Tassels for Today
(revised 12/02/05)


Our Master Yahushua said:

Matt 5:17 (NKJV) "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 "For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. 19 "Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches [them], he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Knowing that heaven and earth have not passed away and therefore there is much yet to be fulfilled, I came to the conviction that we should obey this commandment in Yahweh's word:

Numb 15:37 (NKJV) Again Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 38 "Speak to the children of Israel: Tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a blue thread in the tassels of the corners. 39 "And you shall have the tassel, that you may look upon it and remember all the commandments of Yahweh and do them, and that you [may] not follow the harlotry to which your own heart and your own eyes are inclined, 40 "and that you may remember and do all My commandments, and be holy for your Elohim.

According to Yahweh's word, the purpose for the tassel (Hebrew #6734 "Tsitsit" or plural "Tsit tsiyot") is for us to look upon it and remember all of Yahweh's commandments and do them. This is the primary purpose of the tassels. 

What is a tassel?

According to the Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew lexicon it is:

06734 tsiytsith {tsee-tseeth'} from 06731; TWOT - 1912; n f AV - fringe 3, lock 1; 4 1) fringe, tassel, lock

 Here is a photo of a tassel with a blue cord.

In this tassel, there are four sections of wraps. From right to left (as Hebrew reads), there are 10 wraps in the first section which corresponds to the Hebrew letter Yod. The second section has 5 wraps which is Heh. The third section, 6 wraps is Waw. And the fourth section is Heh once again with 5 wraps. This gives us the Tetragrammaton, Yahweh's name. I don't know that it is necessary to have it exactly like this, but I really like it :) There is an alternative method of tying it to indicate the "613 commandments" in the law. However, the list of 613 was compiled by Rambam, a Jewish scholar who lived in the 12th century CE. Rambam authored the Mishneh Torah, a well known and often used commentary on the Talmud. After having examined the list of 613 commandments, I have concerns that it isn't really an accurate count and was influenced by the Talmud. 

In another scripture which tells us to wear the tassels, it indicates that 4 tassels should be worn:

Deut 22:12 (NKJV) "You shall make tassels on the four corners of the clothing with which you cover [yourself].

I usually wear the tassels on a tunic made by my wife or on a garment similar to a long shirt except the lower portion is split, giving me 4 corners. Others tie it to their belt loops or pin it under their belts. Others sew it to their belts. Having a four cornered garment is probably best but I don't doubt that Yahweh is pleased with a sincere effort to keep His commandments. 

Do we still need reminders?

Many would like to say that we need not wear the tassels any longer since we have the Holy Spirit to remind us of His commandments. Their reasoning comes from this scripture:

John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

While it is true that the Holy Spirit can remind us of Yahweh's commandments, and that the new covenant states that Yahweh's commandments are written on our hearts, it is also true that one of Yahweh's commandments is to wear tassels! The truth is that even the apostles wrote to the brethren for the purpose of reminding them of various commandments and principles in the word. Paul charges Titus to remind others:

Titus 3:1-2 Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.

He charged Timothy to remind others also:

2 Timothy 2:13-14 If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself. 14 Remind them of these things, charging them before Yahweh not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers. 

And Kepha/Peter considers it negligence if he did not remind Yahweh's people:

2 Peter 1:10-15 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Master and Savior Yahushua Messiah. 12 For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. 13 Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you, 14 knowing that shortly I must put off my tent, just as our Master Yahushua Messiah showed me. 15 Moreover I will be careful to ensure that you always have a reminder of these things after my decease.

Who among us would rebuke the apostles for reminding others? In reality, the scriptures are full of precepts that have the purpose of bringing the things of Yahweh to our remembrance. Even Yahushua said:

Luke 22:19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.

How could we ever forget Yahushua if we have the Holy Spirit? Yet, we are expected to partake of Him as an act of remembrance. Would any among us say that we need not do what He said because we now have the Holy Spirit to remind us of Him? We are clearly to do this act to remember Yahushua the Messiah, who is the "word made flesh". If He is the "word made flesh" and we are expected to keep this precept to remember Yahushua (who IS the Word), why would we reject any other commandment given for the purpose of remembering Yahweh's word?

Besides this, are we greater than all the saints of the "Old Testament"? Yet we know they were commanded to wear tassels. The presence of Yahweh's Spirit in your life should not cause you to ignore any of Yahweh's word, including the commandment to wear the tassels. Rather, the Spirit leads us to walk in His statutes, and do them:

Ezekiel 36:27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

So the presence of Yahweh's Spirit in our life does not negate the commandments to wear the tassels. Besides, if Yahweh says to wear them, why do we feel the need to go about finding reasons why we don't need to do it? It could be that Yahweh has other reasons as well. Yahweh didn't give all the reasons why He didn't want Eve to partake of the fruit, He just instructed Adam and Eve not to eat it. Prompted by the serpent, Eve reasoned within herself as to why Yahweh said she shouldn't eat it and decided to go ahead and disobey Yahweh. We should beware of any thoughts coming into our mind which subtly suggests "Hath Elohim said?" Elohim clearly has said. We just need to obey Him.

