Introduction to Hilchos Tzitzit

They contain one mitzvah, to make tzitzit on the corners of a garment.

This mitzvah is explained in the following chapters.

הלכות ציצית - הקדמה

הלכות ציצית מצות עשה אחת והיא לעשות ציצית על כנפי הכסות וביאור מצוה זו בפרקים אלו:

1

The tassel that is made on the fringes of a garment from the same fabric as the garment is called tzitzit, because it resembles the locks of the head, as [Ezekiel 8:3] relates, "And he took me by the locks of my head."

This tassel is called the white [strands], because we are not commanded to dye it. The Torah did not establish a fixed number of strands for this tassel.

א

ענף שעושין על כנף הבגד ממין הבגד הוא הנקרא ציצית מפני שהוא דומה לציצית של ראש שנאמר ויקחני בציצית ראשי וזה הענף הוא הנקרא לבן מפני שאין אנו מצווין לצובעו ואין לחוטי הענף מנין מן התורה:

The tassel that is made on the fringes of a garment - The word anaf, translated as "tassel," literally means "branch." Just as a branch is an extension of the tree, the tzitzit are extensions of the fringes.

from the same fabric as the garment - See Chapter 3, Halachah 5.

is called tzitzit - in Numbers 15:38-39. Deuteronomy 22:12 refers to these tassels as g'dilim (braids).

because it resembles the locks of the head, as [Ezekiel 8:3] relates, "And he took me by the locks of my head." - Note Halachah 8, which derives a halachic ruling from this comparison of terms.

This tassel is called the white [strands], because we are not commanded to dye it. - According to the Torah alone (מדאורייתא), we are obligated to place tzitzit only on fabrics of linen and wool (Chapter 3, Halachah 1). Both fabrics are white and need not be dyed.

The Torah did not establish a fixed number of strands for this tassel. - Though the Rabbis established a fixed practice, as explained in Halachah 6, according to the Torah alone (מדאורייתא) there is no fixed number of strands. Though there are some sources that appear to indicate that the Torah also fixed the number of strands required, Sanhedrin 88b concludes that the essence of the mitzvah of tzitzit is a Torah obligation; its explanation, however, is Rabbinic in origin.

Significantly, the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 11:12) rules that if one includes more than eight strands in tzitzit, they are unacceptable. Shulchan Aruch HaRav 11:1 goes further and states that by doing so, one violates the prohibition forbidding adding to a Torah commandment. Note the Mishnah Berurah 11:60, which quotes other opinions that differ.

2

Then we take a strand of wool that is dyed a sky-like color and wind it around this tassel. This strand is called techelet. The Torah did not establish a fixed requirement for the number of times that this strand should be wound [around the tassel].

ב

ולוקחין חוט צמר שנצבע כעין הרקיע וכורכין אותו על הענף וחוט זה הוא הנקרא תכלת ואין למנין הכריכות שכורך חוט זה שיעור מן התורה:

Then we take a strand of wool that is dyed a sky-like color - i.e., sky-blue. Menachot 43b relates that this color is also reminiscent of God's throne.

and wind it around this tassel. This strand is called techelet. - The Rambam discusses the nature of this dye and its preparation in Chapter 2.

The Torah did not establish a fixed requirement for the number of times that this strand should be wound [around the tassel]. - Menachot 39a requires that the strand of techelet be wound at least seven times around the tassel, as explained in Halachah 8. This is a Rabbinic ordinance.

3

Thus, this mitzvah contains two commandments: to make a tassel on the fringe [of a garment], and to wind a strand of techelet around the tassel. [Both these dimensions are indicated by Numbers 15:38, which] states: "And you shall make tassels... and you shall place on the tassels of the corner a strand of techelet."

ג

נמצאו במצוה זו שני צווים שיעשה על הכנף ענף יוצא ממנה ושיכרוך על הענף חוט תכלת שנאמר ועשו להם ציצית ונתנו על ציצית הכנף פתיל תכלת:

4

The [absence of] techelet does not prevent [the mitzvah from being fulfilled with] the white strands, nor does the [absence of] the white strands prevent [the mitzvah from being fulfilled with] techelet.

What is implied? A person who does not have techelet should make [tzitzit] from white strands alone. Similarly, if [tzitzit] were made from both white strands and techelet, and afterwards, the white strands snapped and were reduced until [they did not extend beyond] the corner [of the garment], and thus only the techelet remained, it is acceptable.

