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      Hilchos Tzitzis 15 (page 54)

Stitching a Garment Within Three 'Fingers' of the Edge 

The Opinion of Rashi 

The Opinion of Rav Amrom Gaon 

Stitching a garment within three 'fingers' of the edge

There is a Beraisa which states: "A talis which tore beyond three may be repaired, a talis which tore within three - according to Rebbe Meir may not be repaired, etc." The number three mentioned in this Beraisa refers to the three finger-spaces along the edge of the talis where the tzitzis are found. There are several opinions about the circumstances under which this halacha is to be applied. What follows (in this and the subsequent pages) is a brief outline of those opinions.

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The opinion of Rashi 

According  to Rashi there is a concern that if a garment is repaired within three fingers from the edge, the tailor may leave a dangling thread that could end up being combined with seven other strings as  tzitzis . The initial string would not be valid for tzitzis because of ta'aseh v'lo min ha'asuy . The problem is limited to a thread that could be used as a tzitzis string for this garment (e.g. woolen thread for a wool garment or silk for a silk garment) which was left in the area where the tzitzis strings are supposed to be (i.e. between kesher agodol and three fingers). The prohibition applies to any size tear and not just one in which a large piece of cloth is detached from the garment.

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The opinion of Rav Amrom Gaon

There are two approaches to explaining Rav Amrom Gaon's opinion:  1) The issur applies to replacing a small piece of cloth-less than three fingers-that became detached from the talis. Such a piece is considered a scrap even after it is sewn back on to the garment and is thus disqualified from having the tzitzis on it. 2) The prohibition applies to a corner of a talis that detached with the tzitzis intact. If the tzitzis strings are removed and replaced after the strip is reattached, they are kosher.

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  • It is forbidden to remove kosher tzitzis from a usable talis. It is, however, permissible to remove them from a worn garment. It is also permitted to replace good tzitzis with better quality ones.

  • Kosher tzitzis may be removed from one garment to insert them in a different talis if no other tzitzis are available. When other tzitzis are available, they should not be switched.

  • In the case of a large talis that was divided into two smaller garments, each of which is required to have tzitzis (i.e. a four-cornered garment that meets the shiur), the poskim discuss whether the original tzitzis can be left intact or if they must be removed and replaced.



  • The opinion of Rabbenu Yerucham regarding sewing within three 'fingers' of the edge of a talis

  • The halacha in the above case

  • A practical solution