Tzav: Holy Fashions

Kohen breastplateJust as we witnessed the installation of a new pope last week, Parashat Tzav describes the details involved in the ordination of the Kohen Gadol, the High Priest. Fashion plays a major role in the installation of Aharon and his sons. The Torah spends more time discussing the clothing of the priests than of any other biblical personality! Aharon, 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 Aharon when he performed his holy work in the Mishkan.

  • Why do you think Aharon was required to literally wear reminders of the twelve tribes while at work?
  • What are you looking to communicate through your wardrobe decisions?
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