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  • Yehuda Pevzner

Remembrance Clothing

In the Torah portion of Tetzaveh, the priestly garments are described at length. Among the garments the High Priest wore were the ephod, the breastplate, and the me'il, the robe. After the commands concerning the making of each, the verse tells us what purpose each served.


About the ephod, the verse states that their stones will be remembrance stones for the Jews, and Aharon will carry their names before G-d as a remembrance. Concluding the command of the breastplate, the Torah tells us that it shall be a constant remembrance before G-d. Concerning the robe, the sound of its bells would be heard when he entered and left the Sanctuary.


Thus, each garment accomplished its purpose - remembrance, etc. - by the fact that Aharon entered the Sanctuary while wearing it.


When the High Priest entered the Sanctuary garbed in the eight garments and performed the divine service, two things were accomplished: Just by his being garbed in the three special garments, his entry itself brought remembrance, etc. Then, the actual service, dependent on his wearing all his garments, brought additional merits. 

The High Priest served as an emissary of the Jewish people. His task was to unite the Jews with G-d. Thus, the High Priest's entry and service correspond to the accomplishments of the Jewish people.


A Jew's unification with G-d is twofold: a) through his service of Torah and mitzvot, and b) due to his intrinsic relationship, for he is considered G-d's child even before his service.


These two things are alluded to in the High Priest's service: First comes his entry into the Sanctuary, indicative of the Jews' remembrance before G-d (independent of their service). Only then begins the service of the High Priest, symbolic of the spiritual service of each Jew.


The "remembrance before G-d" was accomplished by the High Priest's entry wearing all three garments, each alluding to another category of Jews. Should even one category of Jew be missing, the priest's action lacks significance. For the unity of the Jews with G-d defies division - it encompasses all Jews equally.


Shabbat Shalom!


Candle lighting this week is at 5:22 PM

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