I feel funny wearing tzitzit when I drive to the synagogue on Shabbat. My rabbi says I shouldn't take them off, but it seems so hypocritical.


We humans are full of paradox and contradiction - starting from the fact that our very existence is a marriage of opposites: a composite of body and soul, spirituality and corporeality. The paradox is further compounded because even our spiritual side is itself in schism: We have two souls, two personalities inside us: a transcendent Divine soul and an earthly animalistic soul. The rest…well, you're experiencing it right now.

So if we wouldn't make a move until every part of us is in synch, we would never get out of bed in the morning. We would be forever depressed about our hypocrisy. The key is realizing that we were created by G‑d with a paradoxical, contradictory nature, and that our mission is not to be perfect. Rather, we have to do the best we can at any given moment to ensure that our Divine soul is the one calling the shots. (And if it ever so happens that the animal soul calls the shots, as soon as we come to our senses we resolve to be stronger and we continue battling).

Truthfully, this is not called hypocrisy. It's called being inconsistent. And the only human being who is consistent is the one six feet under.

That is why your rabbi is right. Every mitzvah you do has value independent of what's happening with the rest of your life/body/family etc. Why should you refrain from doing something good just because you are not yet perfect?

Between me and you, the ultimate resolution of this issue is not to drive on Shabbat...G‑d willing, you will be ready to take that step eventually.

If the tzitzit bother you because of false impressions you feel you may be giving, you can tuck them into your pocket after services.

Take care, and it really is all about doing one more mitzvah.