Ashkenaz Tzitzis Tie
Ashkenaz Tzitzis Tie
The Tztzit Strings, On each corner, four strings are looped through a hole, and drape down on both sides, giving the appearance of eight tassels per corner. The upper onethird of the tassels are a series of five doubleknots, separated one from another with four sets of windings. Below the bottom knot, the remaining twothirds of each string hangs loosely. Each section of knotsandwindings should be approximately one inch (2.5 cm.) – for a total of 4 inches of knotsandwindings, and 8 inches of loose hanging strings. The hole on each corner should be about two inches from the edge, to fulfill the biblical requirement that it be on the garment's "corner." If the corner tears, it can usually be repaired. The strings must be made either from wool, or from the same material from which the garment is made. Each string actually consists of two threads twisted together, and must be spun especially for the sake of Tzitzit. Therefore one should buy Tallit / Tzitzit that carry a proper rabbinic supervision. Once you've purchased the strings, it's not so difficult to attach them yourself. It's fun and meaningful. The process of putting Tzitzit on the garment is as follows: use four strings, one which is longer, to wrap around the others tie the four ends together, to ensure that each string will end up with one end on each side. insert the strings into the hole, and be sure to say "Le'shem mitzvat Tzitzit." tie a doubleknot wind the longer string around the others 7 times tie a doubleknot, and wind the longer string around the others 8 times tie a doubleknot, and wind the longer string around the others 11 times tie a doubleknot, and wind the longer string around the others 13 times tie a (fifth and final) doubleknot Why are the strings wound with 7, 8, 11, and 13 windings? Seven represents the perfection of the physical world, which was created in seven days. Eight is the number of transcendence that goes beyond nature. Eleven is the numerical value of vavhey, the last two letters of God's Name. Thirteen is the numerical value of echad – one. Note: The Sephardic tradition differs, in that the shamash "spirals" the cords with four sets of wraps, separated by double knots in a 10-5-6-5 tie pattern. Although a Tallit Katan is worn underneath the shirt, there are different customs as to whether or not the tassels should be left hanging out and visible. Given the purpose of Tzitzit, it is considered better to wear them "untucked" so that we can look at them often and use them as an anchor. However, if this would cause embarrassment or dissent when living amongst nonJews, it is acceptable to have the strings tucked in.
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