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The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 10:9) states that a garment's corners must be squared and not rounded in order for the garment to require tzitzis.

For example, if a kopoto's corner was altered to be more rounded than it was as sold in the store, how rounded must the corner actually be? Are there specific guidelines which constitute what exactly is or is not a "corner"?

  • I am just learning Hilkhot Ẓiẓit (specifically, Siman 10) and had this same question after learning the Shulḥan 'Arukh with the Mishnah Berurah and Rabbi Eli Mansour's shi'ur on the siman. – Lee Nov 24 '15 at 8:40
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    Opposite question (duplicate?): judaism.stackexchange.com/q/26160/5151 – Scimonster Nov 24 '15 at 11:56
  • @Scimonster How is that not a dupe? – Double AA Nov 24 '15 at 14:40
  • A Kapota is anyhow exempt according to the Rema just like any coat, due to it being worn with all corners in front. – HaLeiVi Nov 24 '15 at 15:29
  • @HaLeiVi are you familiar with a kapoto? Not all of the corners are in front – Dude Nov 25 '15 at 4:06
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Rabbi Yosef Zvi Rimon of Yeshivat Har Etzion states:

What is considered "rounded?" The Bi'ur Halakha (s.v. Ve-lo) rejects the notion that a token rounding is sufficient to exempt a garment from tzitzit, but remains undecided about the amount of rounding necessary to exempt the garment. There are Acharonim, though, who do venture opinions.

The Maharil Diskin (responsa, end) writes that the radius should be three etzba'ot (fingers or thumb-breadths, with an etzba equaling two centimeters according to R. Chaim Na'eh and 2.4 cm according to the Chazon Ish), while the Arukh Ha-shulchan believes that the length of the arc should be 3 tefachim (i.e., the radius should be 1.9 tefachim).

The most likely opinion, however, appears to be that of the Chazon Ish (in Dinim Ve-hanhagot Me-hachazon Ish, vol. II, 3) who says that the determining factor is simply whether it appears round to the eye, and thus even three fingers is not necessary. [The logic being that the definition of rounded should not be an objective arc, but rather relative to the object concerned - Ed.]

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