My child’s tzitzis tore on Simchas Torah and the only pair of tzitzis we had for him left was one that had only three sets of strings (i.e. four corners, three sets of strings). Would it be better for him to at least wear that pair (for that one day)— there is no alternative— would it be better for him to wear nothing; as a child, he would not understand so well? Please advise and provide sources. Much appreciated!
If there are only three sets of strings for four corners, and one set of strings is totally not there, the tzitzis are posul according to all opinions. It is not chinuch to give your child tzitzis that are posul, if anything it is “savino byodayim” and like giving him something that is not permitted for him to eat. You are putting a garment on him that needs tzitizs and are not allowed to be worn without them. If the child is of chinuch age and he is obligated to wear kosher tzitzis, we must take the posuk tzitzis off.
As far as what to tell the child, show him that the tzitzis are “broken” and tell him that we are not allowed to wear “broken” or ripped tzitzis, and this will be his chinuch regarding tzitzis for today until you can get him a different pair or fix the ripped one.
O:CH 343, 10-1, 12-1, M:B 12-13.