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    The message of tzitzit – Ki Tetzei

    Fringes on the corners of one’s garments – a basic Jewish duty.

    Jewish life has developed a special response to the command, the tallit. The b’rachah when we put it on says, however, “God commanded us to be wrapped in the fringes (the tzitzit)”. We don’t speak of wrapping ourselves in the tallit but in the fringes.

    Rabbi Yechezkel of Kobrin was asked why this is the b’rachah we say. He could have said, “The tallit is only the excuse for the tzitzit; the mitzvah is the tzitzit, not the garment”.

    What he did say was, “The tzitzit are what is important, and the human being should learn from them. The tzitzit hang down and seem too lowly to bear any importance.

    “The same goes with human beings. The person who is modest and humble is really high in God’s estimation, whilst the person who is high and mighty is really of no account.”

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