Talmudic Sources Concerning
Prayer Shawls and Threads

Legal Issues

Defining the term, "threads": Menachot 41b, 42a
Whether the commandment is person-based, or garment-based: Shabbat 131a-b; 
Menachot 41a, 42b
Whether having threads on all of the four corners constitutes four separate
commandments, or they are all necessary to fulfill a single commandment: Menachot
Not travelling 4 cubits without threads: Shabbat 118b
Doing the commandment with beautiful threads: Shabbat 133b
Whether Kohanim are obligated: Menachot 43a
Whether women are obligated: Succah 11a [See Rashi "LePirzuma"]; Menachot 43a
Whether blind people are obligated: Menachot 43a
When minors become obligated: Succah 42a
Whether slaves wear them: Menachot 43a
Putting them on a corpse before burial: Menachot 41a
Requiring that one separate the threads: Menachot 42a
The threads are items of a commandment, not items of intrisic holiness, and so
may be disposed of after their use is finished: Megillah 26b

The Garment

The minimum size of such a garment: Menachot 40b-41a
Validity of threads for an undersized garment: Menachot 40b-41a
A borrowed garment: Menachot 44a
A garment which is entirely dyed blue: Menachot 38b, 41b
A garment with 5 corners: Menachot 43b
A garment with 3 corners: Menachot 43b
Making wool threads for a garment of flax: Menachot 39a, 39b-40b
Making flax threads for a garment of wool: Menachot 39b
A garment of various types of silk: Menachot 39b
A nighttime garment: Menachot 40b, 41a, 46a
A garment which is stored in a box, where it is [not] intended for eventual
wearing: Menachot 41a
A garment which has a corner, or some other part, made of leather: Menachot 40b
A garment which is currently folded in half, and not sewn up, partly sewn, or fully
sewn: Menachot 41a
If the garment is torn, more or less than 3 finger-breadths from the corner: 
Menachot 41a
Attaching a section of another garment to this one: Menachot 41a

The Threads

Threading the dyed threads on the intermediate days of holidays, in an
altered manner: Moed Katan 19a [2x] 
Minimum/Maximum length of the threads: Menachot 41b-42a
Using stolen threads: Succah 9a
Using threads which already extend, as loose threads, from the garment: 
Menachot 42b
Requiring that the threads be created with intent for use for the commandment: Succah
9a; Menachot 42b
Whether the material of the threads is determined by the material in the garment
["Min Kanaf"]: Menachot 38a, 38b, 39a, 39b
The validity of threads which are truncated, depending upon the size of the
remainder: Menachot 38b, 39a, 41b
Using threads of wool and linen: Menachot 39b
Using threads which will create, with the garment, a mixture of wool and linen, in
Jerusalem: Menachot 40a

Blue Dye

Description of the snail from which the dye is taken: Menachot 44a
The snail from which the blue dye for threads is extracted, was
found in Zevulun's portion in Israel: Megillah 6a
Definition of the color of blue dye: R. Berachot 9b "Techelet" 
How the dye is processed: Menachot 42b
The dye's color, as reminiscent of the sea, which reminds of the heavens, 
which reminds of the Divine Throne: Menachot 43b

The White Threads

Dyeing the "white" threads to be the same color as the garment: Menachot 41b
The white as threads he holier threads: Menachot 39a [See Rashi] 
Whether threads are valid without white threads: Menachot 38a-b
Whether white threads must precede the blue, or this is just the ideal
format: Menachot 38a-b
It is worse to not have the white threads than to not have the blue-dyed
threads, because the white threads are easier to get: Menachot 43b

Making Threads

Whether one makes a blessing on making threads: Menachot 42a
Using threads which were connected to the garment beforehand: Succah
9a, 11a-b; Menachot 40b [2x] 
Moving threads from one article of clothing to another: Pesachim 101a; 
Menachot 41a-b
Threads made by a gentile: Menachot 42a-b
Whether one may sell theads to a gentile, and why there should be a
concern: Menachot 43a
Dyeing the blue thread with intent for the sake of the commandment: Eruvin
96b; Menachot 42b

Wearing Threads

Making a blessing on each donning of threads: Menachot 43a
The Lord puts one who doesn't wear threads in ex-communication: Pesachim
Reward for care in commandment of threads: Shabbat 118b
One should always be wearing threads: Shabbat 153a
Exemption of a merchant of threads from other commandments while engaged in
marketing the threads: Succah 26a
Wearing invalid threads outside on Shabbat: Shabbat 139b; Menachot 37b-38a


Return to tallit information page

To our home page