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I have seen many people (especialy in chabad) where a tallis katan that has a closed, round neck. While I've seen others where an equally long tallis kattan however that has a slit down the middle and a sort of "open v-neck" style. I figured those that where a closed tallis katan are concerned for the "shiur" (or size) that is must be. However what argument are these 2 "styles" based on what exactly? If in each case the tallis katan is the same length, why is there opinion that holds that the neck must be closed, or on the other hand, may be open?

  • What makes you certain that the difference between the two styles is down to halacha, and not comfort? – Shokhet Jul 19 '15 at 23:29
  • @Shokhet, I have heard that it's a mixture, some say that it's an issue of comfort, while others are more concerned about the shiur. FWIW, I'm of the former category, although I am makpid to wear wool rather than cotton. – Noach MiFrankfurt Jul 19 '15 at 23:37
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    People wear vee- and round-necked tee shirts also, fwiw. – msh210 Jul 20 '15 at 0:07
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    I wear a slit/v-neck to avoid issues mentioned in the poskim (e.g. Aruch HaShulchan) of "maalin bakodesh v'lo moridin" if one were not able to keep track of which is front and which is back etc. (Also, I believe the Chazon Ish held that if the straps adjacent the neck-hole are less than 3 tefachim, the talis is no longer valid because of lavud, though I'm not sure that one version suffers from this problem more than the other.) – Loewian Jul 20 '15 at 4:11
  • Originally the "T-opening" provided more cloth, for the shiur. Nowadays you get oversized "Model T's" because "that's the way it's always been made". – Danny Schoemann Jul 20 '15 at 13:50
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My Rav, R' Shimshon Yeshaya Adler (Monsey NY), told me that the very large hole/long slit may completely invalidate the tallis' as it renders it unfit as a proper covering of the body. The Torah only required a garment that is of size one will use it to go into a marketplace. Just as it is possible that today's short jackets permit short talleisim ketanim, one could reason that today when it is normal to wear a shirt with several of the top buttons undone, revealing the chest, so too an equally deeply slitted tallis katan would be acceptable.

A completely different reason for a small round opening is to prevent the tallis katan from creeping up over the shoulders and onto the back.

  • And the Aruch Hashulchan begs to differ, claiming there is no minimum size. – Danny Schoemann Jul 20 '15 at 13:51
  • All of this seems to be a bit unsatisfactory and without sources. – Yehoshua Jul 20 '15 at 15:09
  • Not only this, but the mention of the marketplace in this context refers to the minimum shiur as being that it cover a child. What age? The age that can go about in the marketplace on his own (about 8-9). It is not talking about an adult male wearing it as the main article of clothing into the marketplace. Kol tuv. – user3342 Nov 18 '15 at 13:39

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