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Tzitzit Maintenance – Checking the Strings

I was recently disappointed to notice that one of the strings on my tallit became torn. I subsequently found out that since it was only one string, my tallit was still kosher. However, it was unnerving to discover this who knows how long after it happened. Are there any guidelines for checking one’s tzitzit and tallit?

The Aish Rabbi Replies:

Since tzitzit are liable to tear, Jewish law requires that a person check his tzitzit every morning before putting them on. You should check both the strings and the area of the knots all the way up to the corner. It’s also okay to check them right before you take them off since there is no concern they will tear when they’re put away. Finally, once you check your tzitzit, you can assume they are still valid for the next 24 hours. So if you happen to take your tallit or tzitzit off and put it back on the same day, you don’t have to check it again (Shulchan Aruch 8:9, Mishnah Berurah 21,22).

Another relevant law is that the tzitzit should not be tangled up. When you check them in the morning for broken strings, you should untangle them as well (Shulchan Aruch 8:7).

Rabbi Dovid Rosenfeld

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