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Friday Sivan 22, 5777 / June 16, 2017


Parshat Shlach ends with the mitzvah of Tzitzit. It is one of the 613 mitzvot of the Torah. This mitzvahis performed daily by wearing the Tallit (prayer shawl) during the morning prayers. Many wear a Tallit Katan (small Tallit) all day, so they can perform the mitzvah all the time.


The Torah says: "And the L-rd spoke to Moshe saying: Speak to the children of Israel and say unto them that they shall make fringes (Tzitzit) in the corners of their garments... and they shall put with the fringe of every corner a thread of blue... so that you may look upon it and remember all the commandments of the L-rd and observe them… I am the L-rd your G-d who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your G-d.”


The Tallit is a four cornered garment. The Tzitzit, which consist of eight strings hanging down, are placed on each of the four corners. 


Q.The Torah states the purpose of this mitzvah, “so that you may look upon it and remember all the commandments of the L-rd and observe them.” How are Tzitzit a reminder of all the mitzvot?


A.The numerical value of the Hebrew word Tzitzit (90+10+90+10+400) is 600. Each Tzitzah has 8 strings and 5 knots. They add up to 613 (600+8+5=613), which is the total amount of mitzvot (commandments).  Thus, by looking at the Tzitzit, we are reminded to perform all the 613 mitzvot. 


Q. What is the significance of the four corners?


A.In connection with the mitzvah of Tzitzit, the Torah mentions the Exodus from Egypt. At the Exodus G-d used four expressions of redemption to describe the Exodus.


The four corners represent the four expressions of redemption. The word “kanfei” which means “corners” also means “wings.” This represents G-d’s expression that He will carry the Jewish people on the “wings of eagles” at the time of the Exodus. Representing the speed with which the Jewish people will leave Egypt.   


Q. What is the meaning of the word, “Tzitzit”?


A. Tzitzit” means “strings.” It can also mean “seeing.” The Tzitzit are like strings and the purpose of this mitzvah is so that we see the Tzitzit and thus remember all the mitzvot.


Q.Why do many people wear their tzitzit exposed?


A.The purpose of the Tzitzit is so that we shall see them all the time and remember all the mitzvot.



Montrealcandle lighting time: 8:27 / Shabbat ends: 9:44