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This Week’s Torah Portion: Tzav – Holy Fashions

Kohen breastplate

Parashat Tzav describes the details involved in the ordination of the Aaron, the Kohen Gadol, the High Priest. Fashion plays a major role in the installation of Aaron and his sons. The Torah spends more time discussing the clothing of the priests than of any other biblical personality! The Kohen Gadol was required to wear a breastplate with twelve gem stones, each of which was inscribed with the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. The Midrash in Exodus Rabbah 38:8 teaches that by wearing these twelve stones, the merit of the tribes would enter with Aaron when he performed his holy work in the Mishkan, the tabernacle. Why do you think Aaron was required to wear reminders of the twelve tribes while at work? What are you looking to communicate through your wardrobe decisions?

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