The Torah portion this week, parsha Tetzaveh, (Exodus/Shemot 27:20-30:10) is another departure from the narrative of Moshe and the sons of Israel, or mixed multitude now in the wilderness near Mount Sinai, to continue the exposition of something that will play a major role in events that will play out next.
This is the second installment of instructions that have to do with the upcoming construction of the mishkan, or tabernacle, in the wilderness; in this case, it begins with oil for the lamp, and then describes in some detail the ‘set apart’ garments for the Cohen Gadol, or Aaron, and then his sons.
But it’s the ‘WHY’ that is arguably key to our understanding.
The Erev Shabbat overview of the whole parsha :
The Sabbath day teaching this week certainly has to address something that all of us have heard, probably too much: This is all OLD stuff, and even if we now know it might not be “done away with,” there’s still no cohenim, no mishkan, and no place where we’d ever see these garments anyway, so what’s the point?
But that is part of the irony where we need to start. YHVH says these garments for Aaron and his sons are for “splendor and for beauty.” They even seem to be specific signs of their Authority from Him.
Like it or not, we still seem to apply the idea, be it real or just perceived, to certain clothing. A white lab coat comes to mind, certainly for a different priesthood…
So, there’s something here that bears a bit more examination.kadosh
“Tetzaveh: Signs of Authority”
The combined two-part podcast is here: