Friday, June 17, 2011

How is Tzitzis Spelled?

A Guest Post E. Fink

Rashi in Shelach quotes a Midrash Agada (anyone have a citation for the primary source?) that the word Tzitzis in gematria equals 600. The problem is that the chumash that we have says ציצת. The gematria of ציצת is only 590.

Interestingly enough, Tzitzis is spelled ציצית in all the mefarshim I have seen. The Talmud, the Midrshim, the rishonim all use the ציצית spelling.

Yet, the chumash uses ציצת as does the Navi in Yechezkel 8. I don't know if ציצת or ציצית is more grammatically correct or if it even makes a difference grammatically how it is written.

Some super-commentaries give explanations for why Rashi would use ציצית for his agada if the chumash has a different spelling. I wonder if Rashi had a different text (it wouldn't be the first time) or if a different text even exists. Any ideas?

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