Yahushua wore tassels

If there is any question as to whether or not we should keep this commandment, we need only to look to the perfect example: Yahushua the Messiah. We know that He had the fullness of Yahweh's Spirit and if there were anyone who could claim to have no need of a reminder, it would be Him. So did He wear tassels? You may recall the time when the woman with the flow of blood was healed by touching the "hem" of Yahushua's garment:


Luke 8:43-44 Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any, 44 came from behind and touched the border of His garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped.

Matthew 9:20 And suddenly, a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years came from behind and touched the hem of His garment.

The same Greek word is used to translate "border" and "hem" in the above scriptures. It is word #2899 in the Strong's concordance:

The Barkley-Newman Greek Dictionary has:

kraspedon, ou n fringe, edge; tassel

The Friberg Greek Lexicon has:

kraspedon ou to (1) as the outer limit of someth.; of a garment hem, border, edge; (2) in Jewish usage, the tassel or fringe on the four corners of the outer garment, worn as a reminder to observe the commandments (cf. NU 15.38ff; DT 22.12).

The DuTillet, which is a 450 year old Hebrew manuscript of the book of Matthew contains "Tzitzi" (tassel) in this passage as well as other verses we will examine. The woman with the flow of blood was healed by touching the "tassel" of his garment. So not only did Yahushua wear the tassels, but Yahweh used them to bring healing! This indicates that wearing tassels may have some type of spiritual significance in addition to reminding us to keep His commandments. We can always trust that Yahweh knows what He is doing and we need not question the wisdom of anything He commands.

Here is another scripture which also shows Yahushua wore the tassels:


Matt 14:34 When they had crossed over, they came to the land of Gennesaret. 35 And when the men of that place recognized Him, they sent out into all that surrounding region, brought to Him all who were sick, 36 and begged Him that they might only touch the hem (tassel,
#2899) of His garment. And as many as touched [it] were made perfectly well.

and again:

Mark 6:56 Wherever He entered into villages, cities, or in the country, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged Him that they might just touch the hem (tassel, #2899) of His garment. And as many as touched Him were made well.

So we can again see that Yahweh used the tassels that Yahushua wore in a powerful way. People were begging to touch the tassel of His garment so that they also could receive healing. We can be sure that Yahushua had the fullness of Yahweh's Spirit. Yahushua is the example of what a Spirit-filled person should do with this commandment to wear the tassels: Keep it! 

1John 2:5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of Elohim is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.

We must walk as Yahushua walked and when we walk as He walked, it shows that we are in Him. If Yahushua wore the tassels and we walk as He walked, then surely Yahweh can use our tassels in a mighty way also. Imagine if all of Yahweh's people would keep the commandment to wear the tassels. We would be able to recognize one another instantly. The community around us would know that we are brethren and we all serve Yahweh. I can speak from my own experience that unbelieving Jews will ask why we are wearing them because many of them also wear tassels without a blue cord inside their pants and on talits. It opens the door to share with them the truth that Yahushua did not abolish the Torah and that He would never accept the way in which mainstream Christianity portrays Him. Other people also will ask why I wear the tassels and it becomes an opportunity to share the testimony of Yahushua, the fact that He wore them, and that it is to remind us of the commandments of Yahweh. Most people of a Christian background are amazed that it is even in Scripture! Even mainstream Christians sense a need of some kind of reminder when they wear the "WWJD (What would 'Jesus' do?)" paraphernalia. We can wear something that not only reminds us of what Yahushua did (He kept every one of Yahweh's commandments), but also imitates one of the things He did: wear the tassels!

Should a woman wear tassels?

I see no evidence that the commandment was gender specific. The command in Numbers 15:38 was for "B'nay Yisrael" (commonly translated "children of Israel or sons of Israel") which is the same phrase that prefixed many other commands such as:

The commands against unclean meats:

Leviticus 11:2 (NKJV) "Speak to the children of Israel, saying, 'These are the animals which you may eat among all the animals that are on the earth:

The commands against incest:

Leviticus 18:2 (NKJV) "Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: 'I am Yahweh your Elohim...

Surely a woman was not permitted to have a pork roast or commit incest. Thus I see no scripture indicating that a woman need not wear the tassels. It seems to me that just as men could use a reminder to keep Yahweh's commandments, women could also. 

Be neither prideful or ashamed

Now lets consider this scripture:


Matt 23:5 (NKJV) "But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders (tassels,
#2899) of their garments."

In the days of Yahushua, the quality of your tassel apparently indicated your social rank. But this is certainly not the case today. In fact, you might even receive ridicule for wearing them. But we must not be ashamed of doing the things that Yahushua did. Yahushua said:

Luke 9:26 (NKJV) "For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His [own] glory, and [in] [His] Father's, and of the holy angels.

Therefore do not be ashamed of doing the things He did. Rather, let it be a sign that you have chosen to let Yahushua live in you. For He desires to do His righteous works in every one of us. 

Men in this day and age have no shortage of excuses as to why we need not obey His commandments. We need to make a stand and declare the high calling of living by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of Yahweh. Remember the words of Yahweh in the book of Malachi, "I Yahweh, change not".

Click here for instructions and a video of how we make tassels


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