There's a lot of confusion and ambiguity over the question how one should tie techelet tzitzit. Recently we received this email from a customer who ordered a tallit with Rambam tying.
just approached about the Talit Gadol that I have received with the 13
chulyot tying method. And I was told that it is invalid and not up to
standard according to Halacha because it does not have 6 knots [sic. he means 5 knots]. I was
very surprised because I know how strict and careful your company is to provide the correct tying. Are the wraps themselves knots? I didn't
know what to say. I'm assuming that they are just unfamiliar with
the minhag. Thank you for your time. By the way, I love the tallit. and
the tzitzit. I'm sure we can figure it out."
I wrote him the following reply, which may be helpful for anyone out there wondering about Rambam/Yemenite tzitzit tying.
I'm glad you gave me the benefit of the doubt, despite the comment.
have a feeling the person who spoke with you is not so familiar with
techelet tzitzit. You might want to refer him to this blog post,
especially the last two paragraphs.
next question, then is what about Rambam tying? Can we argue with the
Rambam? If you look up the various descriptions of how to tie techelet
tzitzit in the original sources, you will find certain ambiguities. But
the Rambam is quite clear (as usual). It's right there, step-by-step, in
the beginning of Hilchot Tzitzit in the Mishneh Torah.
are a lot of Yemenites who follow the Rambam to this day, and who tie
there tzitzit exactly they way we tied yours. In fact, when I first
learned how to tie Rambam, I went to two Yemenites in my neighborhood.
one may argue that he is not a Yemenite, and therefore should not rely
on the Rambam. I don't think that's correct in the case of techelet,
where nobody has a chain of tradition.
are a significant number of Ashkenazim in Eretz Yisrael who also rely
on the Rambam's tzitzit tying method. Once a yeshiva student asked Rav
Dov Lior, "Regarding all these people out there who tie according to the
Rambam, who are they relying on?"
(What he meant was, Which poskim follow the Rambam?)
Rabbi Lior retorted: "The Rambam!"
he meant is that the Rambam is one of the most prominent Rishonim, and
in this case can be considered authoritative enough to be relied upon.