Home Customs Question: Did Rebbe Nachman have a certain method for tying tzitzit?

Question: Did Rebbe Nachman have a certain method for tying tzitzit?

by Yossi Katz

Did Rebbe Nachman have a certain method for tying tzitzit?

I know some in Tzfat are influenced by the Ari-Kabala customs but besides for that, I don’t believe there are any specifically Breslov ways of tying the tzitzit! The following article discusses known Breslover Customs: http://www.nachalnovea.com/breslovcenter/articles/The_Practice_of_Breslov_Chassidus.pdf

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admin August 27, 2009 - 11:46 am

Is it appropriate to have techlet in your tzitzit? I see some do and others do not…..

YossiK August 27, 2009 - 11:53 am

The following has already been written about by R’ Dovid Sears http://www.nachalnovea.com/breslovcenter/

Techeles / The Blue Thread

When the ‘inyan of techeles began to be debated during the late 1800s, due to the efforts of Rabbi Gershon Henich Leiner, the Radzyner Rebbe, to restore this mitzvah, Rabbi Nachman Goldstein, the Tcheriner Rov, took objection. He argued that the Rebbe states in Likkutei Moharan I, 7, that tzitzis today are white. This is reiterated by Reb Noson in Likkutei Halakhos, where he relates the wearing of techeles to the Final Redemption. Reb Avraham Sternhartz also rejected wearing techeles bi-zman ha-zeh, as did another prominent descendant of Reb Noson, Reb Michel Sternhartz (son of Reb Yitzchak, to whom most of the letters in ‘Alim le-Terufah are written).
(Cf. Si’ach Sarfei Kodesh III, 338. As for the connections Reb Noson makes between techeiles and le-asid lavo, see Likkutei Halakhos, Netilas Yadayim Shacharis 4:12; ibid. Tzitzis 1:1; ibid. Tzitzis 5:7. There are other mekoros, as well.)


Reb Gedaliah Kenig said in the name of Reb Avraham Sternhartz that the premature restoration of this custom could bring harsh judgments upon the world, since the blue thread is kabbalistically bound up with the forces of din.
(E.g. see Likkutei Moharan I, 49:7, citing Zohar III, 152a).


However, Reb Gedaliah added, if one has impeccable yiras Shomayim – perfect fear of Heaven – he may wear techeiles. (This remark also suggests why the mitzvah of techeiles may have been lost.)


Another great figure in the Breslov community at the turn of the 20th century was Reb Avraham ben Nachman Chazan, author of Biur ha-Likkutim on Likkutei Moharan and other seforim. He accepted the Radzyner techeles. Some say that he did so based on secret traditions from the Rebbe’s Megillas Sesarim (“Hidden Scroll”).
(Si’ach Sarfei Kodesh III, 559)


Therefore, today some Breslover Chassidim wear the techeles, while others do not. Moreover, there is a difference between the Radzyner techeiles and the techeiles dye developed more recently in Eretz Yisrael, based upon the research of the late Rav Herzog, each shittah having its own advocates. The custom of the Tzefat Breslover community is not to wear techeles, although we all hope to do so with the coming of Moshiach Tzidkeinu, speedily in our days.

admin August 27, 2009 - 3:13 pm

Thanks. What do you do Yossi?

Dovid August 30, 2009 - 10:17 pm

I thought the general practice is to tie with chulyot on a standard chasidishe beged?

YossiK September 1, 2009 - 11:08 am

I would imagine most Breslovers two use the Chasideshe Beged (two holes) but who ever told you “chulyot” there may be some who have it but for sure not the vast majority of Breslovers!

Doda November 9, 2009 - 2:55 pm

I have a question, is it appropriate for a Breslover to tie RamBam without the Techeles? Or do they commonly tie the 7,8,11,13 (radzyn) method?

Dovid Sears November 17, 2009 - 10:52 am

We have a mesorah that at least some Breslover Chassidim in Ukraine tied their tzitzis with chulyos (like Skver and Chabad, among others). Reb Gedaliah Kenig popularized a certain way of tying the chulyos so that the shammes is part of the bundle and dioesn’t show on the outside; which turned out to be like the method of his teacher in Kabbalah, Rav Mordechai Sharabi. Later I spoke with one of the Morozovs in Chabad, who had an uncle, I believe, who used to tie tzitzis for the Lubavitcher Rebbe, zatzal. This fellow discovered that they also had a mesorah of tying the chulyos with the shammes concealed in the bundle. So the next time he tied tzitzis for the Rebbe, he offered him two pairs, one tied the usual way and the other so that the shammes doesn’t show. And the Rebbe chose the second way (mestame similar to that of Reb Gedaliah). At least, that’s what I was told.

