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If I have a coat that is slit up the side rov of the way up so that it is chayav in tzitzit, if I sew on some buttons (snap? regular?) to keep it closed below rov, is it no longer chayav in tzitzit, or do I need to properly sew it closed? Sources always appreciated.

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It would be useful to provide a source for A)The requirement beginning with a slit most of the way up the side of the garment and B)The elimination of the requirement once the sides are (re-)connected. –  Seth J Nov 28 '11 at 19:54
    
@SethJ I don't have those sources inside, but I am pretty confident they are correct. I just don't know the specific type of connection you need. –  Double AA Nov 28 '11 at 20:04
    
Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/5269 –  msh210 Nov 28 '11 at 20:31
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@msh210 indeed it prompted my thinking. i don't think it's a duplicate though –  Double AA Nov 28 '11 at 20:42
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@DoubleAA, if msh210 thought it was a duplicate, he'd probably have closed it. A "Related" comment is an informative cross-reference, not a corrective. –  Isaac Moses Nov 28 '11 at 21:38

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

A case of sewing the corners does not exempt you from tzitzis because we assume 'if he didn't want the corner, he should have cut it and thrown it away'. Rather, he is planning on undoing them at some point and the corners are still considered a significant part of the garment. (SA OC 10:3 and MB)

We see (at least) 2 halachos:

  • Any closure that you are planning (alternatively- is formed in a way that one would plan) on undoing it in the future is not a significant closure.
  • Any closure that you are not planning (alternatively- is not formed in a way that one would plan) on undoing it in the future is a significant closure.

Based on the above, it would seem that snap would not exempt. Sewing would, since there is no logic of 'if he didn't want the corner...' (Also, note the Biur Halacha there who says that you don't apply the above "if he..." if that is the normal manufacturing method.

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+1 Nice! I wonder if there is a way to figure out which of your 'alternatives' is correct? Consider if one buttons it with no intention of ever undoing them... –  Double AA Nov 28 '11 at 22:11
    
If I had to guess, the 2nd. The SA make no distinction between planning and not planning. It seems like it goes by the styling- batla daatei. –  YDK Nov 28 '11 at 22:21

I think it would still require tzitzit if you snap, button, or tie it.

I was making tzizit with my local-Rabbi, and I decided I wanted to cut the sides of an undershirt and attach tzizit to it, then button the sides together so that my tzizit wouldn't get bunched and out of place. My Rabbi said it would be kosher, but I should make sure the sides are open when I put them on, say the brucha, and then button the sides.

I also remember seeing (I think in the Jewish Encyclopedia) a drawing of a Shepherd's Coat, similar to this, but without the shoulder pieces, which required tzizit, even though it had buttons up the front.

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Why, if the snaps don't remove the chiyuv, do you need to have it unsnapped to say the bracha? –  Double AA Nov 28 '11 at 21:44
    
I never asked him. I just thought, "Yes, I can make the tzitzit I want". –  zaq Nov 28 '11 at 21:50
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I'm with you, @DoubleAA. –  YDK Nov 28 '11 at 21:59

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