ד

והתכלת אינו מעכב את הלבן והלבן אינו מעכב את התכלת כיצד הרי שאין לו תכלת עושה לבן לבדו וכן אם עשה לבן ותכלת ונפסק הלבן ונתמעט עד הכנף ונשאר התכלת לבדו כשר:

The [absence of] techelet does not prevent [the mitzvah from being fulfilled with] the white strands, nor does the [absence of] the white strands prevent [the mitzvah from being fulfilled with] techelet. - In this aspect, they resemble the arm tefillin and the head tefillin. (See Hilchot Tefillin 4:4.) As explained in the following halachah, however, unlike tefillin, they are counted as one mitzvah and not two.

What is implied? A person who does not have techelet should make [tzitzit] from white strands alone. - This is the practice in the present age, when we do not know how to obtain techelet. Even in Talmudic times, when techelet was available, it was very expensive, and many of the common people made their tzitzit without it.

Similarly, if [tzitzit] were made from both white strands and techelet, and afterwards, the white strands snapped and were reduced until [they did not extend beyond] the corner [of the garment] - The explanation of the Rambam's statements has been debated by the commentaries. Our translation is based on the Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah, Menachot 4:1.

and thus only the techelet remained, it is acceptable. - The Kessef Mishneh emphasizes that the Rambam does not accept tzitzit that were made from techelet without any white strands. Since the verse states, "and you shall place on the tassels of the corner a strand of techelet," there must be tassels of white strands around which to wind the techelet. Once this has been done, however, if the white strands are severed, one can still fulfill the mitzvah with the techelet alone.

5

Although the [absence of] one does not prevent [the mitzvah from being fulfilled with] the other, they are not considered as two mitzvot. Instead, they are a single mitzvah. Whether [the tzitzit] a person wears on his garment are white, techelet, or a combination of the two colors, he fulfills a single mitzvah.

The Sages of the early generations related: [Numbers 15:39 states:] "And they shall be tzitzit for you." This teaches that they are both one mitzvah.

The [presence of each of the] four tzitzit is necessary [for the mitzvah to be fulfilled], because all four are [elements] of a single mitzvah.

ה

אף על פי שאין אחד מהן מעכב את חבירו אינן שתי מצות אלא מצות עשה אחת אמרו חכמים הראשונים והיה לכם לציצית מלמד ששניהם מצוה אחת וארבע ציציות מעכבות זו את זו שארבעתן מצוה אחת והלובש טלית שיש בה לבן או תכלת או שניהם כאחד הרי קיים מצות עשה אחת:

Although the [absence of] one does not prevent [the mitzvah from being fulfilled with] the other, they are not considered as two mitzvot. - In General Principle 11 of Sefer HaMitzvot, the Rambam writes:

One might think that since neither is dependent on the other, they would be counted as two mitzvot.... [Nevertheless,] they are a single mitzvah... because they have a single objective, "that you remember all the mitzvot...." All the elements that bring about this remembrance are counted as a single mitzvah.

Instead, they are a single mitzvah. - See Sefer HaMitzvot (Positive Commandment 14) and Sefer HaChinuch (Mitzvah 386).

Whether [the tzitzit] a person wears on his garment are white, techelet, or a combination of the two colors, he fulfills a single mitzvah.

The Sages of the early generations - Sifre Zuta, Mechilta D'Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai

related: [Numbers 15:39 states:] "And they shall be tzitzit for you." This - the use of the singular form of the verb והיה

teaches that they are both one mitzvah.

The [presence of each of the] four tzitzit is necessary [for the mitzvah to be fulfilled] - i.e., although a garment has several tzitzit, the mitzvah is not fulfilled unless it has all four.

because all four are [elements] of a single mitzvah.

6

How are the tzitzit made? One begins from the corner of a garment - i.e., the end of its woven portion. One ascends upward no more than three fingerbreadths from the edge, but no less than the distance from the knuckle of the thumb to its end.

[A hole is made] and four strands inserted, [causing them] to be folded in half. Thus, there will be eight strands hanging down from the corner. These eight strands must be at least four fingerbreadths long. If they are longer - even if they are a cubit or two long - it is acceptable. The term "fingerbreadth" refers to a thumbbreadth.

One of the eight strands should be techelet; the other seven should be white.

