Friday, November 02, 2007

Steve, It's Called Tzitzit and It's But One Undergrament

Steve Erlanger, its seems, is probably finishing off his regular job as the NYTimes' correspondent in Israel and as is the custom, is preparing for his removal and replacement by gathering material for a book. In doing so, he is finally hitting the "soft news" field which he as his predecessors have done before him have ignored (and in doing so, pervert the reality of what Israel is but that's another issue).

In an article on the buying power and purchasing tastes of the Hareidi community, I spotted this:

Here in Ramat Beit Shemesh A, the spacious “Shefa Shouk” is an outlet for the ultra-Orthodox segment of a large grocery chain, Blue Square-Israel Ltd. Shefa Shouk has its own food labels with the strict “Badatz” kosher certificate. There is special clothing — undergarments with fringes, for example — and a large baby section.

Steve, it but one garment and, in Hebrew, it's popularly called 'tzitzit' which refers to the fringes, as commanded in the Torah, that need but fixed to four-cornered clothes, under or over.

Picture source

By the way, my grandmother always called it "arba kanfot" (four corners) because 'tzitzit' sounds too much like 'tzitzim' which in Yiddish means female breasts. She wanted me to grow up proper, in deed and word. And don't get it mixed up with 'tzimmes' a great dish for Rosh Hashana or Succot.

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