Friday Candle Lighting: 7:45 pm
Shabbat Ends: 8:34 pm
Seeing is Believing
“And you will see it, and you will remember all the commandments of G-d” (15:39)
There’s an interesting grammatical anomaly in this week’s Torah portion. When describing the mitzvah of the tzitzit, the fringes that must be attached to a four-cornered garment, the Torah says: “It will be for you tzitzit, and you will see it, and you will remember all the commandments of G-d, and perform them.”
Ostensibly, the Torah should have written, “You will see them,” referring to the tzitzit strings in the plural. The spiritual masters (Menachot 43b) explain that the phrase”and you will see it” can also be read as “and you will see Him“. This would mean that when someone does this mitzvah with all the appropriate intention and concentration, it has the power to open his eyes to the Divine Presence, the Shechina — “and you will see Him“.
This idea is expressed in the physical shape of the mitzvah itself. The tzitzit threads are attached to the edges of a four-cornered garment. The four corners represent the four points of the compass which represent the limits of this world. Attached to the edge of this world is something that can take you beyond the world — the tzitzit.
Maybe that’s why the mitzvah of tzitzit is considered equal to all the other mitzvot. The mitzvot are given to us to take us beyond this world. The tzitzit are a graphic representation of that which stretches out beyond the four corners of this world.
For that same reason, if you add the gematria (numerical value) of the word tzitzit(600) to the eight strings and the five knots that comprise the tzitzit, the total is 613, which equals the total number of the mitzvot.
Finally, the word tzitzit is connected to “lehazitz,” which means “to peek.” Tzitzitallow you a “peek” beyond — beyond the fringe.