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When buying Tzitzis, I have seen that there are two types of garment:

  1. A "round" neck (the hole has a racetrack shape).
  2. A "V" neck (the hole for the neck has a diamond shape).

What is the reason for the V-Neck (or what is the reason for the "round Neck")?

Courtesy of Ben's Tallit Shop

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6  
The same reason there are v-neck undershirts, no doubt. –  HodofHod May 16 '12 at 19:42
    
Maybe you can throw in some pictures, or links to sellers. –  Double AA May 16 '12 at 19:51
3  
@DoubleAA see Ben's Tallit Shop :) –  Shmuel Brin May 16 '12 at 19:53
    
As @HodofHod said, I'm sure the reason is nothing more than comfort. That being said, one thing to watch out for is that the Ba'al HaTanya wrote in his Siddur (he may have brought it in the Shulchan Aruch as well, I don't remember) that the Tallit Katan has to be 1 cubit from the neck to the end. using a v-neck will eat into that space, so make sure it is still a cubit: chabadlibrary.org/books/adhaz/piskey/6.htm –  Menachem May 17 '12 at 0:48

1 Answer 1

The important characteristics of the garment are about the corners, size, material, and how open the sides are (see below). The choice of neckline would be governed by what you're going to wear it under, same as for any other undershirt.

Laws of Tzitzit from Chabad gives the following requirements for the tallit katan. Some of the stringencies here are not universal (see comments); note, however, that these stringent requirements say nothing about the shape of the neck-hole, the subject of this question:

It must be a garment for the body and not just the head (such as a shawl). But unlike an ordinary shirt, the four corners must include two in the front and two in the back.

If the front and the back of the garment are connected at the sides, a clear majority must still be disconnected. According to the Alter Rebbe the tallit katan should be completely open on both sides and not be attached with any stitches or clasps. Certainly the garment should not have sleeves. The garment must be of a woven material, and preferably, it should be made of wool and be white.

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1  
Wow, there are a lot of firmly stated "rules" listed that directly contradict several Minhagim that some have. I wish they were more clearly indicated as being rulings of the various Lubavitch Rebbeim or customs of Chabad. –  Seth J May 16 '12 at 20:31
2  
To answer your question, though, eg.: There are many Sepharadim who only wear their Tallith around their heads and over their shoulders. There are also some who put Tzitzith on shirts or jackets with sleeves if the sides of the garment are long enough and have 4 corners; in fact, it is quite common for Kapotas and Bekishes to have their corners rounded to avoid requiring Tzitzith. –  Seth J May 16 '12 at 21:07
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Why should a talis katan "certainly" not have sleeves? The source does not provide a source! –  YDK May 16 '12 at 23:04
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@MonicaCellio I do not think you should delete this post. Chabad is a reputable resource, and they accurately reflect the customs of a specific group of Jews. That is perfectly valid for an answer. However I share some of SethJ's concerns about the description not accurately reflecting the halachik minima for a tallit kattan in other groups. I expect a more canonical answer to show up soon enough. But that doesn't detract from this, so no need to delete. –  Double AA May 16 '12 at 23:05
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@mochin how does a V neck fold the tallis over? –  Shmuel Brin May 16 '12 at 23:13

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