Rabbonim Warn Consumers to Beware of Talleisim Ketanim Without Proper Supervision


tzitzis1Almost every year, as the Yomim Noraim draw near, questionable dealers latch onto a way to rake in handsome profits: mitzvas tzitzis. Recently chareidi retail outlets have been offering ready-to-wear talleisim kettanim at ridiculously low prices. Sales reach a peak during this time of year as Jews try to sanctify themselves by fulfilling the mitzvah of tzitzis – considered equivalent to all 613 mitzvos – with a set of new tzitzis. More and more people are purchasing these products for themselves and their sons because of the affordable prices, assuming such a manifestly Jewish item is manufactured under supervision and meets halachic requirements.Yet a simple inquiry conducted by Yated Ne’eman revealed that the market is rife with “tying contractors” engaged in a major kashrus fraud.

The owner of a well-known tzitzis manufacturer notes that these rock-bottom prices are illogical. “If the garment costs at least 2-3 shekels, the tzitzis strings cost 8 shekels [machine spun], and then we add in the minimum wage of the men who do the tying at the hourly output rate, along with the profit of the dealer along the way and the final seller, you come out with a base price of at least 25 shekels. Yet somehow the price of tzitzis [i.e. a complete tallis kotton] hovers around the 8- or 9-shekel mark. Are the dozens of workers throughout the process plying their trade free of charge?”

According to various accounts, contractors employ entire families, including women and children, that help tie tzitzis, which is not permitted lechatchiloh. Sometimes even production workers in China or Thailand do the tying, which is not permitted at all, since non-Jews are not obligated to keep the mitzvah.

{Yechiel Sever-Deiah veDibur/Matzav.com Newscenter}