Jul 262010

The meaning of tzitzit is about connecting Shamayim (Heaven) and eretz (earth), revealing to us the spiritual potential in the world around us.

Meaning of Tzitzit

The task of transforming all of our activities into spiritual pursuits may seem remote and abstract. Throughout the day we find ourselves in various places and situations that seem far from the Divine Presence.  It can be very difficult to understand – and even harder to put into practice – the idea that we can always connect to Shamayim.

That’s where the mitzvah of tzitzit comes in. It enables us to unify Shamayim and eretz.

The location of the tzitzit on all four corners of the garment connects the four corners of the Earth, and when we hold all four tzitzit in our hands we are actually unifying the entire universe, writes Rabbi Shmuel Zucker.

The sin of Adam and Eve caused nitzutzot (sparks of holiness) to fall, mixing good and evil.  Since then our divine task has been to rescue the holy sparks that fell and were hidden in the world.  We have to elevate them, raising them back to their root, adds Rabbi Zucker.  Every place we’re in and any test we are faced with is an opportunity to find these sparks – the captured pieces of Heaven – and rescue them by acting spiritually, transforming the place or test one is faced with into a spiritual experience.

A person must always keep in mind that God put him in the situation he’s in, giving him an opportunity to think and act from a spiritual perspective.  No one was put there to give up or to fail, but to make the situation into a divine service and elevate the trapped holiness back to its root.  By doing this, one can transform any place, time or situation into a vehicle for serving God.

The divine assistance for acting and being spiritual, thereby turning every place and situation into an opportunity for divine service by rescuing its holy spark – comes from tzitzit.  Tzitzit helps us act spiritually and find spirituality in every situation, thereby rescuing these holy sparks and returning them to their roots.

Even when a person is on the verge of committing an aveira (transgression), writes Rabbi Zucker, the mitzvah of tzitzit gives him the strength to find and recover the nitzutz, and even transform a potential aveira into a positive act.

More articles on tzitzit and the meaning of tzitzit:

Beyond the Here and Now by Dan Slobodkin
Do-It-Yourself Tzitzit Tying
A Tallit in Auschwitz
The Wall is Wailing by Rabbi Avi Shafran

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