The thought behind this opinion is as follows: 7 winds of 7 chulyos is based on that the Gemara in Menachos (Perek Hatecheiles) states “no less than 7, no more than 13.” Almost every commentary assumes that those numbers refer to 3-wind chulyos. However, the Gemara isn’t explicit in what exactly the numbers 7 or 13 refer to. So of course there’s at least one Rabbi that disagrees with that concept: the Raavad (R’ Avraham Ben David) as well as R’ Natronai Gaon (Natronai ben Hilai). Both opine that 7-13 refers to winds and not chulyos. That’s why R’ Schachter chose to do 7 of 7, to satisfy all.
Next are the knots. Rashi/Tosafos introduced knots, so R’ Schachter decided to incorporate that as well.
Next comes the separation of chulyos. The Rambam states that Chulyos should be separated by a space of some sort. While the Yemenites interpreted that with their own unique type of knots, R’ Schachter spaces out his chulyos with the standard double-knots.
Next comes the white krichos (winds). While the Gemara states that the winds need to start and end in white, and the Rambam suggests only one wind, R’ Schachter recently modified it so that it’s the first 3 and last three winds like Rashi/Tosafos, but keeping it in the same 7-wind chulya.
Finally the separation at the bottom. Why the separation, and only the last knot? The separation is meant to satisfy the opinion of the Baal Haittur where Tekhelet is separated from white. R’ Schachter doesn’t separate the rest in order to address the issue of Gardumim (stubs): in the event one string breaks off, to be 100% certain the string is kosher, the other half on the other side needs to be intact. That can be done with keeping them more or less not separate from each other. He separates it at the end since “you can’t lose.”
Use three long strings: 2 blue one white, with the last white regular length. While this can be done with two regular length white strings, it’s very difficult there to keep the length level since the white string is used for 6 winds (3 before and 3 after).
Another thing I do is to not only tie the four strings on one side, but also any strings I’m not using at the moment. To start I will tie two of the other four on the other side as well.
Also important is that for tying the initial knots you say “הריני מתקשר לשם מצות ציצת,” and each individual knot afterward you say “לשם מצות ציצת.” When tying those knots the tradition is right-over-left first, then left over right (since we show preference to the right). If you need to cut strings it’s preferable to use ceramic or wood scissors – as long as it’s not metal since that traditionally was used for implements of war and bloodshed.
The first chulya is three white, then switch to one of the Tekhelet shamashim for the last four blue. After I tie the strings, I add the white Shamash I previously used to the two other strings tied. I won’t need it for the next little bit.
Chulyos 2-5 are the same techeiles shamash string. I personally like to switch to the other techeiles string for chulyos 6-7 as the length for the first techeiles shamash has more or less been used up.
For chulya 6 I untie the white shamash string and new techeiles shamash, and tie up the other two. I then wind chulya 6 like 2-5.
For chulya 7 it’s like chulya 1, but in reverse: 4 blue, 3 white. Once that’s done, here’s the tricky/fun part. While holding the white string with two fingers so it doesn’t unravel, you need to now untie all the knots you created. Then, somehow maneuver the blue strings all on one side and white strings on the other side. After that, tie like the Ittur, which means holding the white strings straight while fold/wrapping the blue strings, then holding onto the blue strings straight and wrapping the white.
The Gemara states that a Chulya is comprised of 3 twists. It then goes on to say “not less than 7 and not more than 13.” It is unclear if this statement refers to the number of Chulyot, or if it arguing with the previous assertion – namely that a Chulya should be between 7 and 13 twists instead of 3. Rav Schachter takes the stringent position to accommodate both options, having 7 Chulyot, of 7 twists each.
רב הרשל שכטר – גנות אגוז
…אך בזמן דאיכא תכלת, שאז צריכים לדקדק היטב בכריכות, אשר זהו הדין של פתיל הנזכר בקרא, אז מסתמא צריכים לנהוג כדעת רוב הראשונים לעשות לכה”פ ז’ חוליות, ולעשות בין כל חוליא וחוליא קשר גמור של קשר ע”ג קשר, (כמנהגנו בזה”ז, דמ”ט נשנה את זה), ובכל חוליא יהי’ מינימום של ג’ כריכות (וכמבואר שם בגמ’ לעיל – וכמה שיעור חוליא, כדי שיכרוך וישנה וישלש.) ובודאי אם יעשה ז’ חוליות, ובכל אחת ז’ כריכות, יצא בזה לכו”ע, אך הרבה פעמים אין החוטים די-ארוכים לעשות מ”ט כריכות יחד עם ט”ז קשרים (כלומר, ח’ פעמים קשר ע”ג קשר, וכנ”ל), ולכתחילה מן הנכון שיהא חלק הכריכות כשליש מאורך החוטים, וחלק הענף שני שלישים. אכן אם יעשה לכה”פ החוליא הראשונה עם ז’ כריכות, ושאר החוליות עם ג’ כריכות, ירויח בזה במקצת, דמעיקר הדין סגי בחוליא אחת לעיכובא, והוספת ד’ הכריכות הנוספות שבחוליא הראשונה לא יגרום למעט כ”כ את אורך החוטים
Tying like R' Schachter 1.0
Details Regarding the Tying of TekheletBy: R' Hershel Schachter
Techeiles - Should We Wear ItBy: R' Aryeh Lebowitz
Ten Minute Halacha - How Many String Should Be Techeiles and How Many White?By: R' Aryeh Lebowitz
- A “Single Knot” is made by taking the four strands from one side of the garment and the opposing four strands from the other side of the garment and tying a simple knot.
- The first “Chulya” is made by taking one white strand from the total of eight strands and wrapping it around the remaining seven strands three times; and then taking one blue strand from the total of eight strands and wrapping it around the remaining seven strands four times. These “wrapping” strands are designated “Shamashim” and due to the fact that there are so many tekhelet wraps (47 in total), a second long blue string is supplied as another shamash. Thus one should use one blue shamash for the first 4 chulyot and the other blue shamash for the last three chulyot.
- A blue “Chulya” is made by taking a blue shamash and wrapping it around the remaining seven strands seven times.
- The Last “Chulya” is made by taking a blue “shamash” and wrapping it around the seven remaining strands four times; and then taking the white “shamash” and wrapping it around the seven remaining strands three times.
- Shown here are a total of 7 chulyot; one can make up to 13. However one should insure that the wound & knotted section is approximately one-third of the total length of the hanging strings (from first knot to strings end).
- As the last knot is being tied, be sure to separate the 4 white strings to one side, and the 4 blue to the other.