ו

כיצד עושין את הציצית מתחיל מזוית של טלית שהיא סוף הארוג ומרחיק ממנה לא יותר על שלש אצבעות למעלה ולא פחות מקשר גודל ומכניס שם ארבעה חוטין וכופלן באמצע נמצאו שמונה חוטים משולשין תלויין מן הקרן ואורך החוטים השמונה אין פחות מארבע אצבעות ואם היו יותר על כן אפילו אמה או שתים כשרין וכל האצבעות בגודל ויהיה אחד משמנה החוטים חוט תכלת והשבעה לבנים:

How are the tzitzit made? One begins from the corner of a garment - i.e., the end of its woven portion. - The tzitzit must be placed at the "corners" or the "fringes" of the garment.

One ascends upward no more than three fingerbreadths from the edge - Any further distance upward would be considered part of the garment itself and not its "corner" or "fringe" (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 11:9).

but no less than the distance from the knuckle of the thumb to its end. - This is approximately two fingerbreadths. Any lower would be considered as "below the fringe" and not "on the fringe" (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 11:16).

Other opinions mention that these distances should also be applied in regard to the space between the hole and the side of the garment. It is customary to follow this view (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 11:10).

[A hole is made] and four strands inserted, [causing them] to be folded in half. Thus, there will be eight strands hanging down from the corner. - As mentioned in Halachah 1, the Torah does not explicitly mention the number of strands in the tzitzit. Although Menachot 39b derives this concept from the exegesis of Deuteronomy 22:12, the Rambam considers this process of derivation to be Rabbinic in origin (מדברי סופרים).

These eight strands must be at least four fingerbreadths long. - This decision is based on the Rambam's interpretation ofMenachot 39a and 41b. Based on the same sources, Rabbenu Tam requires that the strands be at least twelve fingerbreadths long. His opinion is accepted as halachah by the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 11:4) and the later authorities.

If they are longer - even if they are a cubit or two long - it is acceptable. - It is common to make the strands slightly longer than twelve fingerbreadths, so that, even if they tear, they will still retain the desired length (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 11:9; Mishnah Berurah 11:21).

The term "fingerbreadth" refers to a thumbbreadth. - See Hilchot Sefer Torah 9:9. In contemporary measure, a thumbbreadth is approximately 2 centimeters according to Shiurei Torah, and 2.4 centimeters according to Chazon Ish.

One of the eight strands should be techelet - Though the eight strands come from folding four larger strands, only half of one of these strands should be dyed. The other half should retain its natural color, white.

The Ra'avad disagrees with this point and maintains that one of the larger strands should be dyed in its entirety, thus producing two smaller strands that are dyed techelet. The Tur (Orach Chayim 10) and other Ashkenazic authorities maintain that two of the four strands were techelet and two were white.

The Kessef Mishneh supports the Rambam's position, noting that Numbers 15:39 states, "And you shall place on the tassels of the corner a strand (singular) of techelet." Note also the commentary of the Or Sameach.

Significantly, archaeological excavations have uncovered tzitzit belonging to bar Kochba's soldiers. Only one of the eight strands was dyed techelet.

the other seven should be white. - The dyed strand should be slightly longer than the others, so that, even after it has been wound around them, it will be the same length as the others.

7

Afterwards, one should take one of the white strands and wind it once around the other strands close to the edge of the garment and let it go. Then one takes the strand that was dyed techelet and winds it twice [around the other strands], next to the coil made by the white strand, and then ties the strands in a knot. These three coils are called a segment.

Afterwards, one should leave a slight space, and then make a second segment using only the strand that was dyed techelet. Again, one should leave a slight space, and then make a third segment [using only the strand that was dyed techelet for this segment as well]. One should continue in this manner until the final segment, which is made of two coils of techelet and a final coil using a white strand.1 Since one began with a white strand, one concludes with it, because one should always ascend to a higher level of holiness, but never descend.2

Why should one begin using a white strand? So that [the coil that is] next to the corner of the garment should be similar to [the garment itself].

The same pattern is followed regarding all four corners.

