3

I have noticed that there are not only several different gartels but many different ways to tie them. I have always tied mine as I have seen most modern orthodox men tie it, with two loops on the side and then stuck through, but I notice some Chassidim have different methods (not only the ones who wear gele bekishes who have the 248 striped, tefach wide gartels). Attached are some photos, I was wondering if anyone could help identify the minhag, or give a description of how to tie these ways as well...

I have seen the middle knot tie method before but don't know how to do it myself, instruction would be appreciated. The smooth gartel of the man on the right on the second photo is one I have never seen in real life before.

https://www.theyeshivaworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/DSC0030.jpg https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8b/Hasidic_Men_on_Street.jpg

3
  • Welcome to MiYodeya and thanks for this first question. Great to have you learn with us!
    – mbloch
    Jun 25, 2021 at 3:30
  • The first picture doesn't look like a special knot to me. I think he just looped the gartel once in the middle before doing a standard tie. I don't think there is any one correct way to tie a gartel, as long as it is snug.
    – N.T.
    Jun 25, 2021 at 9:21
  • MO people wear gartlach? That’s news to me
    – ezra
    Feb 23 at 20:44

2 Answers 2

0

There is no correct/incorrect way to tie them. The reason that one picture has the gartel all wound up, is because he's a chosson. It's his first time wearing a gartel. And soon he'll be dancing about wildly. So not having experience with gartel beforehand, the dancing will certainly make it fall down constantly to his legs - so they tie it up like this to keep it nice and tucked in.

The traditional way of tying it by EVERYBODY is the same, with tiny adjustments - it is done that way because it is easy to tie, and easy to undo, and at the same time it's easy to adjust - tighten, loosen, making it ideal for when you need to put it on and take it off quickly according to need.

How is the traditional way done? After you ravel it around your body (in terms of height it should be adjacent to your elbows as they are rested against your body), you should have a bit of the gartel left dangling down (how much is up to you, I typically leave it below my knee, prior to the tying). You then grab some of the upper portion of that loose piece, and tuck it into that part of the gartel which is wound around your body -- it does not matter whether you tuck it in from the top or the bottom, it's merely an inyan of comfort; I myself tuck it in from below, so it protrudes on top -- and that should result in there being a small loop. You grab the rest of the gartel that's still dangling (its upper portion now in a loop, tucked into the "wound gartel"), and slide it into that loop, tighten it, and viola! You have yourself a typical, classical gartel tie.

2
  • What about Square chasidim only looping it?
    – Yoreinu
    Sep 2, 2022 at 16:42
  • 1
    The reason that one picture has the gartel all wound up, is because he's a chosson. It's his first time wearing a gartel. I doubt that this is his first time wearing a gartel, as all chassidic young men regularly wear gartels, especially from the age of 13. May 29, 2023 at 22:21
0

Although I would have to dig to pull out the sources that I have seen over the years on this subject, they all point back to the same source.

The gartel corresponds to the אבנט worn by Aharon HaKohen Gadol and all regular Kohanim during their service עבודה.

The tradition is for 32 windings corresponding to the place it is worn, at the heart לב. If I recall , this appears in the commentary of Rabbeinu Bechaye.

That implies for most people a gartel length that is twice the width of your body or approximately 64 amot. This means that it is actually more like a cummerbund that covers a wide area from the base of the sternum, where the heart is located, to below the navel.

The Avnet also corresponds to the בריח התיכון of the Mishkan which passes through the center of all the planks of the Mishkan, (Shemot 26:28) binding and unifying them together as a dwelling place for G-d’s Presence. This is discussed by the second Lubavitcher Rebbe in his discourses pertaining to Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot.

And this is also related to the Jewish King, who binds the entire nation together as one and is compared to the heart of the nation by Rambam in the Mishneh Torah, Laws of Kings and their Wars.

In that context, the entire Jewish people are called a Nation of Priests ממלכת כהנים like Shemot 19:6 which is why the Avnet is a traditional Jewish garment worn particularly during prayer עבודה שבלב.

The cummerbund style of the Avnet also pertains to the length of the straps of the Tefillin shel Rosh. That the right strap, which corresponds to the aspect of kindness is longer (even down to the floor), like the idea of רב חסד in the 13 qualities of Mercy and the corresponding phrase כי חפץ חסד הוא recited during Tashlich. While the left strap, which corresponds with Severity גבורה and judgement דין, is shorter (but is required to extend beyond the neck, corresponding with harsh judgement like פרעה, קשה עורף ומצרים, to reach to the chest), meaning the base of the sternum, the place of the heart. In other words, G-d’s will (רצון היינו נוצר חסד) surpasses and overturns the restrictions (המצרים) of harsh judgment (דין וגבורה). This is the very core of concept behind Yom Kippur and the Ne’ilah prayer.

This relationship between kindness and judgment is like is expressed in the third of Ten Commandments prohibiting idol worship (יתרו כ:ה-ו) And in this way, the end of the shorter, left strap is often tucked in from above into the top of the Avnet, while the end of the longer, right strap is tucked in from below at the bottom of the Avnet.

I believe this is mentioned in Sefer Mishnat Chassidim by Rabbi Emmanuel Chai Rikki, zt”l.

I do not recall anything specific about securing the ends of the gartel beyond the normal concern about not tying fixed knots on Shabbat.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .