Rabbi Ephraim Sprecher, Dean of Students and Senior Lecturer at Diaspora Yeshiva, is not only a popular speaker and teacher, but also a dynamic thinker and writer. A student of Harav Yaakov Kamenetsky and Harav Gedalia Schorr, Rabbi Sprecher was granted smicha (rabbinical ordination) by Torah Vodaath Yeshiva. Prior to his current position, Rabbi Sprecher was a professor of Judaic studies at Touro College in New York. In addition to his duties at Diaspora Yeshiva, Rabbi Sprecher writes a regular column on various Judaic topics in the Jewish Press, and lectures regularly at the OU Israel Center in Jerusalem.
TZITZIT - Buy One, Get 613
Published: Friday, June 14, 2019 01:08:51 PM
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“When You see the TZITZIT, you will remember all the Mitzvot of G-d, in order to perform them” (Bamidbar 15:39).

Rashi comments on this verse that the GEMATRIA of the word TZITZIT equals 600, and eight strings of the TZITZIT and five knots, all together equaling 613, corresponding to the 613 Mitzvot of the Torah. But why do we need the garment to which the TZITZIT are attached? Why not just carry the TZITZIT themselves?

The Lubavitcher Rebbe explains that the answer lies in the significance of garments. The difference between food and clothing, our two main necessities is that food becomes a part of us when we eat it, while clothing always remains outside of us. Food therefore alludes to the aspects of the Torah that we can comprehend and “digest”, while clothing alludes to that part of the Torah which remains beyond our grasp.

The Mitzvah to attach the TZITZIT to our garments indicates that it is not simply sufficient just to remember the Mitzvot. Wearing a garment with TZITZIT helps us remember that the Torah and all of its Mitzvot are G-d’s Own Wisdom, which transcends the limitations of our human intellect.

Rav Soloveitchik explains that the blue Techelet of TZITZIT is a symbol that all events in life are as profound and mysterious as the deep blue sky. The Talmud in Menachot states that the blue techelet of TZITZIT reminds us to look up at the blue heavens and admire the incredible, vast expanse of endless space, leading to its Source which is the Ein Sof – G-d Himself!

As Tehillim 19 states, “The Heavens tell the glory of G-d’s Incredible Greatness.” By admiring and appreciating G-d’s Greatness, we can achieve and attain our own greatness as well!

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