ז

ולוקח חוט אחד מן הלבן וכורך בו כריכה אחת על שאר החוטין בצד הבגד ומניחו ולוקח חוט התכלת וכורך בו שתי כריכות בצד כריכה של לבן וקושר ואלו השלש כריכות הם הנקראין חוליא ומרחיק מעט ועושה חוליא שניה בחוט של תכלת לבדו ומרחיק מעט ועושה חוליא שלישית וכן עד חוליא אחרונה שהוא כורך בה שתי כריכות של תכלת וכריכה אחרונה של לבן מפני שהתחיל בלבן מסיים בו שמעלין בקודש ולא מורידין ולמה יתחיל בלבן כדי שיהא סמוך לכנף מינה ועל דרך זה הוא עושה בארבע הכנפות:

8

How many segments should be made at every corner? No fewer than seven and no more than thirteen.3

[The above] represents the most preferable way of performing the mitzvah. If, however, one wound only one segment around the strands, it is acceptable.4 Should one wind the techelet around the majority of the [length of the] tzitzit, it is acceptable. For the techelet to be attractive, [however,] all the segments should be in the upper third of the strands, and the [remaining] two thirds should hang loose.5

One must separate the strands like the locks of one's hair.6

ח

כמה חוליות הוא עושה בכל כנף לא פחות משבע ולא יותר משלש עשרה וזו היא מצוה מן המובחר ואם לא כרך עליה אלא חוליא אחת כשרה ואם כרך התכלת על רוב הציצית כשרה ונוי התכלת שיהיו כל החוליות בשליש החוטין המשולשלין ושני שלישיהן ענף וצריך לפרדו עד שיהיה כציצית שיער הראש:

9

A person who makes [tzitzit using only] white threads without using techelet7 should take one of the eight strands and wind it around the others, covering one third of [the length of] the strands and leaving two thirds hanging loose.

When winding [this strand around the others], one may create segments as one does when winding the techelet, if one desires. This is our custom. If, however, one desires to wind [the strand around the others] without creating segments, one may.8

The general principle is that one should intend that one third of the tzitzit be bound, and two thirds hang loose.9 There are those, however, who are not precise about this matter when [making tzitzit] with white threads [alone].

Should one wind a white thread around the majority [of the length] of the strands or should one make only a single segment,10 [the tzitzit] are acceptable.

ט

העושה לבן בלא תכלת לוקח אחד משמונה החוטין וכורך אותו על שאר החוטין עד שלישן ומניח שני שלישיתן ענף וכריכה זו אם רצה לכרוך אותה חוליות חוליות כעין שכורך בתכלת הרשות בידו וזה הוא מנהגנו ואם רצה לכרוך בלא מנין חוליות עושה כללו של דבר יתכוין להיות הכרוך שליש והענף שני שלישים ויש מי שאינו מדקדק בדבר זה בלבן ואם כרך הלבן על רוב החוטין או שלא כרך אלא חוליא אחת כשרה:

10

Both the white strands and those dyed techelet may be made out of entwined strands.11 Even a strand that is made from eight threads entwined into a single strand is considered as only a single strand in this context.

י

אחד חוטי לבן ואחד חוטי תכלת אם רצה לעשות שזורין עושה אפי' היה החוט כפול משמנה חוטין ושזור עד שנעשה פתיל אחד אינו נחשב אלא חוט אחד:

11

Both the white strands of the tzitzit and those dyedtechelet must be spun for the sake of being used for [the mitzvah of] tzitzit.

[Tzitzit] may not be made from wool which becomes attached to thorns when sheep graze among them, nor from hairs which are pulled off the animal, and not from the leftover strands of the woof which the weaver leaves over when he completes a garment. Rather, they must be made from shorn wool or from flax.

[Tzitzit] may not be made from wool which was stolen, which came from an ir hanidachat, or which came from a consecrated animal. If such wool was used, it is unacceptable. If a person bows down to an animal, its wool is not acceptable for use for tzitzit. If, however, one bows down to flax which is planted, it is acceptable, because it has been changed.

יא

חוטי הציצית בין לבן בין תכלת צריכין טויה לשם ציצית ואין עושין אותן לא מן הצמר הנאחז בקוצים כשהצאן רובצין ביניהם ולא מן הנימין הנתלשין מן הבהמה ולא משיורי שתי שהאורג משייר בסוף הבגד אלא מן הגזה של צמר או מן הפשתן ואין עושין אותן מצמר הגזול ולא משל עיר הנדחת ולא משל קדשים ואם עשה פסול המשתחוה לבהמה צמרה פסול לציצית אבל המשתחוה לפשתן הנטוע הרי זה כשר שהרי נשתנה:

Both the white strands of the tzitzit and those dyed techelet must be spun for the sake of being used for [the mitzvah of] tzitzit. - i.e., before one begins spinning the strands, one must state that he is doing so for the sake of use for tzitzit.

