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Does a sweater with four corners need Tzizis?

 

Question:

Does a sweater with a zipper in front and so has 4 corners (two on top and two on bottom) need tzitzis? (I know there is a discussion about the four corners being on one side, but not sure the halacha b’poel.) If yes how large would the split creating two more corners or how big does the rounding of the corner need to be?

 

Answer:

The Alter Rebbe writes:

Today’s jackets and sweaters which are open in front, both above and below, do not require tzitzis despite the fact that they have four corners, two above and two below.  [The rationale is that] the  mitzvah  of tzitzis is basically that one should have two tzitzis in front and two tzitzis at the back. We may therefore assume that these garments whose four corners are all in front, and which cannot be worn in any other manner, were not required by the Torah to have tzitzis attached to them at all. Accordingly, it has become customary to take the lenient view [and not to require tzitzis]. Nevertheless, every G‑d-fearing person should personally adopt a stringent approach and make one of the corners round, so that his garment not have four square corners.

However, the above mentioned sweater is normally worn zipped up, thus eliminating the corners when worn in the manner it is usually worn. Accordingly, there is some room for leniency that it does not need to be rounded off at one of the corners even L’chatchilah. But if it’s worn open at times then the above reasoning doesn’t apply and one should l’chatchilah round off a corner as the Alter Rebbe mentions.

Another solution is to sew the bottom two corners together and put it on over the head. Some suggest giving it away as a gift to a friend and then borrowing it, so it is always considered a borrowed garment.

Regarding rounding a corner: Some poskim say it’s enough it it looks round. Other poskim say one must make the entire corner of 3×3 etzbaos (6-6.5cm / 2.4-2.6 in) round. Anything less than this requires tzitzis.

See pic here.

 

Sources:

שוע”ר סי’ י סעי’ כב וכן הוא בסדור.

ובנוגע לסוודר עם רוכסן – ראה שו״ת ציץ אליעזר ו, א, ב – צד היתר מחמת השרוולים. ועוד שם כמה צירופי היתר בדוחק.. ומכיון שהמנהג להקל ובפוסקים כתבו חומרא רק ליר״ש מקום לצרף צירופי קולא, ובפרט כשאינו מצמר ופשתים. וראה דבר חברון אורח חיים כד שהשואל מקשה על כל הסברות לקולא. ועיי״ש תשובתו. ופוק חזי שהמנהג להקל. וראה בארוכה שו”ת מחזה אליהו ח”ב סי’ א. ושם, להקל כשהצוארון מתקפל. וראה שו״ת בנין אב ה, ד.

וראה גם כאן ע’ 19, וכאן.

שיעור העיגול: שו״ע אדה״ז י, טז-יז. וראה א״א מבוטשאטש י, להקל. אבל ראה מור וקציעה שם. משנ״ב שם ט בבה״ל ד״ה ולא. קצוה״ש בהוספות לח״א פה, ב בשם מהרי״ל דיסקין. ועוד.

 

 

#6745


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