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Can somebody please explain the halacha of altering a tallis katan? If the garment is too wide but the length is good, is it OK to have it taken in? This is not a substitute for my rabbi's advice, just additional information.

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I'm not sure what you are altering, so let's deal with a couple of options. I will assume the tzitzis are already tied on.

One may alter the material as long as it was a proper four cornered garment beforehand,and he keeps those same four corners as they are, see Shulchan Aruch siman O'ch 10 siff 5 and 6 with the Mishna Berurah. We must avoid a case of taaseh vilo min ha'asui, having string on the material and only afterwards turning it into a proper for cornered beged. That would be passul.

The part that goes over the shoulders can be more narrow than the rest of the material, but 'the part that goes over the shoulders should be wide enough to be apparent that they are part of the article of clothing and not look like straps'. Mishna Berurah siman 16 end of #2.

  • OK. Also, in the event that I just buy a bigger size, is folding the garment along the slit below the neck so that it clings more tightly to my shoulders ok? That means on the front one corner is directly over the other corner. You might not know what I'm talking about, but bottom line is, does folding the tallis katan to fit better under your clothing seem halachically ok? – Baruch Jan 16 '15 at 15:33
  • @Baruch you're right. I don't understand:) in general you can fold however you want. Just don't stitch it, some weird of sewing it would invalidate it. Also we try to keep two in front and two in back. – user6591 Jan 16 '15 at 16:46
  • Thank you. Your input and knowledge is truly appreciated. – Baruch Jan 16 '15 at 17:01

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