As explained in Hilchot Tefillin 1:11, any time when an activity must be carried out lishmah, it cannot be performed by a gentile. Therefore, the strands may not be spun by a gentile alone (Ramah, Orach Chayim 11:1).

[Tzitzit] may not be made from wool which becomes attached to thorns when sheep graze among them, nor from hairs which are pulled off the animal, and not from the leftover strands of the woof which the weaver leaves over when he completes a garment. - Tzitzit must be made from the same fabric as that which was used for the garment to which they are attached. Since these three sorts of wool are of an inferior quality and are not suitable for use in a garment itself, they may not be used for tzitzit either (Sefer HaMaor, Sukkah).

Rather, they must be made from shorn wool or from flax.

[Tzitzit] may not be made from wool which was stolen - Numbers 15:38 states: "And you shall make tzitzit for yourselves." The latter term implies that the tzitzit must belong to their owner and may not be stolen.

One of the principles of Jewish law is that if the form of a stolen article is altered and its original owner gives up hope of its return, it is acquired by the thief, and he is required merely to return its worth, but not the article itself. Note Shulchan Aruch HaRav 11:12 and the Mishnah Berurah 11:30, which discuss the implications of this principle on the use of stolen wool for tzitzit.

which came from an ir hanidachat - An ir hanidachat is a city condemned to be destroyed because the majority of its inhabitants worshiped idols. All property contained within the city is condemned to be burned and is considered as if it does not exist. (See Hilchot Avodat Kochavim, Chapter 4.)

or which came from a consecrated animal - an animal designated to be offered as a sacrifice. Tzitzit can be made only from wool that belongs "to you." Once an animal is designated for sacrificial purposes, it is no longer considered as belonging to a private individual (Sefer HaKovetz).

If such wool was used, it is unacceptable.

If a person bows down to an animal, its wool is not acceptable for use for tzitzit. - In contrast to other objects worshiped as false deities, an animal does not become condemned and may be used for other purposes (Hilchot Avodat Kochavim 8:1). Nevertheless, wool of this nature is unfit to use for a ritual purpose. (See Hilchot Issurei HaMizbe'ach 3:6.)

If, however, one bows down to flax which is planted, it is acceptable - for use as tzitzit

because it has been changed - and no longer resembles the object which was worshiped. (See Hilchot Issurei Hamizbe'ach 3:14.)

12

Tzitzit that were made by a gentile are not acceptable, as [implied by Numbers 15:38, which] states: "Speak to the children of Israel... and you shall make tzitzit for yourselves." If, however, a Jew made tzitzit without the intention [that they be used for the mitzvah], they are acceptable.

Tzitzit that are made from those already existing are not acceptable.

יב

ציצית שעשה אותו כותי פסול שנאמר דבר אל בני ישראל ועשו להם ציצית אבל אם עשה אותה ישראל בלא כוונה כשרה וציצית שנעשה מן העשוי מקודם פסול:

Tzitzit that were made - i.e., attached to the garment and tied

by a gentile are not acceptable, as [implied by Numbers 15:38, which] states: "Speak to the children of Israel... and you shall make tzitzit for yourselves." - Menachot 42a relates that this verse serves as the source for the ruling that only a Jew may tie tzitzit.

The Hagahot Maimoniot state that since the phrase ישראל בני literally means "sons of Israel," tzitzit should not be made by women. The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 14:1) does not accept this opinion. The Ramah, however, states that it is preferable for women not to tie tzitzit.

If, however, a Jew made tzitzit without the intention [that they be used for the mitzvah], they are acceptable. - This principle can be derived from the above concept. Were it necessary for the tzitzit to be tied with the intent that they be used for the mitzvah, there would be no need for a special verse from the Torah to teach that those made by a gentile are unacceptable. The concept would be self-explanatory. Whenever a deed must be performed with a specific intention, a gentile's acts are not acceptable (Kessef Mishneh).

The Ashkenazic authorities do not accept this premise and maintain that, at the very least, the strands must be attached to the garment with the intent that they be used for the mitzvah. (See Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 14:2.)

Tzitzit that are made from those already existing are not acceptable. - This principle is explained and illustrated in detail in the following four halachot.

13

What is implied? Should a person bring the corner of a garment which has tzitzit attached to it and sew it onto another garment, it is not acceptable. [This applies] even if that corner of the garment is a square cubit in size.

