The more one studies the talit, the more it becomes apparent that the Catholics and later the Protestants) who translated from the original texts (as well as those who eventually wrote the commentaries) have gone quite out of their way to avoid the mention of this obviously significant topic. One might compare this phenomenon to a history professor who wanted to study the early American West but who refused to admit the existence of the “six–shot revolver” because he didn’t like guns. For a historian to ignore the presence and significance of this weapon which was worn daily on the hips of most cowboys during the early West would most certainly result in a very warped historical view of that period of American history.
Yet, this is exactly what has been done with the talit and the tzitzit as it relates to the historical context by which Christians interpret the Scriptures. Consider that the word “talit” is referred to as: “vesture, tent, napkin, garment, sheet, robe, curtain, girdle, and mantle” but never as “talit”. Similarly, “tzitzit” is referenced as: “fringe, tassel, hem of the garment, or corner of the garment” but never as “tzitzit”. No matter how outlandish this accusation may sound to the reader, the fact still remains that Protestant and Catholic texts of any kind which discuss the talit or the tzitzit are almost non–existent. The reader must go to the Jewish community of writings and there, he will find an abundance of books on this topic. Just as the professor of Early American history can not properly understand or teach about the Old American West without including the significance of the six–shot revolver, it is simply not possible to correctly interpret many passages of the Scriptures without a full understanding of the significance and use of the talit and the tzitzit in ancient biblical times.
According to Vendyl Jones, of Arlington, Texas, noted expert in Jewish history and customs, there are 47 direct or indirect references to the talit in the Scriptures. At some point one must raise the question: “Why is it that so many ministers and dedicated Christian teachers study the Scriptures and commentaries their whole lives and never have any concept as to what a talit or a tzitzit is?” The real answer will be disturbing to some Christians and perhaps not acceptable to others but herein lies the truth of the matter. The early Gentile believers wanted a Savior and were absolutely enamored with unconditional love of Yahoshua, the Hebrew Messiah, but they hated Hebrews and even hated Hebrew–sounding words. Thus, HUNDREDS OF CHANGES were made from the originals texts to rid the Scriptures of those troublesome Hebrewisms, including the avoidance of the concept of the “talit” with the “tzitzit” on it’s four corners. The rationalization for such changes was that they made Christianity more palatable or comfortable for the new pagan convert. The result, however, was that instead, Christianity, it’s self, became more pagan and some of the most significant Christian doctrines were compromised.
Many are quick to agree that “Christ is our example”. Some even wear wrist bands which say: “What would J–sus do?” However, if these dedicated believers found out that even now in Heaven, the Savior is wearing a talit in obedience to the command of the Heavenly Father [Bemidbar (Numbers) 15:37–39], would they immediately start using a talit in their worship? The answer is probably, “no”. We say that He is our example as long as we are not inconvenienced and as long as we can fit our faith comfortably into the social mold of our friends and neighbors. A few ministers are aware of the tzitzit and the talit, but have never preached a sermon on this topic for fear that it would raise too many questions or cause unrest among the membership. They are probably right. Truth is often unsettling.