Menachos 42B – Wild Assertion: 16 Strings (8 Doubled Over)

רַב אַחָא בַּר יַעֲקֹב רָמִי אַרְבַּע וְעַיִיף לְהוּ

Rav Acha bar Yaakov used to take four strings, double them over,

מיעף וּמְעַיֵּיל לְהוּ בִּגְלִימָא וַאֲבֵיק לְהוּ מֵיבַק

insert them through the garment, and then make them into a loop; [Having doubled over the strings he used to insert the looped end through the hole in the garment an inch or so and then pass the ends of the strings through this loop and pull tight, and in this way the strings hung from the garment.]

קָסָבַר בָּעֵינָן תְּמַנְיָא בִּגְלִימָא

he was of the opinion that there must be eight strings in the hole of the garment,

כִּי הֵיכִי דְּלֶיהֱוֵי גָּדִיל גְּדִילִים בְּמָקוֹם פָּתִיל

The same as the number of strings that hang loose suggested by the terms twisted cord and twisted cords. [A different version of this phrase: The same number as the strings that hang loose.]

רַב יִרְמְיָה מִדִּפְתִּי רָמִי תְּמַנְיָא דְּאִינְהוּ שִׁיתְּסַר

Rabbi Yirmiyah of Difti used to insert eight strings, which when hanging down made sixteen loose strings,

וְלֹא אָבִיק לְהוּ.

but he did not make them into a loop.

מַר בְּרֵיהּ דְּרַבִּינָא עָבִיד כדידן
Mar the son of Ravina used to do it as we do now. [He would insert four strings so that there are eight strings hanging loose.]


Source: Talmud Bavli – Menachos 42b

Translation: Merkava

Yehoshua Yankelewitz tied this for someone. 16 strings. Based on Menachos 42B where R’ Yirmiyah MeDifti would place 8 whole strings through the loop to make 16, since both he and R’ Acha bar Yaakov felt that Techeiles and Lavan for Gedilim were two separate entities. Based on this, the machlokes between Rambam, Raavad and Rashi wouldn’t even exist!

Additional Images

  • (Courtesy: Yehoshua Yankelewitz)

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