Spiritual Tools: Tzitzit: From Chanukah to the Tenth of Tevet
Tzitzit are always associated with light; they are even described as Clothes of Light. In this, they are also associated with Hanukkah, the Festival of Light. When we hold our Tzitzit during the Shema, we hold all four corners in our hands so that we are surrounded by Light. This is a perfect Kavanah to keep in mind as we move from Hanukkah, the Festival of Light, to the Tenth of Tevet, when Jerusalem was surrounded by the invading Babylonian army.
Rabbi Meir used to say: When a man wears the Tefillin upon his head and upon his arm, as prescribed, and his four knotted fringes enclosing on all four sides, and when as he enters his house there is a mezuzah at the entrance, you find that Seven Testimonies of his awe of God surround him like a wall. It was of such a person that David said: “The angel of God camps round about them who fear Him, and deliver them (Psalms 34:8).” [Midrash Tehillim 6:1]
Kavanah: “I hold my Tzitzit surrounding me as a wall to protect me from the enemies who surround me.”
This can also be used as a Kavanah when reciting Psalm 34 in the Shabbat morning Pesukei d’Zimrah.