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Tekhelet Tzitzit


Rabbi David Sperling

Tishrei 26, 5772
Dear Rabbi, My question regards the use of tekhelet. I have researched the issue extensively and in my opinion the tekhelet of the Radzyner Rebbe is more likely to be legitimate than that of the P’til Tekhelet organization. However, it seems that the majority of rabbis both in Israel and America who were techelet go with P’til Tekhelet. Those who wear the Radzyner Rebbe’s techelet are mainly Chassidim. I am a modern orthodox American (I’m a Baal Tshuva so I don’t have a real Chassid vs. Misnaged minhag, but I daven nusach Ashkenaz). Is there a rabbinic opinion that I can rely on that would allow me to wear Radzyn techelet? If not, am I better off wearing P’til Tekhelet or not wearing tekhelet at all. Thank you.
Shalom, It is wonderful to read that the issue of Techelet has sparked you to learn so much about it, and even be driven to fulfill it in our days. The simple answer to your question, of course, is that the great and holy Rabbi of Radzyner zt"l himself is certainly a "rabbinic opinion that you can rely on that would allow you to wear Radzyn techelet". Even though the greatest Rabbis of his (and following) generations rejected his position, he can certainly be relied upon. However, the reason you wrote to ask your question is because you are not one of his students or followers - so you are really asking "how should I act in making my halachic decisions?" This question is even bigger when we consider that this is not a one time pesak, or time of need ruling, but rather a question that will effect your daily fulfillment of the verse in Bamidar 16 to make a "P'til Techelet". The question becomes even bigger when we realise that this particular subject (of what is the correct techelet) is a topic of argument amongst many of the greatest Rabbis of our generation. (For example Chabad, and others, hold that according to the kabbalistic teachings one should not wear techelet today; and Brisk hold that we need a tradition to rely upon to testify to techelet; some hold like Radzyn; and others like the opinion of P'til Techelet; and still others are undecided). My advice to you then is to turn to your own Rabbi for guidance. You describe yourself as "a modern orthodox American" (may you merit to make Aliyah speedily) and as such in your very own community you will find guidance on this issue. I am told that Rav Hershel Schachter shlitah, a leading posek of the American modern orthodox world, himself wears techelet, and that Rav Soloveitchik zt"l did not. In questions like this one should turn to their own community Rabbi, or Posek, who can direct you in the correct way to act. Blessings, D. Sperling.
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