As an Israelite-Natsari or YAHowan or Messianic (whichever label you prefer), no doubt there were people we’ve come across wearing tsitsit/tzitzit. These are four (4) tassles or fringes dangling on a person’s clothing, usually placed on their pants, with a blue and white colour.
As a Natsari, should we wear tsitsit? The short answer is, yes, we should as it was commanded in Bemidbar (Numbers) 15:38-40. The long answer, that is our discussion today in this post.
Tzitzit as a Reminder of the Torah
In Bemidbar (Numbers) 15:38-40 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 (pronounced as “yah-ō-ah”; transliterated as “YAHŌAH”, “YaHōWaH”, or “YHWH”) Himself instructed us to wear tsitsit. Here is the instruction from three different translations.
38Speak unto the children of Yisra’el, and bid them that they make them tsiytsiyt in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the tsiytsiyt of the borders a ribband of blue: 39And it shall be unto you a tsiytsiyt, that ye may look upon it, and remember 𐤀𐤕 eth-all the commandments of 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring: 40That ye may remember, and do 𐤀𐤕 eth-all my commandments, and be holy unto your ELOHIYM.
“38Speak to the children of Yisra’el, and you shall say to them to make tsitsit on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a blue cord in the tsitsit of the corners.
“39And it shall be to you for a tsitsit, and you shall see it, and shall remember all the Commands of 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 and shall do them, and not search after your own heart and your own eyes after which you went whoring, 40so that you remember, and shall do all My Commands, and be qodesh unto your Elohim.”
“38Speak to the children of Yisra’el, and tell them to make themselves tsitsit on the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put on the tsitsit of each border a cord of blue: 39and it shall be to you for a tsitsit, that you may look on it, and remember all the commands of 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄, and do them; and that you not follow after your own heart and your own eyes, after which you used to whore; 40that you may remember and do all My commands, and be set-apart to your Elohim.”
𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 (YAHŌAH/YaHōWaH) was clearly instructing the children of Yisra’el. We have learned that anyone who is a Natsari is a children of Yisra’el. The native born of course, and the foreigners who were grafted-in to the olive tree of Yisra’el are no longer gentiles but partakers of Yisra’el. Men, women, children.
The tsitsit or tassles or fringes, are to serve as a reminder to us of all the commands of 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 (YAHŌAH/YaHōWaH), to do and obey His instructions, and not to follow after our own heart and eyes.
1My son, do not forget my Torah,
And let your heart watch over my Commands;
2For length of days and long life
And peace they add to you.
5Trust in 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
6Know Him in all your ways,
And He makes all your paths straight.
But we already have the Set-apart Ruah (Holy Spirit)!
True, there is no question about that. Yahôḥānān (John) 14:26 has this to say about the Set-apart Ruah (Holy Spirit).
“But the Helper, the Ruah ha’Qodesh, whom the Father shall send in My Name, He shall teach you all, and remind you of all that I said to you.”
But think about this. Our Messiah, 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤅𐤏 (pronunciation: yah-ô-shua; transliteration: Yahoshua; also read: Why Yahoshua/Yahushua?) continued to wear His very own tsitsit even after He received the Set-apart Ruah!
20And a woman who had been suffering from a flow of blood for twelve years, came up behind Him and touched the tsitsit of His cloak; 21for she was saying to herself, “If I only touch His garment, I will be saved.” 22But 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤅𐤏 turning and seeing her said, “Daughter, take courage; your faith has saved you.” The woman was saved that very hour.
35And when the men of that place recognised Him, they sent out into all that surrounding country, and brought to Him all who were sick,
36and begged Him to let them only touch the tsitsit of His garment. And as many as touched it were completely healed.
And wherever He went, into villages, or cities, or the country, they were laying the sick in the market-places, and begged Him to let them touch if only the tsitsit of His garment. And as many as touched Him were healed.
43A woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years, [who had spent all her living on physicians,] and could not be healed by any, 44came behind Him, and touched the tsitsit of His cloak, and immediately the flow of her blood stopped.
