- Jason HRM
Healing In His Tzit Tzit
Torah Portion Shelach
In Shelach the Sons of Israel are commanded to 'make for themselves tassels (tzit tzit) on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and that they shall put on the tassel of each corner a cord of blue' Numbers 15:38
In the ancient world this commandment made a whole lot more sense because garments naturally had four corners whereas today they do not. Today, Torah keepers find various ways to fulfill this commandment i.e. wearing four cornered shirts especially made for this, attaching tzit tzit to belt loops etc.
For us at HRM we don't mind how you do it and we won't judge if you don't wear tzit tzit (it is recommended though because God said so). Keep in mind however, this commandment is why Jews and Messianics wear prayer shawls. These are specifically made four corner garments from which tzit tzit can hang. These prayer shawls were actually developed after the time of Yeshua because like I said earlier, normal garments from Yeshua's time could naturally have tzit tzit attached to them. Any image you may see of Yeshua wearing a prawer shawl is nice, especially if it emphasis just how Jewish Yeshua is, but it is anachronistic.
The tzit tzit made sense in the ancient world for other very profound reasons. You see, tzit tzit in Moses' day were a symbol of of two things.
In the ancient world in order to wear tzit tzit (other ancient cultures wore tzit tzit too btw) you had to be either a royal or a priest. Thus, the commandment to wear tzit tzit not only serves as a reminder of God's amazing Torah, but as a symbol that Israel is a priest of the Most High, and that you are part of the royal family (in a sense at least). So literally, when Israel came up against the nations they would have seen Israel as a 'nation of priests'.
(none of this takes away from the Levitical Priesthood btw)
I also just wanted to note that absolutely, yes, Yeshua did wear tzit tzit. We know this because he was Jewish and he kept the Torah. But, another way this is known is by looking at the Septuagint. For those that don't know, the Septuagint is a Greek translation of the Old Testament which Jewish Rabbis wrote at around 250 BC (I'm winging this so that's a rough date). When these Rabbis translated the word for tzit tzit into Greek they used the word 'kraspedon'. Thus, we know that the Greek word 'kraspedon' = tzit tzit.
Well, what a surprise the word 'kraspedon' appears in our Gospels too.
43 Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any, 44 came from behind and touched the border (kraspedon) of His garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped.
This is the story where a woman touched the tzit tzit of the Messiah and was healed. You probably grew up imaging a woman touch Yeshua's cloak but no, it was specifically His tzit tzit.
Thus, the Messiah wore tzit tzits.
Whilst I'm here I can't help but answer the question as to why the woman in the story in Luke 8 wanted to touch his tzit tzit.
Tzit tzit, as we know, are attached to the 'border' of ones garment. The Hebrew word for border is 'kanaf'. It can be rendered a few ways like border, or corners, and is typically associated with tzit tzit for obvious reasons.
But Hebrew is a cool language. You see the word 'kanaf' can also be translated as 'wings'. As in, a bird's wings or an angels wings (but don't forget the association with garments and tzit tzit).
Thus, Malachi 4:2, is an interesting play on words. Malachi says;
The sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings
And we are given a grand image of a majestic being with wings. Whilst that might be true, the verse is also referring to the 'sun of righteousness', which has always been understood as a title for Messiah, as having healing in his wings/corner of his garment/tzit tzit.
Hence, this Jewish woman, who has grown up hearing these verses and been taught these things, was aware of the Messianic expectation that the Messiah would come with healing in his wings (tzit tzit), and thought that touching his tzit tzit would be worth a try.
And it worked :), and in one way Malachi 4 was fulfilled, when the Messiah came with healing in his tzit tzit :)