[b-hebrew] what are the wings of a garment?

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Sat Nov 20 15:10:56 EST 2004


The rabbinic understanding of "wings of garment" are the four corners of a
toga-style outer garment. The rabbis concluded that only such four-cornered
garments needed to have the fringes (tsitsit) mandated by Num. 15:38 (where,
BTW, the KJV has "borders" for "kanphei"), leading to the familiar "talit"
or "prayer-shawl" worn by Jews. A more recent innovation is the
"talit-qatan", which is a kind of undershirt in which the front and back are
disconnected, also forming four corners, which then have "fringes" attached.
The reasonong for this, is that since the talit is not convienent to wear
all day, the talit qatan makes it possible to fulfil the commandment of
wearing tsitsit at all times, and not just durnig prayer.

Whether this was what Moses really intended...


----- Original Message -----
From: "Jonathan Walther" <krooger at debian.org>
To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Saturday, November 20, 2004 8:57 AM
Subject: [b-hebrew] what are the wings of a garment?

> Wings of garment seems to be a Hebrew idiom.  What does it refer to
> though?  Were the King James translators justified in translating it as
> "hem"?  Why not "arms"?  Are there any extra-biblical sources that shed
> light on this?
> In what way does a covering have "four" wings"?
> Jonathan
> --
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