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Monday, Sivan 21, 5782 / June 20, 2022


At the end of this week’s Parsha, Shlach, G-d commands about the mitzvah of Tzitzit: "And G-d spoke to Moshe saying: Speak to the children of Israel and say unto them that they shall make fringes [Tzitzit] on 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 G-d and observe them..." 


We perform this mitzvah by wearing the Tallit (prayer shawl), a four cornered garment, daily during morning prayer. Many wear a Tallit Katan (small Tallit) all day so they can fulfill this mitzvah all the time.  


Q.   How does the mitzvah of Tzitzit remind us 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, which is 13. Together these numbers add up to 613 - the total amount of mitzvot.  By looking at the Tzitzit, we always remember to perform all the mitzvot


A wealthy diamond merchant travelled to the fair far from his home, to purchase diamonds, which he would bring back to his city and make a handsome profit.  After making his purchases and preparing to make the trip back home, someone approached him and said, "I have some wonderful diamonds which I must sell immediately.  I am willing to sell it for a fraction of their cost if you pay for them in cash right now."  After examining the merchandise, he realized that this was indeed a great deal.  But he had already spent all his money.  All he had left was to cover the expenses for the way home, but he felt that he couldn't pass up a deal like this. 


"Instead of staying in luxury hotels and eating good meals, I will buy these diamonds and make do with very little on the way," he thought to himself.  He bought the diamonds and traveled back to his home like a poor beggar.  He slept in run-down hotels and ate lousy meals together with other poor travelers.


One of his friends met him entering one of the dingy hotels.  "Why do you suffer in such conditions, when you can afford good accommodations and fine foods?" asked the friend.  He told his friend how he spent all his money to purchase the diamonds from which he stands to make an enormous profit. 


"But knowing the lifestyle which you are used to, I don't understand how you can tolerate to live in such terrible accommodations and eat such cheap food," asked the friend. 


"You are right.  Many times during this trip, I thought that I could not go on like this anymore," replied the diamond merchant. "But every time I felt like this, I would look at the diamonds which I bought and realizing the potential profit awaiting me, I would become very happy!"


The same is with the mitzvah of Tzitzit.  G-d gave us this mitzvah as a daily reminder of all the mitzvot. Seeing the Tzitzit reminds us of all the mitzvot and the great benefit and reward we stand to receive for observing them, making it easier for us to overcome all obstacles and perform the mitzvot.