Yesterday’s Torah Portion included Numbers 15:37-41 concerning tzitzits, a subject we have discussed before.
As I finalized my preparations for Shabbat and a lesson titled ‘Faith and Focus‘, I turned my attention to re-reading the parsha and considering the other various parts when several thoughts on tzitziot hit me. Often discussed/debated is the question whether to wear them in or out and who are they supposed to remind. Consider this:
23 Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘In those days ten men from all the [a]nations will [b]grasp the [c]garment of a Jew, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”’”Zechariah 8:23
20 And a woman who had been suffering from a hemorrhage for twelve years, came up behind Him and touched the [a]fringe of His [b]cloak; 21 for she was saying [c]to herself, “If I only touch His garment, I will [d]get well.” Matthew 9:20-21
35 And when the men of that place [a]recognized Him, they sent word into all that surrounding district and brought to Him all who were sick; 36 and they implored Him that they might just touch the fringe of His cloak; and as many as touched it were cured. Matthew 14:35-36
If the fringe, the tzitzitot, are hidden, how are the nations to grasp it, or how did the sick reach out and touch Yeshua’s? Simply, it was worn outwardly. Isn’t that implied when Yeshua said,
14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a [a]hill cannot be hidden; 15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a [b]basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16
11 thoughts on “Tzitziot. In or Out. A few thoughts.”
And if they are to look upon to keep His ways as it says, then they need to be where you can look upon them. Not even for yourself necessarily bc it is easier for me to look at the ones you are wearing than the ones I am wearing as I face you. Therefore, when you see mine you are reminded as a community to keep on the straight path. I only see my own a few times in the day, but the community if all were wearing them would be looking at them all over the place and be reminded constantly. My two cents.
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That’s at least a nickel’s worth!
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And it shall be to YOU a fringe, that YE may look upon it, and remember (zakar) ALL the commandments of YHVH and DO THEM; and that YE SEEK NOT AFTER YOUR OWN HEART and YOUR OWN EYES, AFTER WHICH YE USE TO GO A WHORING. Numbers 15:39
Now if all believers wore these on their garments, would there be less “a whoring” going on? Both spiritually and in the flesh? Imagine how much infidelity would decrease if every time one was seeking “what their eyes wanted” had to look down and see the fringes? Would it “remind” them to flee from sin?
If that would be the case, who would like believers to ignore this commandment?
Remember Yeshua said the teachers who would teach others to even “Loosen the least” of His commandments is least in the kingdom. As I was taking mine off one day, it appeared to me that I had to first loosen mine, before they could be taken off. What a picture that was to me.
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Great stuff! My husband (Jack) and our boys all wear tzitziyot. Over the past several months whenever we go out and about running errands people have stopped Jack and our boys to ask what they’re wearing and why. They’ve had so many opportunities to to share our beliefs with people in the homeschool community as well as complete strangers. A few weeks ago while at the homeschool office a family saw Jack and our boys wearing tzitziyot. Turned out they were also messianic believers. As well, my middle son and I were in Walmart one day and an employee came up to my son and asked him where his kippa was. Turned out this man had just moved from Israel to Fairbanks. A few weeks later we saw him again. Jack and the boys went over to talk with him. Jack told him that our rabbi is Yeshua. That didn’t set too well with him however he has always been very friendly whenever we see him. All that to say….we were recognized because of the fringes that are always worn on the outside. The only time we’ve told our boys to tuck them in is when using the bathroom. We have friends who only wear them tucked in as they feel it’s a private reminder for them but it’s really both. I feel by not wearing them on the outside you’re robbing yourself and everyone else around you from great opportunities to share and to be a light to the nations.
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Thank you for the excellent testimonies!! Let your light so shine!!
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Guys, there were THREE COVENANT made with Moses. 1) The First Set of Stone tablets (which they broke with the sin of the golden calf) 2) The Second Set of Stone tablets (this is called the Law of Moses or even “law” sometimes by Paul & 3) The Book of the Law (which is the Book of Deuteronomy).
