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Knot what you think it is

Wednesday, 24 February, 2016 - 9:46 pm

Have you ever tied a knot around your finger to remember something? Why? Why does it work? 



A little research will show that there are two answers:
1) It has to do with the index finger being connected to the hippocampus, the part of the brain connected with memory, and 
2) It is something on your finger. When you see it, it will "remind you" that there is something you need to remember.

However, this does not explain the knot. Why not a sticker on your finger or some other "out of the ordinary thing"?

To answer this, we can look into this week's Torah portion. Moshe asks G-d to show him His glory. Moshe is asking G-d not to show him something physical, but the essence of G-d and what makes G-d who He is. G-d responded: “You will see My back; however My face will not be seen” (33:23). Rashi explains that Hashem showed Moshe “kesher shel tefillin” — the knot of the tefillin shel rosh, the head Tefillin. 

Moshe asked Hashem to show him His glory and he was shown a knot??

G-d was showing Moshe the most he was able to see of G-d's essence. In essence I can be explained as a knot. 

Similar to a rope that connects two objects at each end. If the rope is severed, they are no longer connected. However, if one ties a knot in the rope, you not only reconnect the two pieces, but the rope at the location of the knot is "double as thick" then where there is no knot.

When someone does something that is a contradiction to G-d’s will, it is because they do not remember that they are connected to G-d and that G-d does not want them to do it.

So G-d tells Moses - you want to know my glory? It is the connection that exists when I reconnect with my people in a stronger bond after they sin.

This is one of the reasons why we have a knot in the tefillin and in the tallit strings. When we see the knots, it reminds us that although we may have had breaks in our relationship with G-d, we can reconnect and tie a knot so that we have a stronger bond then we had before. 

This may also be the reason why people tie knots around their finger; the stronger bond represented in the knot "ties them" to the errand. 

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