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Tzit-Tzit for Women?

March 21, 2012
I know that I’m putting the cart in front of the horse here, I should really do a study on tzit-tzit first and then address whether or not God intends only men or both men and women to wear tzit-tzit. My pastor sent out an email with the intention of starting a discussion asking this very question. Because I did the study and typed up a reply, I thought I’d put it up here. I may come back and do a more in depth study at a later time.

His Question:

Numbers 15:37 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

15:38 Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue:

15:39 And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring:

15:40 That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God.

15:41 I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the LORD your God.
………………………..

WHO is a child of Israel?
Are women?

My real question is:  Should women wear tzitzit? (tzitzitim?)

My Reply:

I know you well enough to know that you’ve already looked at the Strong’s for this but:

The word children in that verse has 9 possible definitions, 6 of them apply to people. Of those 6, 2 apply to men and women. the other four only to men.

The second verse which commands the wearing of fringes is Deuteronomy 22:12

” Thou shalt make thee fringes upon the four quarters of thy vesture, wherewith thou coverest [thyself].”

I was just skimming but I went backwards through the book until I found where it said who was speaking and to whom. As near as I can tell it is Moses speaking and in 9:1 he says “Hear O Israel.” Therefore he is speaking to everyone when he says “Thou” in 22:12.

It is my opinion that the commandment in Numbers intends usage of one of the two definitions that mean both men and women. Like in Spanish when you speak about a group it is always a masculine form.

There are those who don’t agree with this interpretation: http://weareisrael.org/men-and-women/tzitzit/  (Just to note, he wants to agree with me, but his interpretation of the word won’t let him.)

There are those who do agree: http://q.b5z.net/i/u/10105283/f/FAQ_-_Should_Women_Wear_Tzitzit.pdf (I will point out that although I find it helpful that they have looked for other instances in scripture where this word was translated as “children” the word is also sometimes translated as “sons, young, old, ect.)

Personally, because there is uncertainty, I think that it should be up to the woman and the head of her household to decide after prayer and study.

So, should women wear tzit-tzit? I think the answer is yes, if she is a child of Israel.

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