by the lock or Hebrew Tzitzit of the hair.

In the English language and academic texts in Judaica, such a term is sometimes rendered as “show fingers.” A famous interpretation of Tzitzit is that it derives the word from the Akkadian clothing vocabulary sisiktu or a loom, edge or thread or tsitstsatu or floral ornamentation.

This theory is upheld because the custom of making fringes from broadening the embroidery threads was basic in the old Near East as a means of strengthening the fabric. Further examinations of antique iconography propose that aside from such pragmatic purpose or reason, the tassels can likewise decorate and enrich the fabric and, all things considered, be a marker of economic wellbeing or social status-the. The more elegant or intricate the fringes, the higher the owner’s position is. Also, given the novel nature or tassel, it could likewise be utilized as a personal signet to fix and seal documents.

This information has driven the researchers to expect that practice itself is of extremely old inceptions and was just optionally included in the Hebrew Bible where it was contributed with new religious meaning.

The Mini Tallit

a) During petition or prayer, where they wrap themselves in tallit gadol or “big tallit,” which has remained as before since antiquated times

b) They wear a small poncho called the Tzitzit, the tallit katan or the small tallit, or the arba kanfot (four corners). For many of them, this fits conveniently under a shirt.

The Tassels

The fringes joined to the tallit of either estimate are referred to as Tzitzit. They are often made of fine white Wool and should be revolved with the holy intention of being utilized for the Mitzvah. So if you have to replace the snapped thread, ensure that you buy exceptional Tzitzis treads.

On every corner, four threads are being threaded through an opening or hole and then looped over. There are, therefore, eight strings that hang down. A progression of two-fold coils and knots eventually join the very first few inches of every corner’s tassel to a single cord. Then, the remainders of the eight threads are free to hang down simply.

What Do Tzitzit Mean?

The eight strings and the five knots are the physical representation of the Torah’s 613 mitzvahs. It significantly works this way: Every letter in the Hebrew alphabet has a corresponding numerical value or gematria. The numerical estimations of those five letters include the Hebrew word tzitzit adding up to around 600. Add then the eight strings and 5 knots of every tassel, and the sum is 613.

Tzitzit for Women

In the rabbinic law, tzizit is well-thought-out as a positive and time-dependent as the Torah has mentioned seeing a person’s Tzitzit, and one couldn’t see them in the darkness of the night instead just in daytime. Generally, ladies are not required to carry out positive and time-dependent commandments but rather might perform them if they decide to. In this manner, numerous Rishonim allowed ladies to wear the Tzitzis, including Ra’ah, Isaac ibn Ghiyyat, Baal HaMaor, Rambam, Rashi, Rabbeinu Tam, Raaviyah, and Rashba. The Shulchan Aruch likewise rules that ladies may wear pieces of clothing with Tzitzit. Opinions vary whether ladies might make blessings in such discretionary commandments. The Ashkenazi women generally make the blessings, and the Sephardic women don’t.

Other Rishonim, at the same time, hold that ladies ought not to wear Tzitzit for different reasons. Rema states that while ladies are permitted to wear a tallit, doing such will appear like being arrogant (youhara). The Targum Yonatan Ben Uzieland Maharil and the see clothing with Tzitzit as a piece of clothing for males and prohibited to ladies as cross-dressing. Some different sources mention concern for the shaatnez of the carrying on Shabbat.

Most modern authorities restrict the wearing of tallit by women. However, Moshe Feinstein, Eliezer Melamed, and Joseph Soloveitchik favor ladies wearing Tallit Katan privately, provided that their motivations are for the sake of God over the motivations triggered by certain external movements like feminism And not according to the values of Judaism.

The Strings and the Process of Putting the Tzitzit on the Garment

On every corner, four strings are circled through the hole and wrapped down on the two sides, giving the presence of eight tassels for every corner. The upper 1/3 of tassels is a progression of five two-fold knots, isolated one from another with four windings sets. Underneath the bottom knot, the remaining 2/3 of every string hangs loosely. Each segment of windings and knots ought to be around one inch or 2.5 cm. for 4 inches of windings and knots and 8 inches of free-hanging strings.

The hole in every corner must be around 2 inches from the edge to fulfill the biblical necessity that it should be on the corner of the garments. In the case of corner tears, it is usually repaired.

The strings should either be made from Wool or from similar materials from which garments are made. Every string comprises two threads turned together and should be spun, particularly for Tzitzis. Therefore, one should purchase Tzitzit that convey appropriate rabbinic supervision.

