I have chosen to use a style of tassel that is Jewish in origin, but that
is only because I like the style not because it is any holier than
another style. I learned how to tie them from a book by a rabbi named
Aryeh Kaplan titled "Tzitzith, A Thread of Light," and he teaches a
number of very interesting concepts in it. He has complete instructions
on how to tie them, if you choose this type. They are very simple to
tie, and the knots have meaning related to the commands. But remember,
there are many different styles of tzitziyot even in Judaism. I don't
think it matters; what's important is trying to do what your Father says
as best you know how.
I happen to interpret the word "corners" to
mean 'all around' as in the four corners of the earth (even though it's
round). Hey, I'm pretty round too! So, I fasten four tzitziyot to the
belt loops of my pants. I do not have a source for tassels already tied.
Search eBay and other places as there are more people selling them now
than there were 20 years ago.
I put the tassels on a very small key ring then put the ring on the
belt loop, otherwise the wool threads wear out too quick. I have also
used nylon (mini-blind riser cord) and cotton (such as Perle Crochet). I
braid the top loop and I don't attach them permanently because of the
command not to mix threads (Deuteronomy 22:11) in my garment. I wrote an
article on how to tie this type of tassel titled
'How to Tie Your Own Tzitzit In One of
the Jewish Styles' (say that ten times fast) in PDF format (you need
the Adobe Reader) if you want to look more closely. I chose this
method because I am 'surrounded' by reminders about my Father's loving
instructions, which also helps me feel surrounded by His Love.
And believe me, it does make a difference. I don't know why, but
these reminders help a great deal to discipline the awareness and help
me remember to match my actions with my words. At first I felt a little
weird wearing them, but most people do not know what they mean so after
a bit I just relaxed and concentrated on using them to remind me not to
sin. Most people do not understand the significance, and probably think
they're some sort of Native American fetish, but so what. I wear them
long, because as rabbi Kaplan says, they should be long to get in the
way of the flesh in the same way that the Word gets in the way of the
flesh. After a while I have to trim them because they get caught and
twisted and frayed and fall apart.
My wife has used them on her purse, because in her
thinking a purse is like a garment and she doesn't wear pants that
often. I'm sure she will wear them on her pants if she comes to that
understanding as well, but in the meantime she does what she understands
is right between her and her Father. I have seen women wearing all four
on their belt loops as I (and others) do, but I do not think this is a
problem if I read the text correctly.
Jews wear a shirt under
their outer shirt called a talit katan (taw-leet kaw-tawn).
This shirt has four pointy corners to hang their tzitzit from
because some people think a corner has to have right angles. That's
okay; I don't see a problem with this unless someone tries to make it a
rule for other people. Another way to wear tzitziyot is on a
talit, which is also known as a prayer shawl. These have
tzitziyot on the corners and are used for privacy in prayer. Be
cautious if you choose to use a talit, however, and stay
sensitive to possible offense given to Jewish people. The talit and the
talit katan are not specifically commanded in Scripture, but there is a
great deal of meaning to them. The talit is related to the Tabernacle,
and to clothing, and even to the Glory of God that He covers Himself
with. This glory is none other than Jesus the Messiah, so the talit is
also related to Him. I use one for prayer because it has a deep
significance for me. I advise you to develop your own understanding
about the talit before you begin to use one. Mr. Kaplan goes over some
of the meanings in the book I mentioned, or I can go over these
teachings more thoroughly in another article if you'd like.
said we would talk about the word kanaph in a few minutes, so thanks for
waiting. In Malachi 4:2 the Father says,
But to you who fear my name, the sun of
righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will break
out leaping, like calves released from the stall. (Malachi 4:2 (3:20 in
The word for wings here is, you guessed it, kanaph. Now flash forward
to the woman with an issue of blood who moved through the throng to
touch the corner of His robe (Mark 5:25-34). It is probable that she
understood this verse, and very probably that what she touched was His
tzitzit on the corners or "wings" of His talit. Of course, to some this
would be merely coincidence.
"Remember and obey my mitzvot and be holy (qadosh)
for your God."
God bless all your efforts to walk in His Ways.
Bruce Scott Bertram