However, in Mattithyahu (Matthew) 23:5, our Messiah 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤅𐤏 (Yahoshua) warned us about doing things to or for show, he made an example of the Pharisees. In other words, if you are going to wear tsitsit for the purpose of broadcasting to the world that you are “holy”, it is much better that you do not wear one.
“And they do all their works to be seen by men, and they make their t’fillen wide and lengthen the tsitsit of their garments.”
And if I may add, wearing a tsitsit means that you are constantly reminded of 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 (YAHOAH/YaHoWaH)’s Torah and all the teachings of 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤅𐤏 (Yahoshua). If, for example, you intentionally lie—what is commonly called a white lie—don’t you think that you are condemning yourself?
Even if you do not wear a tsitsit, as some insists that “it has been done away with” despite the verses presented above, do you think the Set-apart Ruah (Holy Spirit) will be pleased and wouldn’t leave you or condemn you of your intentional “white” lies?
Wearing a tsitsit is what we can consider one of the least of commands. However, we were instructed to follow all His commands, from the greatest to the least. In addition, there are no verses to support that we were commanded not to wear a tsitsit anymore. On the contrary, 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤅𐤏 (Yahoshua) Himself continued to wear His own tsitsit throughout His earthly ministry.
𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤅𐤏 (Yahoshua) taught us to follow Him, in His footsteps, to be like Him. If He wore a tsitsit, then we should too! 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤅𐤏 (Yahoshua) earthly ministry was not only about saving us. He could have just headed straight and die for us. Instead, He walked on earth and showed us how to live and how to obey our Father 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 (YAHOAH/YaHoWaH).
However, a fair warning. Let us be wise when wearing a tsitsit. If in your work there is a prescribed dress code, for example in a service type of job like in hotels, ask if you can wear a tsitsit, or you can simply put it inside your outer garment, which some brethren do. Or, if you are going to a country where any faith, especially, Abrahamic faiths, are frowned upon or might put you in danger, don’t wear a tsitsit publicly.
Our faith is not suicidal. Our faith does not require us to be foolish. But if it is your calling to proclaim His Word and gift of salvation in these places, then go with your calling, if wearing a tsitsit publicly will help in your ministry, why not?
Point being, be wise. It is not about being ashamed of our faith. It is not about lying (the only way you can lie is if they asked you and you were not honest). Each of us were called to do different things and to be in different places. If it was not your task to proclaim His goodness in countries where you might get captured and killed, then don’t. If you are in such a place for work, say you are a member of the press, then do your job as a press.
Think of it this way, if you were captured and tortured, do you think you are ready to stand on your faith to a very slow death? Or are you going to say, “I denounce 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤅𐤏 (Yahoshua)”? Remember, we were warned, those who save themselves will lose their lives. Many did just that, they denounced 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤅𐤏 (Yahoshua) to save themselves, only to be killed right after they finished their denouncement.
I strongly believe that our Father 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 (YAHOAH/YaHoWaH) won’t let us be in such a life and death situation if we are not ready to stand firmly on our faith with Him. Look at Iyob (Job), Abraham, the apostles, and many of the early Natsarim! (It does not mean if you’re ready you’ll be subjected to such.)
That’s being wise. Stay strong. Stay alive. Stay safe. Keep studying!
Is a self-confessed bibliophile and technophile other than being an early adopter, an avid gamer, a geek, nerd, role-player, anime otaku, and trekker.
His first online project was in 1998 when he launched the unofficial website for Ansalon MUD (a text-based, telnet online game) and his own community forums Laibcoms.Community. By 2003 he created his work blog GM-Yukino which grew into gameshogun™, Snoworld™, and techmagus™ over the years.
Yuki’s latest project is Verses.Space™, a Free Culture / Creative Commons, collaborative, and shared-world, worldbuilding and writing project.
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Tsitsit, Tassles, Fringes, Should We Wear It? by One Way Faith™ is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at Legal Notice.