Ureitem Oto Uzechartem et kol Mitzvot Hashem Vaasitem Otam – And you shall see the Tzitzith and
remember all the Mitzvoth and fulfill them.
This verse provides the biblical source for wearing Tzitzith fringes outside one’s clothing in order Ureitem Oto
– to be able to see them. Additionally our sages have taught in Tractate Menachot 43B that wearing and
seeing Tzitzith each day is not only a Mitzvah, but is also an inspiration to be cognizant of G-d, Maker of
heaven and earth. The Talmud states: “The Techeylet / Tzitzith remind us of the deep blue sea, which directs us
to the heavens above and then to G-d’s throne in heaven”.
The passage continues Velo Taturu Acharei Levavchem Veacharei Eyneychem …… Lemaan Tizkiru Vaasitem
Otam Et Kol Mitzvotai – And you shall not stray after your heart and after your eyes… so that you shall
remember and fulfill all of my Mitzvoth.
A cursory reading of the Tefillah requires us to ask why it is necessary for the words Tizkiru Vaasitem –You
shall remember and fulfill to be repeated? The exact same words are located literally in the preceding verse
and state that if one wears the Tzitzith and sees them, he will remember and fulfill all the Mitzvoth, so why is
it repeated again after Velo Taturur – And you shall not stray?!
I will answer with a metaphor- An overweight person visited a doctor for advice and guidance on how to lose
weight and improve his health. The doctor instructed his patient to go out to a health food store and purchase
a specific weight loss product which includes all the necessary nutrients and protein to be healthy and also
lose weight. After a month the patient came back disgruntled because he followed the doctor’s advice and
actually gained a few pounds (!) The doctor asked the patient if he had been following the instructions of the
weight loss product. The patient answered that indeed he was eating everything the diet plan suggested.
Perplexed, the doctor asked if he ate anything else. The patient answered that since the diet did not fill him up
he supplemented several bagels and chocolate bars every day.
The lesson is clear: It is not enough to do the right thing; you also have to refrain from that which is harmful.
Rav Simcha Zissel of Kelm writes that it is only through both the positive act of wearing Tzitzith together with
watchfulness and caution against physical and emotional temptations that will affect Tizkiru Vaasitem –
remembering and fulfill the Mitzvoth of the Torah.
Take Home Tip: When we try our best to fulfill Mitzvoth, in turn the Mitzvoth help us to be more fulfilled.