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I Will Write It In Their Hearts - Volume 4
A Treasury of Letters from the Lubavitcher Rebbe,
Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson
Selections from Igros Kodesh


The halachic validity of machine-made tzitzis

Translated by: Rabbi Eli Touger

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No. 407

This letter was addressed to Rabbi M. Zalowinsky.
B"H, 8 Tishrei, 5709

Greetings and blessings,

In response to your question regarding the actual halachic ruling (halachah lemaaseh) concerning strands for tzitzis that were made by a Jew with the intent that they be used for the mitzvah,[22] but that were made using a machine:

There is a difference of opinion among the later authorities concerning this issue, and the majority rule leniently. You are, however, aware of the view of the Divrei Chayim (Orach Chayim, Vol. II, sec. 1) and those who share his opinion and forbid this.

I asked my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe Shlita, what course of action should be taken, and he told me that during World War I (5675-5678 {1915-1918}) when refugees came to the inner portions of Russia, the Rebbe Rashab sent special agents to the factory of R. Ginsburg and they made tzitzis using machines. Practical application [serves as guidance for determining halachah].

It is understandable that the above applies with regard to [making the tzitzis] for the sake of the mitzvah. One must, however, be careful that there is no trace of flax or any other fabric mixed in.

Concluding with a blessing for a chasimah and a g’mar chasimah tovah for you and for the entire brotherhood.

Rabbi Menachem Schneerson

   

Notes:

  1. (Back to text) [See the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch 11:3 which states that wool must be spun and twined into thread specifically for the sake of the mitzvah of tzitzis.]


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