So who are to wear TziTzit(Fringes)?
So the question is asked who is required to obey the commandment to wear TziTzit (fringes) on the corners of your garments? (Now it must be said that you do not have to wear a Tallit to obey this commandment, but with the modern clothes that we wear nowadays, the Tallit (prayer shawl) is a great way to observe this commandment.) We will go to the Bible to answer this question. We will use the King James version of the Bible, for it is the most widely used. Also we can use Strong's concordance.
Numbers_15:38 Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes(Tzitzit) in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe(Tzitzit) of the borders a ribband of blue: Deuteronomy_22:12 Thou shalt make thee fringes(Geed-eel) upon the four quarters(Kaw-nawf) of thy vesture, wherewith thou coverest thyself.
In these two verses the children of Israel are commanded to put Fringes(Tzitzit) in the borders of their garments, also the children of Israel are to make fringes(Geed-eel) upon the four quarters of their vesture.
So first we will look at these words, find out their meanings. Then we will look at who should be obeying these commandments. First we will look at the Hebrew word for Fringes it refers to Tzitzit. In the Strong's Concordance of the Bible the definition for Tzitzit is: Feminine of H6731; a floral or wing like projection, that is, a fore lock of hair, a tassel: - fringe, lock. A very good understanding of this word would be a Tassel. Second we want to look at the other occurrence of the word fringes which is the Hebrew word Geed-eel: From H1431 (in the sense of twisting); thread, that is, a tassel or festoon: - fringe, wreath. A good understanding of this word could be a fringe. Now it is possible that you could go back and forth on whether this meaning is for a tassel or a fringe that is placed along the border of a garment. But for the purposes of this study we will go with the afore mentioned definitions for these particular words. So now we know what the children of Israel are to put on their garments, now we will address the why. Why are they to place these fringes on their garments? In the book of Numbers chapter 15, it states that they are to do this to remember the L-RD's commandments.: Numbers 15:39 And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the L-RD, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring. So the children of Israel are to have these fringes placed upon their garments to see them and to remember the commandments of G-D so that they will not go astray, following after the inclinations of their own hearts and eyes. So not only were the children of Israel to be obedient by wearing these fringes, it was these very fringes that were going to aid them in observing all the commandments of their G-D.
Now we will look at the who should wear these Tassels or Fringes on their garments? The Bible is very clear that it is for the Children of Israel, this would be the nation of Israel, the people of Israel. But who are these children of Israel? We need too look at this a little closer. In modern times we would say whoever lives in Israel could be considered a child of Israel. Again we will go to the Bible to find out who these children of Israel truly are.
In the Bible wherever we see a word first used and the context that the word is used in is the best criteria to find out the definition of the word. In this instance the word "Israel" is first used in the Bible in Gen_32:28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. So in this text we find the man Jacob is called Israel, his name has been changed to reflect the meaning of his life. In Gen. 35:22 we find the children of Jacob(Israel) listed, there were twelve in all. Gen 35:22 Now the sons of Jacob were twelve: Gen 35:23 The sons of Leah; Reuben, Jacob's firstborn, and Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Zebulun: Gen 35:24 The sons of Rachel; Joseph, and Benjamin: Gen 35:25 And the sons of Bilhah, Rachel's handmaid; Dan, and Naphtali: Gen 35:26 And the sons of Zilpah, Leah's handmaid; Gad, and Asher: these are the sons of Jacob, which were born to him in Padanaram.
So we can conclude the children of Israel would be these twelve children of Jacob(Israel) and all their descendants. Pretty clear, very straight forward. But now we will look at the New Testament(B'rit Chadasha) to see what we can learn of the children of Israel, are they mentioned in the New Testament? If they are how are they defined? We know that the physical descendants would be considered children of Israel but could there be another group of people that could also be considered children of Israel? Again we will look at the first instance that "Israel" is used in the New Testament, in Mat_2:6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. We see in this passage that a Governor or ruler will come out of a place called Bethlehem that will rule a people that are called Israel. They are referred as "my people" in this passage. This is G-D speaking here, so Israel belongs to HIM. In Matthew chapter 15 we find that it is written; Mat_15:24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. This is Y'shua(Jesus) speaking about a people of Israel in which He refers to them as "lost sheep". Another clue as to who Israel is. Who are these lost sheep of Israel? We see in the Book of Romans Paul(Rav Shaul) speaks of a Gentile people that can be grafted in to the people of Israel. Israel is referred here as "a Olive Tree" (Jeremiah 11:17) Rom 11:17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakes of the root and fatness of the olive tree; Rom 11:18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Rom 11:19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. Rom 11:20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: Rom 11:21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Rom 11:22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. Rom 11:23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. Rom 11:24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree? Rom 11:25 For I would not, brethrenth, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. Rav Shaul(Paul) continues to teach that a Jewish or Gentile person can be grafted in to the people of Israel through belief. By believing in the G-D of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob(Israel) through the redemptive work of the Messiah of Israel Y'shua et Natzrati (Jesus of Nazareth).
So in conclusion, and this is only scratching the surface of understanding, the commandment of the TzitTzit is for all of Israel. Which include Jewish and Gentile people who believe in the G-D of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob(Israel). The Gentile people being grafted in to the commonwealth of Israel through the redemptive work of Messiah. In Ephesians we read; Eph 2:11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision (non Jewish) by that which is called the Circumcision(Jewish) in the flesh made by hands; Eph 2:12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: Eph 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. Eph 2:14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Eph 2:15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; Eph 2:16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:Eph 2:17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. Eph 2:18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Eph 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; Eph 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; Eph 2:21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: Eph 2:22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. ( Emphasis added in italics and bold type)