Clothing is a fundamental part of human existence. Judaism views clothing as an external expression of a person’s inner being. Although we may not hold the expression “You are what you wear” to be entirely true, we may adopt it as a concise way of saying, “What you wear is (usually) a good expression of who you are.” The Torah contains a fascinating Biblical commandment to tie tassels, known as tzitzit, to the corners of a four cornered garment we wear. This mitzvah is so central to Judaism that it is even mentioned in the Shema. What effect can some hanging strings have on our life?
The clothing we wear can influence not only ourselves, but even others as well. This dual role is pronounced in the mitzvah of tzitzit. The tzitzit attached to our clothing serve as a constant reminder during our action-packed days that the Jewish people aspire to connect with God and infuse life with profound ethical ideals. In this Morasha shiur we will explore the mitzvah of tzitzit and tallit addressing the following questions:
- Why does the Torah care about the nature of our dress?
- Why is the mitzvah of tzitzit so important? What impact can some dangling strings make?
- How is there a correlation between tzitzit and the concept of the Chosen People?
- What is the difference between tzitzit and a tallit?
- What is techeilet and should we wear it on our tzitzit?