What is Tzitzit

     The tallit’s fringes are called tzitzit. The commandment to put tzitzit on the corners of one’s garments is referred to more generally in Deuteronomy and more specifically in the book of Numbers, with the added commandment to include a blue thread among the threads of each fringe.


The major goal of tzitzit is to serve as a reminder God’s taking the Jewish people out of Egypt. Each fringe is tied from four strings passed through a hole in the corner of the garment. Several customs exist as to how to form the series of knots and windings of the fringes though one major custom finishes as five double knots, with a section of windings between each double knot (four sections) which end in eight hanging strings.

 The major biblical scholar Rashi, points out that the number of knots, windings, and strings add up to 613 which are the number of commandments in the Torah. This can all be an earful for someone who was just wondering what the strings hanging out of my pants are so I usually just revert to my old and trusted warning: “Just don’t pull on them or my parachute will deploy.”