Once the Tzitzit have been tied, is there any requirement about their length?

  • Does anyone know if these Tzitzit and Techelet questions have come about because of the halakhic discussion on the Facebook group "Inspiring Divrei Torah"? Commented Jan 10, 2012 at 17:57
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    @Adam I doubt it.
    – avi
    Commented Jan 10, 2012 at 18:23

4 Answers 4


theres a difference if you're tying the tsitsit now or if they were previously tied and now they ripped. if you are tying them now, they should be 4 finger-widths for the knots and 8 for the strings. if they rip, you need 4 strings (not half strings) that are long enough to tie a single knot in. if there is one of the original 4 strings (i.e. the 4 that became 8) which are torn to the extent that you cant tie a knot (on either side, since every string is doubled) its no longer usable. so, practically, if there are 2 of the 8 half-strings that are torn to the extent that you cannot tie a knot in them, we are concerned that they come from the same string, especially if they are on opposite sides of the last double-knot. since today, when most people tie tzitzit, they are careful to keep the same strings on different sides of the knots, (meaning you wont find the original string having to "heads" on one side of the knot), if the ripped strings are on the same side of the knot its fine and we assume they came from different original strings. this is the ruling of the shulchan aruch hope thats not to confusing.

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    Vram, welcome to the site. Thanks for this information. Citing your source(s) would make this answer much, much more valuable.
    – Seth J
    Commented Jan 10, 2012 at 19:47

שלחן ערוך ארח חיים י"א

"The length of the 8 strings [must be] not less than 4 measurements (fingerbreadths, I believe), and some say 12 [measurements], and this is how we practice; and more than that they have no [required] measurement (ie., no maximum length).


When doing my own tzizit I was told that the "tassel" must be twice as long as the "knots" So the more knots you do, the longer the tzizit need to be. But there is no maximum.

The "tassle" must not be knotted, otherwise you start counting the required length from that knot. "twisted" is not knotted.

  • 1
    Who told you this? Please cite your sources. Also, there might not technically be a maximum, but it would be considered Yuhara (haughtiness) if someone was arrogant about the way he or she performed mitzvot. This would include long tzitzit as if to show off. Many opinions suggest tucking in one's tzitzit as to prevent Yuhara in the first place. Commented Jan 10, 2012 at 20:12
  • @Adam Who suggests tucking them in? Mishnah Berurah (8:11, SK 26) harshly condemns the practice. Cf. hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=14170&st=&pgnum=27
    – Seth J
    Commented Jan 10, 2012 at 20:47
  • @SethJ, It was the minhag in Cf: hirhurim.blogspot.com/2005/11/tucking-in-tzitzis.html Commented Jan 10, 2012 at 20:53
  • (disregard the initial comment) @SethJ, It was the minhag in Ashkenaz, and in America as well now, at least in the Modern Orthodox world. Also, most Sephardic (observant) Jews wear them in. There is an opinion cited by the gaonim that says U're'item oto is referring to being able to see them. However, most authorities take that pasuk as meaning in the daytime. Cf: hirhurim.blogspot.com/2005/11/tucking-in-tzitzis.html Commented Jan 10, 2012 at 21:00
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    @Adam according to that it wasn't Yuharah, but quite the opposite - looking like a proper mensch. Also, it mentions that many people tuck them in (apparently for neatness) but not entirely - they leave them visible, either by tucking them into their pockets or by wrapping them around their belts before tucking them in, so that they can still be seen and fulfill the verse.
    – Seth J
    Commented Jan 10, 2012 at 21:44

With regards to the length, the Gemara in Tractate Menahoth discusses whether it is long enough to be able to tie it in a knot, but leave it up as a Teiku (undetermined) what the halakhah is - is it regarding one string (of the eight which is really four with both ends), or the entire tassel (out of the four tied to the corners of the garment).

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