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That shall be your fringe; look at it and recall all the commandments of the Lord and observe them, so that you do not follow your heart and eyes in your lustful urge." Num 15:3The Tallit Google a ‘tallit’ and you will find Tallitots of every size and kind Woven, striated or custom made Creamy in wool of the highest grade Brags the seller, its wool of great weight The fringes hang heavy, no matter your gait The shawl sits squarely whenever you pray With hand-knotted tassels that won’t tear away Along the edge is a band of blue Look upon it and purpose to stay true Eons of time have long since past The command of blue is still held fast Oh, to be wrapped in its heavy warmth Ancient holy tent, this soft prayer cloth Remember the One who donned the blue Spoke words of power, timeless and true Mocking and laughing, they called Him a fool Wrapped in such fine unsullied lamb’s wool His mantle of prayer worn with gravity Cord of royal blue the brand of divinity Many a hand grasped with faith eagerly Fluttering tassels on paths long and dusty A touch of the hem of that precious garment Will free me forever from death and lament A soldier won His tallit by impious lot As others watched on, in horror distraught Stripped of His mantle of blue and cream Naked and exposed like an awful dream Yet upon His shoulders rests all government More squarely than any hand-woven garment Unblemished Lamb, who honored the blue Not slave to lusts but to the law ever true.
How compelling the image of that prayer shawl is with its fringe of blue, worn with authority as Jesus stood up to read from the scroll of Isaiah, proclaiming the fulfillment of centuries of prophecies!
(except on the Day of Atonement) In fact, the precise time for donning it was when the blue could be seen as distinctly different from purple, in the predawn light!
Seems like a classic case of straining a gnat and swallowing a camel!
Chemical analysis of blue stains on vats from 1200 BC, reveals patterns consistent with those of this snail, corroborating the Bible’s reference to Tyre as the leader in the trading of this dye.
This blue came at an exorbitant price because of the complexity of extraction, and because it took roughly 12,000 snails to produce 1.4 grams of the dye!
Is it any wonder then that this mysterious blue was used to symbolize royalty?
I found it amusing that the Rabbis applied the command in Numbers literally.
Since they were commanded to "look at it and recall the commandments of the Lord”, they only permitted the wearing of the prayer shawl at dawn for the Morning Prayer.