As for techeles, the Radziner persuaded Reb Avrohom b’Reb Nachman of his shittah and that’s how techeles became somewhat popularized in Breslov (during the 1890s, I think). However, the Tcheriner Rov did not accept the Radzyner techeles, nor did Reb Avraham Sternhartz and other Breslover gedolim in Uman. So today some Breslovers do, some don’t. (Of course, we now have new contenders for the “real techeles,” so that remains unexplored territory…)

Don’t know if Reb Avraham b’Reb Nachman died the techeiles like the Rambam or the Raavad. I believe all Askenazim tie 7/8/11/13. Nothing unique to Breslov about that minhag.

Dovid Gruber December 23, 2009 - 1:35 pm

While we’re on the subject of Tzitzis, in Torah zayin at the end, there is the posuk about Yosef which it says in Pri Etz Chaim refers to Tzitizis. So my question is on the explanation given in the BRI translation. How does the last mathematical formula given work out? Where is the number 16 coming from when there are 8 fringes on each corner?

Dovid Gruber August 23, 2010 - 1:00 pm

I have seen another variety of tzitzit in the Safed community besides Ari,it looks like the Rambam’s tying method but I don’t think it is the exact same as his.

Mike March 10, 2011 - 12:02 am

The Method which is used by rav gedaliah and the tzfas coomunity uses the rambams method of chulios
which is also the yemenite custom
this might be why rav sharabi tied like this
yet while being very kablisticly orientided he encoperated the arizal 7-8-11-13 to the rambams shitah which has no knota in the middle
i was very happy to figure out that this method was done by others do to the fact that i though this was the correct way of tieing tzitzis but was reluctant to do so becaue i didnt know anyone who tied this way
but know i tie my tzitzis like this

Meir Elkabas August 21, 2011 - 12:27 pm

Regarding the Breslov Tekhelet – it’s origin and who does/doesn’t wear it, I will present to you all of the Breslover opinions that I know of and you can choose for yourself:

In the Hebrew year 5648 (1888) The Rebbe of Radzin claimed to have re-discovered the authentic blue dye. He wrote 3 books proving that it was authentic. He faced tremendous halakhic opposition to his views (e.g. like from the author of Arukh HaShulchan). For more info about the exact story see the last chapter of the book Tzitzith – A Thread of Light by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan.

A) At the time of it’s revelation a leading Breslover Chassid named Reb Avraham B’Reb Nachman HaLevy Chazan of Tulchin was then visiting the Radziner Rebbe in Poland. Reb Avraham said to the Radziner that he has a stronger proof than him that his Tekhelet was authentic – since Rebbe Nachman had revealed in his “Megillat Setarim” that the Tekhelet will be rediscovered in the year 5648-1888 [78 years after Rebbe Nachman’s passing!!] Based on this incident the students of Reb Avraham B’Reb Nachman began to wear the Radziner Tekhelet, and it eventually spread amongst the Breslovers in Poland and Uman.
B) Not all of the Breslovers accepted this view to be convinced that it was the authentic Tekhelet. For there were phrases in Reb Noson’s Likutey Tefillot Prayer #49 and various other places throughout Liktuey Halakhot which clearly indicated that the Tekhelet will not be re-revealed until Mashiach comes (Reb Noson and Reb Naftali both received the Megillat Setarim from Rebbe Nachman who were warned that it should not be revealed to more than 2 living people per generation. After Reb Noson passed away in 1844 Reb Naftali revealed the Megillat Setarim to a Reb Aharon Lipovetzker who, after Reb Naftali passed away, revealed it to Reb Avraham B’Reb Nachman. It is not known to whom Reb Avraham revealed it. Reb Eliyahu Chaim Rosen, a student of Reb Avraham, used to say: he who says he knows – doesn’t know; and he who knows – doesn’t say.) Reb Avraham Sternhartz (Reb Noson’s great grandson) did not wear tekhelet, nor did his students, including Reb Gedaliah Koenig, Reb Zvi Aryeh Rosenfeld, and Reb Michel.
C) During the Second World War rumor began to spread that the Tekhelet dye being produced by the son of the previous Radziner Rebbe (the discoverer of the Tekhelet) was no longer authentic or accurate. Because of this rumor some Breslovers stopped to wear the Tekhellet. Reb Eliyahu Chaim Rosen who left Uman for Eretz Yisrael before the rumor started continued to wear the Tekhelet even in Israel, whereas Reb Levi Yitzchak Bender who was still in Uman at the time of the rumor stopped to wear the Tekhellet
D) Reb Shmuel Meir Anshin, a student of Reb Avraham B’Reb Nachman claimed to have seen Rebbe Nachman in a dream, and asked him if he “had to” wear the Tekhelet or was it optional. The Rebbe said to him that he didn’t “have to”. Nevertheless Reb Shmuel Meir continued to wear the Tekhellet.

So there you have it. Before you make your own conclusion do a lot of prayer, and ask Hashem to guide you with proper advice according to His ultimate truth.

Reb Noson once said that a person has to pray a lot to be led upon a path in accordance with Hashem’s Truth for a person’s personal truth can be misleading

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