This section of Numbers and the ADDING OF THE TZITTZIT COMMAND is right after they broke COVENANT #2 by the SIN OF THE BAD REPORT, which COVENANT #2 was ONLY instituted because they broke COVENANT #1 by the SIN OF THE GOLDEN CALF. This ushered in a 40 year penalty where all 21 and older of military age who entered COVENANT #2 with Elohim were going to die in the desert. At the END OF THIS 40 YEAR PENALTY was COVENANT #3, the BOOK OF DEUTERONOMY, a covenant of curses for disobedience and blessings for obedience which was added to Covenant #2 (Deut 29:1).
This is probably the first time anybody here has heard this way of examining scripture, but I assure you that if you gave me enough time to share all the pieces would fit… scripture is connected by COVENANT and there is some hidden pieces there connect everything from Adam to New Jerusalem (8 Covenants). There is 10,000 points to make but the CONCLUSION on this issue: Tzit-tzit was a valid part of the PHYSICAL reminder of the FIRST COVENANT (which comprised of the first 7 covenants).
The RENEWED COVENANT renewed the ORIGINAL PLAN (the first set of stone tablets) and PLACED THE ETERNAL COVENANT (the Ten Words) on your heart and mind with the RUACH to guide you as a SPIRITUAL REMINDER. To think the physical instructions of requiring believers to wear tzit-tzit as a physical reminder to keep the covenant (The Ten Words) is valid today is to marginalize the entire point of giving us the Ruach as the ultimate reminder.
Thank you for commenting… My first thought: The tzitziot instructions contain the phrase ‘throughout their generations.’ That doesn’t sound like something that was to be short term… Clearly, Messiah wore them as He was obedient to the commandments of God. Those same commandments are valid today. Covenants do not replace previous covenants, they build on them, much like transparencies. Each/all are seen.
As to the new covenant being written on our hearts, I do not think that is entirely fulfilled. The sign of the fulfillment is that “no longer will a man teach his brother ‘know the Lord’ for all will know…” That sign is not fulfilled. Yes, we have the Ruach, but obedience does not and cannot in any way undermine Him… after all, He is the Spirit of the God who gave the original commandments… They are not and cannot be in disagreement.
Hope that helps give some of my perspective.
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I completely agree regarding wearing them outside. I wrote a couple pieces on tzitzyot as well: http://eklektostouyahweh.wordpress.com/2013/10/11/more-tassel-less-hassle/ and http://eklektostouyahweh.wordpress.com/2013/10/22/more-tassel-less-hassle-part-2/.
I will say, however, that wearing them out is not possible for all people at all times. I myself used to work in a manufacturing plant that, on account of OSHA safety regulations, required a few things in uniform. Such as: no rings, no watches (any jewelry at all, actually) and nothing loose, dangling, or hanging. The reason is because it could get caught in a pulley, belt or motor and pull you into it. Very dangerous, and I knew of a couple of individuals who lost hands/arms due to that.
So the question then becomes: what do you do if you work at a plant that, for your own safety, prohibits you from outwardly wearing tzitziyot?
I think that is a very real hazard that demands taking them off or tucking them in on the way in while reversing that on the way out. Dangly stuff in a manufacturing facility is seriously dangerous!!
I agree. When I worked in the plant, I tucked them in when I got out of the car. Untucked them when I clocked out and started walking back to the car. I would say the #1 issue is to wear them. Period, Beyond that, I think (my opinion) they should be visible by the wearer and everyone else, provided them being that way is not hazardous to the wearer’s health. However, 99% of the time, they can be worn outwardly with no adverse affects. Again, my opinion.
And, maybe, the tradition of wearing them in came as a justification for obedience when it was hazardous to the wearer’s health… pogroms and persecution…. In that case, be obedient and let the chips fall…