I see many zitzit nicely ending at the same length.

But when I tie my own zitzit, the strings often end up at very uneven lengths.

Am I allowed to cut them to make them even? If not how can I get them even in the first place?

  • 3
    @DoubleAA Not sure, actually. That question presupposes that the answer to this is “yes.”
    – DonielF
    Jan 2, 2019 at 14:59
  • @DonielF If that supposition is wrong an answer can reject it
    – Double AA
    Jan 2, 2019 at 15:32
  • 1
    @dou I don't see how that's a duplicate at all. That's asking for a citation to a specific MB about how to cut tzitzis. This asks whether cutting it is permitted, not specifically according to MB. There's overlap in the answers, but neither question's is contained in the other's
    – msh210
    Jan 2, 2019 at 19:53
  • @msh210 It doesn't seem like any of the answerers there understood that question as you did.
    – Double AA
    Jan 2, 2019 at 20:01

1 Answer 1


aish.com answers it is permitted although ideally not with a metal tool

There is actually a custom not to cut tzitzit strings with metal. There is a very interesting basis for this. The Torah states regarding an altar that it must be made out of whole stones – ones which iron was never “waved on” (Deuteronomy 27:5-6). The reason, as the Talmud explains, is because iron is used to shorten the life of man (through war), while an altar lengthens the life of man – by granting him atonement before God (Mishna Middot 3:4).

Based on this, we do not use metal to cut tzitzit strings, since fulfilling the mitzvah of tzitzit may also potentially lengthen a person’s life.

On top of this, there are Kabbalistic reasons that the tzitzit should only be cut with one’s teeth. Thus, ideally, you should shorten them by biting off the ends. If this is difficult, however, it’s fine to cut them via other methods – such as burning the ends or cutting them with any non-metallic instrument, such as a ceramic knife.

(Note that however they’re cut, they should not be shortened down beneath the required length – preferably about 11.5 inches).

(Sources: Rema to Shulchan Aruch O.C. 11:4, Magen Avraham 18 with Machatzis HaShekel, Ta’amei HaMinhagim 19, Shulchan Aruch HaRav 11:24, Kaf HaChaim 11:17, Mishna Berurah 11:61.)

See also further sources on this related MY question: Cutting tzitzis strings as well as here

  • 2
    Thanks you Mr Bloch for nice clear response
    – Issy Forst
    Jan 2, 2019 at 13:59

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