A Thread of Blue
Updated: Jun 4, 2021
At the conclusion of Parshat Sh'lach a mysterious commandment is issued. After the oldest generation of people has been condemned to die in the desert and forbidden to enter The Land, a commandment is given to wear fringes. These fringes perhaps are a device to help the Israelites remember the commandments. Perhaps the blue thread woven into the white serve as a reminder to be fully devoted to the law.
It is interesting to note that fringes today often do not contain the blue thread. For more on the fascinating subject of Tzitzit, please see these articles: https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/tzitzit/
A THREAD OF BLUE
In the heart of a universe,
painted black and white,
is a speck of blue,
a surprise to the eye.
A sparkling sapphire on black velvet,
like a blue beacon.
In its blue we recall the creation
of the sky and the sea.
With a gasp we grasp
the enormity of the universe
and our own smallness.
The magnificence of the earth
and its vulnerability
We are left in awe.
In the heart of a candle
is an undulating core of blue.
Molten blue, moving languidly.
Dancing to music we do not hear,
inviting us to watch.
We hear the faint hiss
as it greedily devours its fuel.
From this tiny flame we learn about
something small that can grow exponentially,
the capability to consume,
both for the very good
and for the very bad.
In the center of a hurricane is
the eye of the storm
And in that wild swarm of leaden clouds,
a tranquil blue island of peace stands alone.
Surrounded by gales, by the tempest,
in the midst of destruction.
In this pause, we look up and see the blue of the sky
for a few fleeting moments
before the storm begins again.
From this interlude of blue,
this rest in a destructive symphony,
we learn that storms will pass.
In the heart of Torah is painted
a single thread of blue
T’chaylet it is called
The color of a pause in the storm,
the center of a flame,
the color of the sapphire earth
seen from afar.
This thread, this single thread
knotted in with white.
Embroidered into the corners
a sign of what came before
and what will come.
As slim as a thread
is the connection of memory,
As blue as the center of a flame.
One blue thread
to help us remember.
Photo taken from Nasa Earth Images
Numbers 15: 38-39
The LORD said to Moses as follows:
דַּבֵּ֞ר אֶל־בְּנֵ֤י יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ וְאָמַרְתָּ֣ אֲלֵהֶ֔ם וְעָשׂ֨וּ לָהֶ֥ם צִיצִ֛ת עַל־כַּנְפֵ֥י בִגְדֵיהֶ֖ם לְדֹרֹתָ֑ם וְנָ֥תְנ֛וּ עַל־צִיצִ֥ת הַכָּנָ֖ף פְּתִ֥יל תְּכֵֽלֶת׃ Speak to the Israelite people and instruct them to make for themselves fringes on the corners of their garments throughout the ages; let them attach a cord of blue to the fringe at each corner.