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Tzitzim is a pair of crocheted women’s undergarments made to mimic the traditional yarmulke (skullcap) and tzitzit (tasseled undergarments) that are worn by observant Jewish men. The title is a play on word, both referring to the traditional name of the four cornered garment and the Hebrew word for breasts. The garments were made to be worn on Yom Kippur, one of the holiest days of the Jewish calendar in which it is customary to wear white. In the gallery space, the garment was displayed with a Yom Kippur machzor (prayer book for Jewish Holidays) opened up to the third paragraph of the Shema blessing in which God commands the wearing of tzitzit. This phrase was underlined in both Hebrew and English:

וְהָיָ֣ה לָכֶם֮ לְצִיצִת֒ וּרְאִיתֶ֣ם אֹת֗וֹ וּזְכַרְתֶּם֙ אֶת־כָּל־מִצְוות יְהוָ֔ה וַעֲשִׂיתֶ֖ם אֹתָ֑ם וְלֹֽא־תָתֻ֜רוּ אַחֲרֵ֤י לְבַבְכֶם֙ וְאַחֲרֵ֣י עֵֽינֵיכֶ֔ם אֲשֶׁר־אַתֶּ֥ם זֹנִ֖ים אַחֲרֵיהֶֽם׃

This shall be your fringe; look at it and recall all the commandments of the LORD and observe them, so that you do not follow your heart and eyes in your lustful urge.

This piece plays with the idea that tzitzit are are meant to protect us from our lustful thoughts and desires, while also thinking about the role of gender in Jewish ritual and symbolism. 

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