289. When the two tablets of the Torah were broken and the Oral Torah WAS CONCEALED, it was written OF YISRAEL: "And they sewed fig leaves together" (Beresheet 3:7), MEANING THAT they were covered by many layers of Klipot of the mixed multitude. This was because they were naked WITHOUT THE TORAH. THEREFORE, THEY WERE COVERED in order not to reveal their nakedness, WHICH IS THE PLACE ONTO WHICH THE KLIPOT CLING. Their covering is the fringes of the Tzitzit and the straps of the Tefilin, about which it is said, "did Hashem make coats of skins, and clothed them" (Ibid. 21). But of the Tzitzit, IT IS WRITTEN: "And they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves loincloths." THE PHRASE: "And made themselves loincloths" is comparable to "Gird your sword upon your thigh, O mighty warrior" (Tehilim 45:4), WHICH IS AN ALLUSION TO the reading of Sh'ma, BECAUSE THIS PRAYER IS LIKE A SWORD AGAINST THE KLIPOT, WHICH IS GIRDED AT THE HIP. Of the reading of Sh'ma, it is written: "The high praises of El are in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand" (Tehilim 149:6). Therefore, it is said OF THIS PRAYER, "And made themselves loincloths."
452. The phrase: "And they sewed fig leaves together" (Ibid.) MEANS THAT they cleaved to the shadows of that tree from which they ate to cover themselves, as the so-called "leaves of the tree" GIVE SHADE TO THOSE UNDERNEATH THEM. THE VERSE CONTINUES: "And made themselves loincloths." Rabbi Yosi said: Because they acquired knowledge of this world and became attached to it, they saw that this world was governed by these leaves of the tree. Thus, they made themselves a stronghold to strengthen themselves with these leaves in this world. They became acquainted with all sorts of sorcery and wanted to protect themselves with weapons made from the leaves of the tree.