Tefillah Tips – Tzitzit III

After instructing which clothes require Tzizit, and how they should look, the parsha of Tzizit concludes with a declaration from Hashem. “Ani Hashem Elokaychem asher hotzaitichem mayeretz mitzraim lihiyot lachem leylokim ani Hashem Elokaychem.- I am the Lord your G-d that has taken you out of Egypt to be your Lord- I am the Lord your G-d.”

Why does a section of the Torah that is dedicated to the mitzvah of tzitzit conclude with a reference to the Exodus from Egypt? How exactly does the Exodus fit into the scheme of things here?

A few weeks ago I mentioned that Tzizit with all of its knots and strands represents all six hundred and thirteen mitzvoth. The verse regarding the Exodus reminds us that the whole reason we were taken out of the land of Egypt was in order to accept and fulfill all six hundred and thirteen mitzvoth. That is what we have been created for.

The Talmud in Bava Metzia 61B explains the connection of Tzizit to the Exodus in a different way. The Talmud remarks that just like during the Plague of the First Born (in this weeks parsha) G-d was easily able to discern between Tipat zerah- first born children and others, so too G-d knows who is wearing proper Tzizit, how many knots, strings, and correct Techeylet and who is not.

Finally, the reason the Exodus is mentioned by the parsha of Tzizit is the same reason it is mentioned by Tefillin, and in the Kiddush of Shabbat, Rosh Hashanah, Sukkoth, Pesach, and Shavuot. The Exodus is proof that G-d cares about the world, the Jewish people, and about good and evil. This means that G-d also cares about how we behave, how we speak, and even how we dress. G-d even cares if Jews wear Tzizit or not. Unlike other philosophies (Lehavdil) that believe that there is a Creator of the universe who created the world long ago and left it alone, the Exodus in all of its glory reflects the intimate and eternal relationship Hashem has with the world, the Jewish people and all of His creations.

As we continue to read the parshiyot in the Torah that reveal the Exodus may we learn new insights and deepen our faith in Hashem and look forward to the final redemption of the Jewish people – may it be soon in our days.