May 052011

I recently came across a product labeled “Yemenite Tzitzit” on one of the leading online tallit shops. This sounded peculiar to me. There is such a thing as Sephardic Tzitzits, which simply come with longer shamash strings for those who tie chulyot (loops) around each winding, but Yemenite tzitzits? What are Yemenite tzitzit? I asked a Yemenite talmid chacham in my neighborhood, and he was just as puzzled as I was.

I’ve concluded that this was simply a mistake by whoever added the product to that particular webstore. It could well be that the worker does not know the first thing about tzitzits.

Yemenite Tzitzit - Techeles

Techelet tzitzit tied according to the Rambam. Click on image to enlarge.

On the other hand, many people Google the term “Yemenite tzitzit,” presumably because they are interested in a Yemenite tallit katan with tzitzits tied according to the Yemenite custom, i.e. the Rambam, which is very distinctive. This tying custom is followed by Yemenites for white tzitzits and a number of non-Yemenites who start wearing techelet.

It took me quite a while to learn how to tie Yemenite tzitzit, but eventually I came across a technique that I found simpler to implement. Now I can tie the knots effortlessly. Normally we do seven chulyot on each corner, and 13 by request. Tying Rambam with techelet is more involved. The problem is that you really need to get the basic knot down pat before you start dealing with techelet, because the first and last knots have to include both white and blue.

Buy Yemenite tzitzit>> (tallith katan)
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