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Wednesday, Sivan 23, 5782 / June 22, 2022


We just came back from New York where we attended the Bris of our great grandson – the newest addition to our family. We thank and bless G-d for all His blessings and kindness. May G-d bless you too with simchas and happy occasions. May you derive much Nachas from your loved ones.


As mentioned yesterday, this week’s Parsha, Shlach, ends with the mitzvah of Tzitzit. We perform this mitzvah by wearing the Tallit (prayer shawl), a four cornered garment, during prayer.  Many also wear a Tallit Katan (small Tallit) all day so they can have the mitzvah all day long.


The Torah states the purpose of this mitzvah, “so that you may look upon it and remember all the commandments...”  The numerical value of the Hebrew word Tzitzit (90+10+90+10+400) is 600.  Each Tzitzah has 8 strings and 5 knots. These numbers add up to 613, which is the total amount of the mitzvot (commandments).  Thus, by looking at the Tzitzit, we remember to perform all the 613 mitzvot. 


Q.   Why is the Tallit  worn only during the day.


A.  The Torah says, “So that you may look upon it.” This tells us that the mitzvah applies during the day when we can see the Tzitzit.


Q.  The only time we wear the Tallit at night is Yom Kippur night for the Kol Nidrei prayer.  Why?


A.  On Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement when our sins are forgiven, we are like angels. We wrap ourselves in the Tallit, which is white, as a symbol of cleanliness and purity.


Q.  Why do many who wear a Tallit Katan (small Tallit) place their Tzitzit on the outside?


A.  The Torah says, So you may look upon it.”  Thus, we place the Tzitzit on the outside, so they will be visible at all times.


Q.  On weekdays, together with the Tallit we also wear the Tefillin. The Tefillin have a greater level of holiness than the Tallit. Why then, do we put on the Tallit before the Tefillin?


A.  When we have to perform two mitzvot, it is the mitzvah which we perform more often that comes first.  Being that the Tallit is worn every day of the year, while the Tefillin we put on only on weekdays (not on Shabbat and holidays), for this reason we put on the Tallit first.


On the lighter side: Mr. Goldberg gave his Tallit once a year to the same dry cleaners for twenty years.  He was a bit surprised when he was greeted by a new owner, who bought the cleaners from its Jewish owner. The new owner assured Mr. Goldberg that he will do as good a job as the previous owner.  Two days later, when he came to pick up the Tallit, he was shocked to get a bill for $50. "Why so expensive?" gasped Mr. Goldberg.  "I gave this Tallit to clean for many years and I was charged only $10?" "What do you mean expensive?” replied the new owner. "I spent so much time untying every knot…"