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      Hilchos Tzitzis 15 (page 56)

The Size of a Talis Required to have Tzitzis 

The Size of 'To Cover the Head and Most of a Minor's Body' 

The Meaning of 'An Adult Would Sometimes Wear It'

The size of a talis required to have tzitzis

To be required to have tzitzis, a garment must be long enough and wide enough to cover the head and most of the body of a minor. This is interpreted to mean the body of an average nine-year-old child. According to the Rama, it must also be large enough that a thirteen-year-old adult would not be ashamed to occasionally wear it in the street or at least in a doorway facing the street. There is a machlokes as to whether a smaller garment which local adults ordinarily wear in public is obligated to have tzitzis.

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The size of 'to cover the head and most of the minor's body'

The length of 'to cover the head and most of a minor's body' is at least one and a half amos (three quarters of an amah front and back) and ideally should be two amos (one amah front and back). The width should ideally be one amah. The cloth of the shoulder area should ideally be greater than the opening for the neck.

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The meaning of 'an adult would sometimes wear it'

The phrase 'that an adult sometimes wears' refers to the size of a garment which an adult would not be ashamed to occasionally wear in public- i.e. the assumption in this calculation is that the style of the garment is acceptable and the only variable is the size. The calculation focuses on size instead of on general embarrassment at wearing the garment publicly because otherwise all garments would be exempt in a place where people don't wear their talis koton over their clothing.

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  • According to Rabbenu Yerucham, both Rashi and Rav Amrom Gaon agree that the problem only arises when reattaching a corner that had come off completely and that the problem is limited to sewing with a string that could qualify as a tzitzis.

  • The halacha follows the second approach to understanding Rav Amrom Gaon-that the problem involves reattaching a corner with the tzitzis still intact.

  • To avoid potential problems, it is advisable to attach a patch larger than three fingers by three fingers that is free of stitching to each corner.





  • May a woman recite a beracha on a mitzvas aseh shehazman gromo?

  • Why women don't observe the mitzva of tzitzis

  • Introducing a child to the mitzva