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Torah Commentary Blog

Parashat T'tzaveh (February 20, 2016)
by Sherry Nehmer

THIS WEEK’S PARASHAH, T’TZAVEH, recounts in extreme detail the making of an Israelite priest, as well as vivid instructions on a number of other ritualistic items and practices. In addition to presenting the procedures for the first ordination ceremony (and let’s just say they’re wildly different from the lovely ceremony performed annually here at Temple Emanu-El as new rabbis and cantors are ordained), we learn the minute details of costume and ritual that make a Hebrew priest. Precious and semi-precious stones on a richly decorated breastplate, the mysterious divination objects the urim and thummin, the fine linen wound ever so carefully into a turban, the bells and pomegranates hanging from the hem of their tunics — these garments of the kohanim, created by the finest craftsmen — “those who are skillful” — ensure that priests are recognizable immediately as separate and important — awe inspiring, even. After all, these people interact with the Divine presence on behalf of an entire people.

Continue reading Sherry’s commentary >>

Do clothes make the man?
Sherry -- As usual, I loved your commentary. But I don't agree that Aaron
always served honorably. After all, he gets caught gossiping with Miriam
about Moses' wife, and only Miriam gets punished. Of the two brothers,
Aaron is the more articulate and the better dressed, but Moses is the true
servant of God.

bjeis - February 13th

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