As it says in Kriat Shema:

״ועשו להם ציצת על כנפי בגדיהם וגו׳״

Specifically what kind of wings should the garment have. Should it be a dove? Since it's from a kosher bird. Or should it be an eagle? since it says:

״ואשא אתכם על כנפי נשרים וגו׳״

This question is Purim Torah and is not intended to be taken completely seriously. See the Purim Torah policy.

3 Answers 3


Birds come up an awful lot in the perakim of Shema.

Tefillin, we know, are compared to doves. Elisha "the man of wings" compared them to doves' wings (Shabbos 130a). Sure, the Gemara says he picked them because Kneses Yisrael is also compared to doves. But why did he pick dove wings and not doves? Further, we are commanded not to lie (Vayikra 19:11). How could he have lied? He couldn't rely on a miracle either way, so he may as well have told the truth and hoped that HaShem would strike the guy with lightning. It must be that Tefillin are compared to doves' wings, and he was referring to his Tefillin poetically. Why, the Gemara asks, are they called doves' wings? Because they sit on the extremities of Jews like wings, and Jews are compared to doves.

So perhaps by tzitzis, too, we should put them on doves' wings.

Yet we find that the mitzvah of remembering Yetzias Mitzraim is also among the parshios of Shema. What does it say there? "I carried you on the wings of eagles" (Shemos 19:4). So just as that refers to eagles, so, too, by tzitzis.

Furthermore, we find the mitzvah of Talmud Torah in the parshios of Shema. Where was the Torah kept? The Aron. What was on top of the Aron? The Keruvim. The Keruvim had wings. So perhaps it means we should put tzitzis on the wings of the Keruvim!

It even says כנף regarding fathers:

לא יגלה כנף אביו

(Devarim 23:1)

כי גלה כנף אביו

(Devarim 27:20)

Finally, there are the Chayos which have wings (Yechezkel 3:13).

Now to narrow down the options. There is a Gezeirah Shavah

כנפי כנפי

We have the word by Tzitzis, and we find the passuk in Shemos says כנפי נשרים. Aha!

No, wait. It says כנפי יונה in the Gemara in Shabbos, כנפי החיות in the passuk in Yechezkel, and כנפי הכרובים in Melachim Aleph 6:27. Nevertheless, the Gezeirah Shavah does cross out fathers.

Maybe we should group it by parshah, and it's a proof that we are dealing with the wings of eagles.

No, wait. Tzitzis is among a series of setumahs in Devarim 22 that begins with Shiluach HaKan. That would indicate that we are dealing with kosher birds, as only kosher birds are obligated to be sent away, which would indicate we're dealing with doves!

We can resolve this with the passuk in Devarim which says that we tie it on four wings. Doves only have two wings. Eagles only have two wings. Keruvim have four wings, though, as there are two Keruvim banged out of a single piece of gold - thus, four wings on a single creature.

Wait. The Chayos have four wings (Yechezkel 1:6).

So in conclusion, one must tie their tzitzis on some form of angel. This would also parallel the fact that the tzitzis ultimately remind one of Shamayim.


During the summer, in particular, you need to watch Jewish boys and men play basketball. The tzitzit are attached to their T-shirts and they are making jump shots and lay-ups like there's no tomorrow. (They wear these same type of T-shirts year round, but they are covered with heavier shirts or sweaters in the colder weather.)

When I was in summer camp, I watched these same kids who used to be both in my elememtary school class as well as my camp bunk. In school, they couldn't score or make a lay-up at all (well, unless the got lucky.) These same kids scored big in the summer. So, what was the difference? Simple. The tzizit at the end of their T-shirts act like wings. Or, I should say, more specifically, when they run and jump, the T-shirts flap like wings. The tzitzit acts as an additional aerodynamic factor that makes them jump higher or run faster. This, in turn, helps them score better.

In short, the focus of the tzitzit was for Jewish basketball players. As to why this issue is important, I'd need a small book to explain this to you....

  • I'll be waiting for that book.
    – Mithical
    Mar 5, 2017 at 22:22

As for Tefilin, wings of dove as in Gemara Shabbat 49a:

GEMARA: Since doves’ wings were mentioned in the mishna, the Gemara cites a related story: Rabbi Yannai said: Donning phylacteries requires a clean body, like that of Elisha, Man of Wings. The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of the statement that donning phylacteries requires a clean body? Abaye said: It means that one may not break wind while donning them. Rava said: It means that one may not sleep in them. The Gemara asks: And why did they call Elisha Man of Wings? Because on one occasion the evil kingdom of Rome issued a decree against Israel that, as punishment, they would pierce the brain of anyone who dons phylacteries. Nevertheless, Elisha would don them and defiantly go out to the marketplace. One day, an official [kasdor] who was appointed to enforce the decree saw him; Elisha ran away from him, and the official ran after him. When the official reached him, Elisha removed the phylacteries from his head and held them in his hand. The officer asked him: What is that in your hand? Elisha said to him: It is merely a dove’s wings. A miracle was performed: He opened his hand, and, indeed, it was found to be a dove’s wings. Therefore, in commemoration of this miracle, they would call him Elisha, Man of Wings. The Gemara asks: And what is different about doves’ wings from those of other birds that led Elisha to say that he had doves’ wings in his hand? The Gemara answers: Because the congregation of Israel is likened to a dove, as it is stated: “You shall shine as the wings of a dove covered with silver and her pinions with yellow gold” (Psalms 68:14). Just as this dove, only its wings protect it and it has no other means of protection, so too the Jewish people, only mitzvot protect them.

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