To my amazement, I just found out that the commandment to wear ritual fringes, tzitzit, only applies if you are wearing a four-cornered garment. I hope you don't mind my asking a very simple question: Being that most clothing is not four-cornered these days, why do we purposely walk around in four-cornered garments, thus obligating ourselves to wear tzitzit?
It is that time of year again. Tax Season. The time of sifting through and scrutinizing all the receipts we have accumulated over the year, looking for something that might help us lower our taxes. After all, if an exemption is available, why not use it?
The thing is, doing mitzvahs, keeping the Divine commandments, is not like paying taxes.
If a mitzvah were nothing more than an order from On High, a matter of fulfilling an obligation, we might be eager to take advantage of “exemptions.” Why keep more rules than necessary?
But a mitzvah is not just an obligation. The word “mitzvah” is related to the Hebrew word for “connection” (tzavtah). That’s because each mitzvah is another opportunity to connect to G‑d. It is another chance to bring holiness into our lives and the world around us.
And who doesn’t want a better, holier world?
More specifically, the rabbis said that the commandment of tzitzit should be performed daily (or at least during prayers), since it serves as a reminder for us to choose to do what is right in any situation we encounter. In fact, our sages write that this commandment, “is the equivalent of all of the commandments combined.” How could we miss out?
Please see The Obligation and In The Words of Our Sages on our Tallit and Tzitzit site.
Rabbi Yisroel Cotlar