Pillows and Tzitzit
How a pile of pillows taught me how to repair my Tzitzit:
Debbie and I had to be in the airport at 6am, and we had worked until 2am, so we shoved the basics into our suitcases and rushed to the airport. I unpacked this morning to find that I had stuffed the wrong Tzitzit into the bag. My sister-in-law had washed them, and, unfamiliar with Tzitzit, put them in the dryer. All the strings are tangled. I sat down on the bed and began to untangle, straighten, and retie the strings. I wasn’t happy.
I guess my impatience with having to untangle all the strings distracted me from the Mitzvah because I noticed that the bed was surprisingly comfortable even when sitting and unwinding tightly tangled strings.
Our hostess is a genius of Chesed: She placed a bunch of pillows on the bed, each one a different type and size. We could combine them into whatever is most comfortable for us. I laid out all the pillows on the bed and, unlike most of us, who simply place pillows on the bed, our hostess provided sizes, shapes, different types, all color coded. It was clear that she pays attention to every detail of her guests’ comfort.
Here I was, sitting on a bed that reflected attention to detail, repairing Tzitzit, with not so great attention to detail, but there was another difference; I want to only wear Tzitzit that are Halachically perfect. Our hostess wanted everything to be perfect for her guests.
I decided to emulate our hostess, and focused on the Tzitzit being perfect, not for me, but for the Mitzvah. Who knew what you could learn from a pile of pillows!
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