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How to Tie Tzitzit

traditional tallitot

Traditional Woven Tallitot

The tzitzit are the four fringes that hang from the corners of your tallit (prayer shawl). Tying your own tzitzit is a meaningful mitzvah, and a way to make your tallit (prayer shawl) truly your own. Bar and Bat Mitzvah students who are entering their Jewish community as an adult and wearing a tallit for the first time in their lives often find special meaning in tying the tzitzit together with their families.

Some people worry that they will mess up and the tallit won't be Kosher, but with these 12 simple steps you can confidently and enjoyably tie your own tzitzit.

  1. Each tzitzit has four strings--three of the same length and a fourth longer one called a shamash. The shamash is used to wrap around all the other strings. Before tying tzitzit, set your intention to the holiness of what you are about to do, and say “LeShem Mitzvat Tzitzit” (for the sake of the commandment of the tzitzit). This declares your intention to tie your tzitzit.
  2. Place four strings (three short and one long) through the hole. Even the ends so that you have seven that are the same length, and one longer. 
  3. Tie a double knot using four strings on each side. 
  4. Take the shamash and wrap it 7 times around the other 7 strings. 
  5. Tie a double knot.
  6. Take the shamash and wrap it 8 times. 
  7. Tie a double knot.
  8. Take the shamash and wrap it 11 times. 
  9. Tie a double knot.
  10. Finally, take the shamash and wrap it 13 times. 
  11. Tie a final double knot.
  12. You can either bite off the ends of the tzitzit or leave them uneven. Do not use a metal blade to cut your tzitzit. 

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Dror Tallit