Based on this answer do tzitzit have to be white?

Where is the source that they should be?

I know that they are supposed to have at least one blue (techelet) string, but even that is disputed nowadays.

  • related: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/8321/…
    – Menachem
    Jan 17 '12 at 17:30
  • 2
    The fact that it requires a blue string isn't disputed, the dispute is the "blue strings" you see in the stores today count.
    – Hahu Gavra
    Jun 5 '12 at 21:19
  • I learned this while making a new garment( tzitzit) for pessach. So I made a beged green blue and black, and colored the strings the same!
    – user2089
    Nov 14 '12 at 13:16
  • Hello Avrahamitz and welcome to Mi Yodeya. Thank you for your contribution, and I hope you stick around and enjoy the site. This seems more like a comment (it doesn't actually answer the question), so I'm going to convert it to one. Nov 14 '12 at 15:18

The Gemara talks about "white strings" vs. techelet strings.

As I heard it from Rabbi Hershel Shachter mp3:

Rambam reads "white" as "matching the color of the garment." Thus, a pink garment would have pink strings (except for one techelet). The other Rishonim read "white" as "white" (or at least the natural color of the fiber, not sure you'd have to bleach it.)

While it's quite clear that the halacha here doesn't follow the Rambam, to avoid contradicting his view, we prefer a white garment -- hence, white strings according to everyone.

  • 2
    Careful -- the halacha is like the Rambam for Acheinu Benei Sepharad.
    – Double AA
    Jan 17 '12 at 23:32
  • @DoubleAA, really? Cool! I didn't know that. I guess RHS was just talking for Ashkenazim then. Wow now I really want to see a Sefardi wearing a silver Tallis with silver strings. That's got to look awesome.
    – Shalom
    Jan 18 '12 at 1:27
  • See Shulchan Aruch OC 9:5
    – Double AA
    Jan 18 '12 at 2:26

The Shaarei Taamei HaMitzvos says that the reason Tzitzis is white is since white is the color of Selicha, Kapara, and Rachamim.

See Machzor Vitri.

  • 1
    Did that machzor vitri just say that you can only have tzitzit on a white piece of clothing?!
    – Double AA
    Jan 17 '12 at 19:19

The Shulchan Aruch: Orach Chayim Siman 9:5 states the following:

י"א שצריך לעשו' הציצי' מצבע הטלית והמדקדקים נוהגים כן: הגה והאשכנזים אין נוהגים לעשות הציציות רק לבנים אף בבגדים צבועים ואין לשנות [ת"ה סימן מ"ו]:

Some say that it's necessary that the colour of the tzitzit and tallit are the same, and those who are particular are accustomed to practice this way. REMA: and Ashkenazim are accustomed to make only white tzitzit, even for coloured garments, and there is no need to change [the custom]

(Shared Previously by Double AA)

The lashon used by the Rema seems not to explicitly prohibit making colorful tzitzit. The question relies on the permissibility of changing a minhag.

A follow up question: In Mishneh Torah Tzitzis 2:8, The Rambam states:

טַלִּית שֶׁהִיא כֻּלָּהּ אֲדֻמָּה אוֹ יְרֻקָּה אוֹ מִשְּׁאָר צִבְעוֹנִין עוֹשֶׂה חוּטֵי לָבָן שֶׁלָּהּ כְּעֵין צִבְעָהּ. אִם יְרֻקָּה יְרֻקִּין אִם אֲדֻמ אֲדֻמִּין.

"If a garment is entirely red or green, or of any other color, the fringes which ordinarily are white should be of the same color as the garment; green, if it is green, red; if it is red."

What about a garment that is half red, and half green?

  • What if it is not a primary color, but is mixed or is colorful all over? Why wouldn't the strings have to be made of the same mixture?
    – Chatzkel
    Aug 18 '21 at 17:31

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