subscribe.gif (2332 bytes)

Biography of Yehuda Katz | Archives | This week's Parsha


In reference to the Mitzvah of Tzizit it is stated, "that you may remember and do, all My commandments; and be holy unto your G-d", (15:40)

In Genesis (9:20-28) , an incident is related concerning Noah, whereby Noah plants a vineyard after descending from the ark, and becomes drunk and uncovered. However, in verse (9:23) Shem and Yaphat (Noahs sons) cover their father, and are thus blessed.....Rashi comments (9:23) that Shems descendents (the Jewish people) merited the Mitzvah of Tzizit.(Refer to Medrash Tanchuma siman 15,Parshat Noah and Medrash Rabbah , Bereshis 31:6)......A question can be asked, how is the Mitzvah of Tzizit an appropriate reward for Shem? What is it about Tzizit that make it worthy, in our eyes atleast, as something worthwhile or special?

Perhapes this question can be answered as follows: The reward given to Shem for his rightousness is that through the wearing of the Tzizit, Shems descendents (the Jewish People) will never be found in such a state Noah was in after being intoxicated with wine.Noah had debased himself by allowing himself to be unconciously uncovered, thus making himself open to violation.A human being should never be so intoxicated to the extent that total unconciousness prevailes. This is surely an invitation to sin.......Tzizit has the ability to rescue the wearer from such a unworthy predicament. This is indeed a very gracious reward given to Shem.....The Tzizit remind the Jew of his commitment towards holiness ,as exhibited by the 613 commandments. By looking at the Tzizit, it jolts the Jew into realizing his status as a member of a "holy nation".

This is clearly illustrated from verse (15:40),as quoted above. Being in a state of holiness is certainly worthy of every Jewish persons consideration.....With the help of the Tzizit, may we all discover the holiness inherent in all of us,Bezer Hashem.......Have a good Shabbos


This article is provided as part of Shema Yisrael
Torah Network
Permission is granted to redistribute electronically or
on paper,
provided that this notice is included intact.
For information on subscriptions, archives, and
other Shema Yisrael
send mail to

Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Jerusalem, Israel

Feedback is Appreciated at