I told Layala what had occurred at that day’s meeting, and how extremely grateful I was for her devotion to the principle of “Zeh Keili v’anveihu.”
She laughed, and said she learned this from her mother, who always insists on ironing my father-in-law’s freshly-washed tzitzis.
I then called my mother-in-law to tell her what had happened and jokingly thanked her for always making it a point to iron my father-in-law’s tzitzis.
She laughed and said that for their entire marriage my father-in-law has asked her not to bother ironing his freshly-washed tzitzis. After all, he wears them under his shirt and no one can see them.
For all these years, however, she has insisted my father-in-law wear the cleanest and most wrinkle-free pair of tzitzis possible.
“You see!” she said, “It’s a good thing I kept at it!”
I fully agreed.
Will I continue asking my wife not to iron my freshly-washed tzitzis? Absolutely. Ironing my tzitzis is something I’d like to do myself from now on.
Akiva Males is the rabbi of Harrisburg’s Kesher Israel Congregation. He can be reached at email@example.com.
About the Author: Akiva Males grew up in University Heights, Ohio, and attended the Hebrew Academy of Cleveland from kindergarten (fall 1979) through 8th grade (summer 1988). Together with his wife, Layala (nee Feintuch of Brooklyn), he moved to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in the fall of 2007 to become the rabbi of Kesher Israel Congregation. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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