Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tassels For The Love Of God - aka Tzitzits

I recently made my family tassels for our clothing.  You may well wonder, "WHY????"

Surprisingly, this is one of the biblical laws that many are unaware of.  The hebrew word used in scripture is Tzitzit (pronounced tzee-tzeet).

“You shall make tassels on the four corners of the clothing with which you cover yourself. (Deuteronomy 22:12)

“Speak to the children of Israel: Tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a blue thread in the tassels of the corners. And you shall have the tassel, that you may look upon it and remember all the commandments of the Lord and do them, and that you may not follow the harlotry to which your own heart and your own eyes are inclined, and that you may remember and do all My commandments, and be holy for your God." (Numbers 15:38-40)

There is much discussion about how they should be made, tied, worn and by whom.

From the scriptures we can see that 'the children of Israel' (by the by, if you are grafted in, that includes you) are to make tassels to hang from four corners of your clothing, with a blue thread in them.

They are a physical reminder to you to remember all the commandments of YHWH and do them.

Obviously, like other commandments, this physical sign does not mean ANYTHING, unless your heart is in alignment spiritually.  If you reject the commandments of YHWH and/or choose not to DO them, then wearing some tassels on your clothing would be meaningless.

BUT, like these other commandments, this physical sign is SYMBOLIC of spiritual state that YHWH desires in us.  He desires us to REMEMBER HIM and His commandments.  He desires us to LOVE Him and to show that love by following His commandments.  He desires our obedience that will enable Him to pour out His blessings upon us.  Just SEE how intertwined LOVE and His Commandments are.

I really had alot of fun making these for the family.  I made a plain blue set for my husband and oldest son.  And then I made multi colored ones for myself and the children, using our favorite colors, but carefully remembering to include at least one blue thread in each.  After this I made a second pair for each child with some beads because... well... because I could.

I used plain embroidery thread of various colors.  The beaded ones are simply knotted around the beads.  The ones without beads I chose to use the aleph-bet to guide my knots.  I began with three knots for the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, then ten braids, three knots, five braids, three knots six braids, three knots, five braids and three knots.  The ten, five, six, and five are for Yod Heh Vav Heh, YHWH.

Of course, that is just what I did.  You can do it however you like!  Following the Law of YHWH is not burdensome and comes with so much freedom and joy.

While I think that sometimes traditions can teach us some things, I believe that we must be careful that we are not neglecting or rejecting the law of YHWH for tradition.  For example, the Talmud (jewish rabbi's teaching and traditions) teach that the blue thread of the tzitzit must be dyed with a particular dye.  However that dye is extremely expensive.  So now, MANY people wear only white tzitzits, trying to follow the law of YHWH, but putting TRADITION over the actual scriptural LAW.

After explaining WHY we make and wear these tzitzits, the children were very proud to wear them.  For their little bodies, active bouncing whirlwinds that they are, I have found a simple belt with the tzitzits looped on it works best.  I tried safety pins and they were all misplaced within an hour.  With the belts we haven't lost one.  For myself, safety pins worked fine until I went on a hike in the trees and underbrush.

Here, someone is selling tzitzits quite affordably.  Please note that these do not all contain a blue thread, which is one of the ACTUAL requirements by scripture.  But if you were unable to make your own, this would be a great way to start following this commandment with ease.
100% Cotton Handmade Jewish TZITZIT 1 Set of 4 TSITSIT

And here you can purchase ready made belts with tzitzits attached.  I really thought these were inventive and cute!  They have plain and darker colors for men as well.  But for the children..... and for myself..... I could definitely see myself wearing these.  Next time I pull out my sewing machine this is on my to do list!
Tzitzit Belts

To learn more about Tzitzits.....

Wikipedia - Tzitzit

Tassels and Tzitzit –A Research Study Paper

What Scripture Says About... Tzitzit

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