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And Look Upon Them

06/25/2022 02:21:52 PM


Rabbi Weill

Dear Friends,

This week’s Torah portion, Shelach Lecha, contains the commandment of tzitzit, the fringes. These verses are part of the full Shema.

The word tzitzit is related to maitzitz, one who peers or looks. In fact, we are commanded not merely to wear tzitzit, but u’ritem oto to look upon it. By looking at those four fringes on our garments, we are supposed to remember the commandments – and to do them.

First we look, then we remember, and finally we do.

Tzitzit also serve as a barrier against impetuous, unwise and immoral behavior. The verses state that by looking at the fringes, we will be admonished not to follow after our hearts and after our eyes. Tzitzit help us to resist temptation.

Parshat Shelach Lecha inspires me to redouble (or “re-quadruple”?) my commitment to the commandment of tzitzit, which I wear often but not always. I appreciate this special mitzvah. Reciting the blessing for tzitzit and pulling the garment over my head each morning reminds me of the power of mitzvoth and steadies me for the day ahead.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Jeffrey Weil

Thu, February 22 2024 13 Adar I 5784