This week’s torah portion of Shelach L’kha introduces a very practical commandment still applicable for us still today!
In this week’s Torah parashah, after seeing that God’s people were having difficulty remembering and guarding God’s commandments, and thereby losing their intended blessing, we see an introduction to the principle of wearing a “reminder tassel” called a “tzitzit” צִיצִת with a cord of blue in it.
The first mention of this is found in Numbers 15:37-41
And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying:
‘Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them throughout their generations fringes in the corners of their garments, and that they put with the fringe of each corner a thread of blue. And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye go not about after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go astray; that ye may remember and do all My commandments, and be holy unto your God. I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the LORD your God.’
A few things jump out at us in this instruction from Hashem:
Firstly, it is a perpetual statute for all generations to observe and follow! Secondly, the significance of the source of blue is not the focus, nor is the knoting of the tassel, but the focus is on the color of blue… called “tehellit” in Hebrew it has a connotation of “sky blue” which reminds us of a few symbolic things…
Significance of the Tehellit (Sky blue)
Exo 24:12 tells us of the three things that God gave Moshe at Sinai: 1) The Tables of stone, 2) the Torah, and 3) the Mitzvah (commandment) that enjoin us to him. In English it simply reads:
And the LORD said unto Moses: ‘Come up to Me into the mount and be there; and I will give thee the tables of stone, and the Torah and the commandment, which I have written, that thou mayest teach them.’
In Exodus we find that the commandments were of “stone”… but what kind of stone? The word in Hebrew for “table of stone” is lûach meaning a polished glistening stone!
…and they saw the God of Israel; and there was under His feet the like of a paved work of sapphire stone, and the like of the very heaven for clearness.
The 10 Commandments were written by God’s own finger on “sky blue” sapphire stone taken from the footstool of God’s throne which is sapphire and of which we are reminded when we look up into the sky toward heaven! The prophet Ezekiel confirms this as a double witness in his vision of the heavenly throne room in Eze_1:26
And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone; and upon the likeness of the throne was a likeness as the appearance of a man upon it above.
The Commandment is doubly Established (a double witness in both Numbers and Deuteronomy.)
In Deuteronomy 22:12 we see a double witness to this mitvah, thus establishing it as a principle in the word of God.
You shall make yourself twisted cords upon the four corners of thy covering, wherewith thou cover thyself.
There is a beautiful prophecy of Messiah in Malachi 4:2 with the analogy of the Son of Righteousness with healing in his wings… but few realize that the Hebrew word for wings is kânâph and used for the edge hem or corner of a garment as well and that the corners of the garment and prayer shawl where the tzitzit tassels are tied are also referred to as the wings of the garment.
But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.
In Luke 8:43-48 we see the fulfillment of this prophecy in a woman who was healed by touching Yeshua’s tzitzit:
And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment (his tzitzit): and immediately her issue of blood stanched. And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me. And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately. And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.
Importance of us wearing today
If Messiah Yeshua wore them, and they help us keep from sinning and thus bring healing to our lives then how vitally important it is to wear this and what a blessing it is to share with others this principle as we are asked, “what are those tassels you wear?”
Different types of Tzitzit
Over the years different descendants from the whole house of Israel have tied their tzitzit in different ways thus differentiating themselves within the different tribal lineages. Although there is no instruction on what the tassel must look like in scripture other than to have the cord of blue, each group make the way they knot them and the number of knots very symbolic to add meaning for themselves to help remember God and His commandments. Below I show an example between Ashkenazi, Shaphardic, and Keraite tzitzit. I hope this little revelation on something so simple the Father asks us to do inspires you to step out in faith and represent your dedication to God and living out His instruction by even dressing like He asks us and wearing tzitzit! Be blessed!
To learn more about the where the dye for the “tehellit” color comes from watch the video below about the sea-snail in Israel used to obtain this
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Study by Rabbi Isaac. © 2020 Assembly of Called-Out Believers.
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