I have a question for you regarding R. Schachter's shitah. I was recently told by a friend that he had changed his original shitah, whereby there were seven chulyot, each with three strings, starting and ending with a white string with blue strings in between. I remember this description from the website. Today I went on the website again and found that it is no longer three strings in each chulyah but seven. Is this his new shitah, and, if so, why did he change it? Thank you very much for your help.
You are correct in noting that R. Schachter (in his essay in “Renaissance of a Mitzvah”) originally instructed us to make chulyot consisting of 3 winds and that now (in his new book “Ginat Egoz”) he has changed his method to have chulyot of 7 winds.
The reason for this new method, he explains, is in an attempt to satisfy both sides of a mahloket rishonim regarding the statement in the Gemara (Men. 39a) which says that one should make chulyot between 7 to 13 in number and the statement in the Gemara (Men. 38b) that one must make three wraps. Most rishonim hold that these statements mean that one should make between 7 to 13 chulyot each consisting of 3 winds, whereas the minority opinion (Raavad) holds that the intent is to make 3 chulyot consisting of between 7 to 13 winds. R. Schachter argues that we can fulfill both opinions by making 7 chulyot consisting of a 7 winds.
It is worthy to note that he says that it is most important to maintain Rav’s ratio of 1/3 gdil and 2/3 anaf – and thus if one doesn’t have long enough strings for 7 chulyot of 7 winds that he should then only do one chulyah of 7 winds and then another 6 chulyot of 3 winds. In this way, argues R. Schachter, one is making 1 chulyah according to the stringent opinion regarding number of winds, and thus fulfilling the minimum d’oraita requirement for tying tzitzit which requires only 1 chulyah.
– Mois Navon.