Tzitzit

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Tzitzit

fschmidt
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This post was updated on .
Numbers 15:37-41 and Deuteronomy 22:12 tell us to wear tzitzit.

Why was this commanded and does the reasoning still apply?  Let's look at the text.

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The LORD said to Moses,  “Speak to the Israelites and tell them that throughout their generations they are to make tassels for the corners of their garments, and put a blue cord on the tassel at each corner.  These will serve as tassels for you to look at, so that you may remember all the LORD’s commands and obey them and not become unfaithful by following your own heart and your own eyes.  This way you will remember and obey all My commands and be holy to your God.  I am Yehovah your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God; I am Yehovah your God.”
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Numbers 15:37-41

The reason provided here for tzitzit (tassels) is to remind oneself of one's allegiance to the Old Testament.  This seems just as a valid today as it did at that time.  So the reasoning does still apply.

But I would like suggest an additional reason for wearing tzitzit that isn't mentioned.  The Old Testament repeatedly states that the Israelites are to be set apart from other nations.  The idea here was to protect the Israelites from corruption from other nations.  This was done mostly by chasing the other nations out of Israel.  This approach no longer works, so we need another way of setting ourselves apart.  I suggest that dressing differently, like wearing tzitzit, does set us apart.

The importance of dress and symbols cannot be underestimated.  This gives people a sense of identity.  This is why armies and other cohesive groups require a uniform.  All strong religions have some form of distinctive dress.  To develop a strong identity apart from modern culture, we should wear some distinctive symbol in public.  Doing this requires real strength because most people feel uncomfortable when being seen as somehow strange in public.  But once they dress distinctly in public, they will feel set apart from modern culture and will feel that their primary allegiance is to their religion.
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Re: Tzitzit

Hax Templar
Why at night? Presumably, no other people see you at night besides maybe your family so it's not setting you apart to wear it then.

The "four corners" of the garment law could also suggest that it only applies to things like shawls and cloaks, which today might include things like raincoats.  A garment without corners (shirts, pants et al) don't have corners.
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Re: Tzitzit

fschmidt
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This post was updated on .
These days with electric lighting, we do go out at night.  We go shopping or eating out or whatever.

The "four corners" was instructions for when most clothes had corners.  Now they don't, but the concept of tzitzit obviously isn't in the details but in the idea of wearing a reminder of the Old Testament, so the concept works no matter how you wear tzitzit as long as it is visible.
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Re: Tzitzit

Hax Templar
Ah right, of course.  I should have realized that was what you meant.

If you look at ancient paintings of people with tzitzit on shawls and cloaks, I'm struck by how good they look.  Tzitzit on modern clothing looks bad.  I have idly wondered if there isn't some kind of compromise out there that would look good on modern forms of clothing.

Tzitzit on knitted or loosely woven cloaks looks good since the whole cloak is basically made that way while modern clothing is usually weaved and sown.
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Re: Tzitzit

fschmidt
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Hax Templar wrote
If you look at ancient paintings of people with tzitzit on shawls and cloaks, I'm struck by how good they look.  Tzitzit on modern clothing looks bad.  I have idly wondered if there isn't some kind of compromise out there that would look good on modern forms of clothing.
I agree, this is a real problem and is the reason I have stopped wearing tzitzit.  We need to solve this eventually.
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