Once you have bought the strings, attaching them all by yourself is not so hard. It is meaningful and fun. The right processes for putting Tzitit in the garment are as follows:

  • Utilize four strings, one that is longer to wrap around the other effectively
  • Tie the 4-ends together to make sure that every string will be with one end on every side
  • You then need to insert strings into the hole
  • Tie the double knot
  • The longer string should be winded around others about seven times
  • Tie the double knot and then wind a longer string around the others eight times
  • Tie the double knot and then wind a longer string around the others 11 times
  • Tie the double knot and then wind a longer string around the others 13 times
  • Tie the fifth and final double knot

Why are the strings wound with 13, 11, 8, and 7 windings?

  • 7 represents the perfection of the physical world that was created in 7 days
  • 8 is the number of transcendence that goes beyond nature
  • 11 pertains to a numerical value vav-hey; the last two letters of the God’s name
  • 13 is the numerical value for each-one

Even though a Tallit Katan is worn under a shirt, there are diverse traditions about whether the tassels should be left visible and hanging out. Given the Tzitzit purpose, it is better to wear this “untucked” so the wearer can look at them more often and utilize them as an anchor. Be that as it may, if this would cause humiliation or contradiction when living among non-Jews, it’s acceptable to have strings properly tucked in.

The Garment

Nowadays, since 4-cornered garments aren’t very common, some seriously go out of their way to wear the 4-cornered garment to perform the essential Mitzvah.

Other Representations of Wearing Tzitzit

  • The Tzitzit commandments are as important as the other commandments, and those individuals who wear Tallit Katan are considered as if they’d observed all-important commandments.
  • Torah asserts that looking at the Tzitzis or maybe the tekehelet colored thread has beneficial effects on individuals wearing Tzitzit, enabling them to remember mitzvoth and observe them.

So Why Tzitzit?

Apart from the mystical explanations that Tzitzit reminds people of the heavens and seas of God, the Rabbinic literature has few things to say about the reasons Tzitzis will remind Israelites to keep the commandments of God. Rashi, for example, needs to have some recourse on numerology in an attempt to find meaning to Tzitzit.

Tallit Katan will remind everyone of the commandments since the numerical value of letters of the Tzitzit word is 600, and there are 5 knots and eight threads, making it 613. As known to many, this is also the number of the Torah’s commandments.

Having learned all these essential details about Tzitzit, you have probably attained more knowledge and insights about ceremonial garments by Jewish males. You have perhaps understood the impacts of such garments on their lives and their beliefs and practices. If you wish to learn more about these garments by Jewish males, there is still more information you can get online to add to your knowledge and familiarity with Tzitzis.

Purchasing a Tallit Katan

Whether you’re currently buying Tzitzit for the 13’th time or the first time, there are many details to know about, such as sizing, fabric, fashion, Tzitzis, and koshers.

When we must be wearing tzitzis

Although it is not obligatory to wear a Tallit Katan with Tzitzis all the time, it is only required to put Tzitzit on a garment with four corners while a person wears it. In any case, the Jewish people always used to wear a Tzitzis.

If it is not Wool, it is only a rabbinical obligation.

Many people do not know, but the commandment of the Tzitzit is only applied in a garment made of wool or linen, and clothing made of other materials is obligated only by rabbinic decree. Today we do not make linen fringes due to Shatnez’s problems.

The importance of this Mitzvah

Rashi says that Tzitzit is considered against all the mitzvot, and from this, we see the great value of this Mitzvah. The sages always recommend wearing tzitzis. Chazal says that during times of trouble and distress, HaShem asks about men who do not wear Tzitzit because they do not chase after the mitzvot of Hashem.

Tzitzit and Techelet

Tallit is considered one of the most valuable items in the life of a Jewish man and the Jewish Tradition in general. The fringes, techelet, and Tzitzis attached to the tallit in its four corners are more than this tallit. White or blue and white, these fringes are referred to as Tzitzit, which serve as reminders of the Covenant between God and man and a sign of commitment to essentially follow and keep the Mitzvot and commandments in a person’s life.

Fringes are crafted from refining wool, and usually, say, if a man wearing them is Sephardic or Ashkenazi community. This reflects the man’s level of observance. Choosing a tallit for a wedding or Bar Mitzvah gifts can be a challenging task, similar to choosing a tallit for you to wear during Jewish holidays or Shabbat. In many instances, choosing Tekhelet or Tzitzit style, which means thin or thick, machine-spun or handmade, selecting a knot can be a difficult pursuit on its own. Strings are readily available in Rambam, Razdyner, or Raavad knotting style, so how do you pick one. Follow this guide, and all your confusion will be cleared out.

