Pisqa’ 234

Pisqa’ 2341


Tassels2 shall you make for yourself” (Dt.22:12).

Why must this be stated?

Because it is also stated:

“They shall make for themselves fringes3 (Nu,15:38).

Now, do I understand from this that

a person should prepare one thread4 on its own?

The Teaching states:

“Tassels” (Dt.22:12)—

[Thus, more than one must be made].


So how many tassels should be made?

No fewer than three threads [per tassel]:

According to the words of the circle of Hillel.

The circle of Shammai, however, say:

At least four threads of azure5

and four threads of white—

also, they should each be four fingers long.

And the customary practice [concerning length]

conforms to the words of the circle of Shammai.


Now, under what circumstances?

When [the tassel] is first made.

But its remnants and shreds are

suitable at any length.


“On the four corners” (Dt.22:12)—

This excludes from the rule

garments of three, five, six, seven, or eight corners.6

Another word:

Tassels shall you make for yourself” (Dt.22:12)—

This refers to those of white.

How do I know that

it includes as well those of azure?

The Teaching states:

“And tie, in addition to the fringed corner, a strand of azure” (Nu.15:38).


“You shall make” (Dt.22:12)—

but not from a ready-made article.

So that you won’t [be tempted to] extract

loose-threads from a cloak and

make them [into tassels].

“On the four corners” (Dt.22:12)—

but not on eight of them!

“Of your garment” (Dt.22:12)—

this excludes from the rule:

A toga, a tebenna, a fivlaterion, a nerbixa,

a birrus, and a Burdisian cloak,

none of which is square.7


R. Eliezer b. Jacob says:

How do I know that tassels are not placed

In the middle of a garment, but on the hem?

The Teaching states:

“On the four corners” (Dt.22:12).

“Of your garment” (Dt.11:12)—

with the exception of a pillow-case.

“Of your garment”—

with the exception of a linen sheet.

“With which you cover yourself” (22:12)—

with the exception of a soldier’s blanket.

“With which you cover yourself” (22:12)—

with the exception of a smock,

which doesn’t cover the head and most of the body.

  1. H:243; JN2:149-150
  2. Heb: gedilim.
  3. Heb: tzitzit.
  4. Heb: khut. The distinctions between a khut, tzitzit, and gedilim are unclear.
  5. Heb: techeilet, a dye extracted from a type of snail (khilazon).
  6. //Sifre Nu.,115.
  7. A similar listing of types of shawls appears in the parallel at M. Kil. 9:6. For details,of these and other garments listed in Pisqa’ 234, see H: 243 and p. 471, Pisqa’ 234, ns. 3-10.