[This concept is derived from Numbers 15:38, which] states: "And you shall make tzitzit for yourselves" - i.e., [you should make them] and not [use those] which were made previously,since this would be as if [the mitzvah] came about on its own accord.

It is permissible to remove strands [of tzitzit] - whether white or techelet - from one garment and tie them on another.

יג

כיצד הביא כנף שיש בה ציצית ותפרה על הבגד אפילו יש באותה הכנף אמה על אמה פסול שנאמר ועשו להם ציצית לא מן העשוי שהרי זה דומה למי שנעשית מאיליה ומותר להתיר ציצית מבגד זה ולתלותם בבגד אחר בין לבן בין תכלת:

14

Should one suspend the strands between two corners of the garment and tie [tzitzit on] each of the corners in the proper manner, and then separate them from each other,12 it is unacceptable.

[The rationale is] that, at the time they were tied, they were unacceptable, since the two corners were connected with each other through the strands. When the strands were cut, two tzitzit were made. This is considered as making tzitzit from those which already exist.13

יד

תלה החוטין בין שתי כנפים מזו לזו וקשר כנף זו כהלכתה וכנף זו כהלכתה ואח"כ חתכן באמצע ונפרדו זה מזה פסול שהרי בעת שקשרן היו פסולין לפי ששתי הכנפים מעורות זו בזו בחוטין שביניהן ובשעה שפסקן נעשו שתי ציציות נמצא עושה מן העשוי:

15

[The following rules apply when] a person ties tzitzit over existing tzitzit: Should [he tie the second set] with the intention of nullifying the first set, if he unties or cuts off the first set,14 the tzitzit are acceptable.15

Should, however, [he have tied the second set] with the intention of adding [a second tzitzit, the tzitzit] are not acceptable even though he cuts one of them off.16 When he added the second tzitzit, he disqualified both sets17, and when he unties or cuts off the additional one, the remaining one is [disqualified because it involves] making [tzitzit] from those which are already existing, since the manner in which it existed previously was not acceptable.

טו

הטיל ציצית על הציצית אם נתכוון לבטל את הראשונות מתיר הראשונה או חותכה וכשרה ואם נתכוון להוסיף אף על פי שחתך אחת משתיהן הרי זו פסולה שהרי כשהוסיף פסל את הכל וכשהתיר או חתך התוספת נמצא השאר נעשה מן העשוי שעשייתו הראשונה פסולה היתה:

16

Similarly, all the tzitzit of a garment are unacceptable18

[in the following instance]: A person placed tzitzit on a garment that had three corners.19 afterwards, he made the garment a fourth corner and placed tzitzit on it. [This is also excluded by the commandment, Deuteronomy 22:12:]20 "Make braids," [which implies that one may not use those] which were made previously.

טז

וכן המטיל לבעלת שלש ואחר כך השלימה לארבע והטיל לרביעית כולה פסולה שנאמר תעשה ולא מן העשוי:

17

A garment should not be folded in half, and then tzitzit hung on the four corners of the folded garment,21 unless one sews it along [one] side entirely. [It is sufficient, however, to sew it] on one side alone.22

יז

אין כופלין את הטלית לשנים ומטילין ציצית על ד' כנפיה כשהיא כפולה אלא אם כן תפרה כולה ואפילו מרוח אחת:

18

[The following rules apply] if the corner [of the garment] to which the tzitzit were attached is torn off the garment: If more than three fingerbreadths were torn, it may be sewed back in its place.23

If less than three fingerbreadths were torn off, it should not be sewn back.24

If the portion of the garment is between [the hole through which] the tzitzit [are attached] and the end of the garment, it is acceptable, even though only the smallest portion of the fabric remains.25

Similarly, if the [length of the] strands of the tzitzit was reduced,26 it is acceptable, as long as enough of the strand remains to tie a loop. Should, however, even a single strand be torn off [from the place to which it is attached to the garment], it is no longer acceptable.27

יח

נפסק הכנף שיש בה ציצית חוץ לשלש אצבעות תופרה במקומה בתוך שלש לא יתפור נתמעטה זוית של בגד שבין חוטי הציצית ובין סוף הארוג אפילו לא נשאר מן הארוג אלא כל שהוא כשר וכן אם נתמעטו חוטי הציצית אפילו לא נשתייר מהם אלא כדי עניבה כשר ואם נפסק החוט מעיקרו אפילו חוט אחד פסולה: