Take the 2-minute tour ×
Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

1)There are two authentic ways to tie the Sisit (Tzitzis) that have sources. Maran writes to make 7-9-11-13. First question: why does he write this is he then says Gimtarya Hashem is One, when in fact it is not- Hashem is One in Hebrew is 39 and Maran wrote 40 which is not Hashem is One?

2) Why don't at least the Ashkenazim follow the Mehaber's minhag of 7-9-11-13?

3) There is a custom that stems back from Rav Shelomo Molecho who used to make Sisit 10-5-6-5 by individual wraps and the Hida brings that down as Halacha (and see Yalkut Yosef, Sheerit Yosef vol. 1, siman 11) to make it 10-5-6-5. However, for some reason some people took that way and mixed it with the way of the Arizal (see Shaar HaKawanot vol. 1, Tzitzit Derush 6 if I remember correctly) to make 3 Huliot and make 7-8-11-13, as brought down by Kaf HaHaim (siman 11) and the Shulhan Aruch HaRav (see Halacha Berura 11). My question is, some people took the way of the Ari and mixed it with the way of Hida. The Ari clearly states to make 7-8-11-13 with Huliot of 3, and when the Hachamim were talking about the Hida's method it means one by one in the 10-5-6-5 method. However, the popular Sephardic custom to me seems to be made up, and not have any source. Can someone give a source for this method of the 7-8-11-13 with the knots through them without the Huliot of 3?

share|improve this question
There are a LOT of methods detailed in the Rishonim, as per tekhelet.com/guide.htm –  yitznewton Dec 16 '11 at 3:26
I understand, but my question is: where did the mix of the two opinions stem from? –  Hacham Gabriel Dec 16 '11 at 3:27
Should this be split into two questions? –  Isaac Moses Dec 16 '11 at 5:12
I think this needs to be clarified. Some of the background is a bit confusing. It is not clear until the end of the question that it is about the origins of the popular Sefaradi Minhag. Could this be made clear up front? –  Seth J Dec 16 '11 at 14:27
I made a few revisions...How about now? –  Hacham Gabriel Dec 16 '11 at 16:00

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

This seems like multiple questions and I will suffice with addressing the first two:

1) The mechaber clearly states (OC 11:14) that 40 wraps is for 39+1, 39 being the gematria of Hashem Echad and 1 for the name itself. This (adding 1 for the entire object) is not at all an uncommon technique to use in gematria.

2) Since when have Ashkenazim been bound by the Mechaber's minhagim? The Mishna Berurah (sk 70) says that the "Achronim" argue on the Mechaber and rule 7-8-11-13 and that is what most Ashkenazim do.

share|improve this answer
But the Rama doesn't argue. –  Hacham Gabriel Mar 25 '12 at 15:44
I found the source for question number 3. Thanks for the excellent answer. –  Hacham Gabriel Aug 15 '13 at 4:32

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.