letting it all hang out

"Tzitzith are supposed to be warn over the clothes, plainly visible to all." While there are many who agree that while living amongst the gentiles, it is ok to wear the tzitzith garment under their clothes, those who tuck the tzitzit (the fringes) themselves into their pants are dishonoring one of God's mitzvot. If they had an article of clothing inscribed with the name of their king, you can be sure they would be wearing it proudly, adorning themselves in it as often as possible.
(paraphrased from: Mishnah Berurah 8:11[26])

This should speak to our generation, whose every possession is branded labeled and relabeled with so many slogans and logos.

The Hafetz Hayyim hints here to the fact that God's name is hinted at in the number of strings and knots in the Tzitzit. Why don't we wear God's name proudly and openly? Why do we hide it away while sporting endless articles of clothing emblazoned with Nike, Apple, Obama, Sports teams etc.?

I think what is beautiful is that there is a movement in our times to bring the emphasis back to Judaism, and to wear it proudly in so many ways. I don't always agree with the means or the message, but it's breathtaking to see a generation living the words of the Hafetz Hayyim, at least in spirit if not to the letter, even in the midst of so many other confusions.

What we can take from this is to strengthen ourselves both with pride in being Jewish, and with stronger dedication to perform and guard HaShem's mitzwoth -- the two go hand in hand. That's why the most widely accepted book of Jewish Law (The Shulchan Aruch) begins with the lesson that we must be mighty in God's service, we must have the courage to go against the grain, against the social pressures of wherever we may find ourselves.

May we merit to see Jews in increasing numbers flaunting their Tzitzith, enjoying their God-given duty to walk around wearing God's logo.

[note: this is not halachah for Sefardim who, based on Kabbalistic reasons, don't wear their tzitzith openly. Nor should anyone be basing their actions on any halachah mentioned here, they should have a Rav/Rabbi/Rebbe and be in touch with them. If for some reason, you cannot find or have not found a Rav/Rabbi/Rebbe, I will be happy to try to put you in touch with someone appropriate to your spiritual, intellectual, and geographical predicament.]


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