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The Garment and Fringes

The Garment and Fringes

The two holes that the fringes are sprung through on the Tzitzit
The two holes that the fringes are sprung through on the Tzitzit

On each of the four corners of the tallit or tzitzit, four woolen spun fringes are drawn through holes in the garment. The fringes now dangle from both sides of the hole, thus becoming eight fringes. These fringes are then coiled and knotted in a prescribed manner, and their ends hang loosely.

When the fringes are originally placed on the corners of the garment, each corner has eight complete strings. If at some point later on some fringes are shortened or torn off, the tallit or tzitzit may be invalid. If indeed the fringes are invalid, it is forbidden to wear this garment until new fringes are attached. As long as each corner contains at least seven complete strings, the tzitzit are still kosher, but the laws become quite complex if any one corner has more than one string which is detached or shortened. In such a situation, the tzitzit should be shown to a rabbi.

Purchasing a Tallit or Tzitzit

"This is my G‑d and I will beautify Him" (Exodus 15:2). We "beautify" G‑d by performing His commandments in a beautiful fashion. This includes spending the extra dollar to purchase high quality tallit and tzitzit. The market today abounds with artfully decorated designer talittot, most of which are halachically acceptable. Many also have the custom of adorning the tallit's headpiece with a silver attarah ("crown").

Because there are many laws involved in the making of a tallit and tzitzit, they should always be purchased from a G‑d-fearing and trustworthy vendor.

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1000 characters remaining Staff February 6, 2013

Re Tallis cleaning Check out this link for suggestions on how to best to clean it. Reply

Pesach New York City February 2, 2013

Tallis cleaning How does one clean a Tallis? Dry cleaner? Reply

Anonymous st albans, england April 3, 2012

tallit cleaning is there a correct way to clean a silk tallit. should one take it to a dry cleaners or are there specialist cleaners in the u k ? Reply

Anonymous Clovis, CA/USA September 26, 2011

Care of the Tallit My daughter received Tallit for her Bas Mitzvah. She is not going to wear it but it is beautiful. She would like to display it as it has a picture of Israel on it. We could not find anything stating that this was not ok. Is it ok to display it as art? Reply

Anonymous Normal, IL February 27, 2011

tzitzit? Yes. Tallit? Where is the biblical commandment for men to wear the tallit? Please pray that I will have the inner strength to obey G-d. Reply

This is no fringe mitzvah! The tallit and tzitzit serves as constant reminders of our obligations to G-d and our fellows.
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