Sharing Torah Insights

Shelach- Property of God’s People

Posted on כ״ב בסיון ה׳תש״ע (June 4, 2010) | in Shelach | by

37The LORD also spoke to Moses, saying, 38“Speak to the sons of Israel, and tell them that they shall make for themselves tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and that they shall put on the tassel of each corner a cord of blue. 39“It shall be a tassel for you to look at and remember all the commandments of the LORD, so as to do them and not follow after your own heart and your own eyes, after which you played the harlot, 40so that you may remember to do all My commandments and be holy to your God. 41“I am the LORD your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt to be your God; I am the LORD your God.” (Numbers 16:37-41)

Based on the simple reading of the pasukim, verses, what is the connection between G-d taking us out of Egypt and the commandment to wear tzitzit?

Rashi mentions that “techales” (a cord of blue) could also be read “Shachel”. (In Hebrew, the letters “Tuf” and “Shin” can be swapped.) “Shachel” means bereavement and refers to the death of all the firstborns in Egypt. Again, what is the connection Rashi is driving at?

The Ohr HaChaim HaKodosh- echoed and said in his own style by Rav Soloveitchik- mention the gemara(Shabbos 57).which discusses a seal or sticker worn by a servant to identify whom the servant works for.(“kavla d’avda”). When the Jewish People were slaves in Egypt they were forced to wear seals as well .(No source is given for this.) However, as soon as they left Egypt (This is unclear because seemingly this commandment of tzitzis given in our parsha came way after Yetzias Mitzrayim!) they were given new seals to replace the old ones. For no longer were they slaves to Pharoh, rather they were slaves to G-d- this is what the tzitzis symbolize.

Through the symbolism of our ‘servitude’ to G-d, we are reminded not to do whatever we choose; so as to do them and not follow after your own heart and your own eyes.

This explains the other (loose) connection to the Death of the Firstborns, which occurred shortly before the Exodus.

Hopefully we will take to heart this constant mitzva of tzitzis.

Good shabbos (ill be in New York God willing.)

[By the way, the title this week is a reference only sports fans might get 🙂 ]


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