Thin Versus Thick Tzitzit 

Deciding on Thin Versus Thick Tzitzit is generally a matter of personal choice or preference. The thin Tzitzit is a better option for the Tallit Katan, wherein on Tallit Gadol, thin or thick is fine. The thin Tzitzis are machine-made, while the thick one is handmade and referred to as Avodat Yad. The intention behind making Tzitzit plays a vital role in their significant and Kosher impact. One major aspect of making Tzitzit is the genuine intention since wearing this is a commandment from the Torah.

The thin Tzitzit are commonly made by machines and are considered less Kosher as the machine lacks the human ability to infuse the process with special attention and meaning. Therefore in the traditional Orthodox congregations, thick Tzitzit is the norm. Moreover, in modern Orthodox, you’ll see both thick Tzitzit is perhaps more common.

Raavad, Rambam or Radzyner Techelet Tzitzit Custom

Techelet is mentioned around 49 times in Torah, and this is the blue-dyed string attached to the corners of the tallit and the white Tzitzit. This techelet was used in the clothing of the High priest and the tapestries in Tabernacle and Tzitzit attached to the 4-cornered tallis. It is widely known that choosing between pre-tied ties by yourself is your own choice, but when it comes to Rambam, Razdyner, or the Raavad methods of tying techelet, Tzitzit depends on your community.

There are four sets of strings threaded through a small hole at every corner of the garment. At the center of the sets of strings, these are folded and tied, making eight strings each of the four corners of the garment. The strings’ length should be doubled the length of knots. The Tallit Katan is kosher even if Tzitzit don’t have this proportion. There are three major methods or shitot on wrapping strings: Rambam, Radzyner, and Ra’avad.

Ra’avad tradition can be significantly tied in HaChinuch and the GR” A methods- 2 of 8 of these strings are tekhelet based on Rabbi Avraham Ben-David. Provance prevails among the Ashkenazi communities. Three of the four full-length strings are white, and the other one is color blue.

The Rambam Tradition, which follows Rabbi Moshe Ben-Mimon of the 12tch Century in Spain, is a method that prevails in the Yemenite Sephardic Jewish communities. One out of eight strings tekhelet, 3.5 full-length strings are color white, and the 0.5 is blue.

Every knot comes with three coils forming a chulya which stays in place with no double knots. It may be around 7or 13 chulyas are created depending on the type of customs followed.

Radzyner tradition-The Chabad approach following Rabbi Radzyner in Poland.

Now that you have been provided with all these essential details and everything is cleared out, the final step is that you need to learn to tie your tekhelet and Tzitzit. There are also online tutorials that you can take advantage of to learn more.

Learn more about what makes a tallis and why it is worn in Tallit Guide. As Jewish people’s customs are anchored in Torah, learning how to make Torah and Torah accessories will be a great idea.

Tzitzit – is equivalent to all the commandments together.

On the commandment of Tzitzit, Rashi says that she is equal to all the commandments. Tzitzit is divided into two different forms in our lives – one small tzitzis, also called a Tallit katan. And the second form in which the commandment of tzitzis is expressed is the tallit gadol, or merely a tallit.

Every morning

Every morning, every Jew passed the age of 13, and according to Ashkenazic testimony after the wedding. Every Jewish man will wear a tallit and Tzitzit. The tallit is considered one of the most influential Jewish symbols; every morning in Jewish neighborhoods around the world and, of course, in the Holy Land of Israel, everyone can see dozens and hundreds of people going to the synagogue. Some come wrapped in a prayer shawl and tefillin like the opinion of the holy Ari, and some go with the prayer shawl in a folded hand and the synagogue they will wrap themselves in it.

Important customs

There are several important rules in the opinion of the Ari HaKadosh and the Shulchan Aruch on the commandment of the tzitzis and specifically on the tallit.

In the opinion of the holy Ari, it is essential to put the prayer shawl on the shoulders, and thus whoever has the root of his soul from the root of Cain and Abel corrects the sparks of his soul more easily – of course, there are enormous secrets about this.

In the opinion of the Shulchan Arukh HaKodesh – it is important to wrap a prayer shawl made entirely 100% from Wool and thus fulfill the Mitzvah in the best way possible.

According to Ari, it is good to cover the forehead with the prayer shawl – there are great secrets.

In the opinion of the Holy Ari and the holy Zohar, it is good to wrap himself in a prayer shawl already in the house before coming to the synagogue – thus accompanying angels who bless man.

According to Ari, it is essential to put the Tzitzit of the tallit katan into pants.

Rashi says that Tzitzit is equivalent to all mitzvot – why?

Rashi says that Tzitzit is equivalent to all mitzvot. The reason for this is that the Tzitzit remind us of the mitzvot, and therefore it is made in the manner in which the person sees the tzitzis and enters the fear of heaven. Also, there are many opinions in the poskim that the Tzitzit are tied so that the ties are issued in a small number or a hint to the number 613 against all the commandments.

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