Double Mitzvah – Tetzaveh

Double Mitzvah Jewrotica Parsha

Written by Naomi Dovdavany. Naomi serves on Jewrotica’s new Leadership Team as Outreach Coordinator and Educator.

Check out last week’s column, Double Mitzvah – Terumah.

Rated PG

In this weeks Parsha, Tetzaveh, God appoints Aaron and his sons as priests. God commands Aaron of the priestly duties and the offerings he must make and He describes the priestly clothing in intricate detail. God’s design of these garments was so elaborate and specific that I can’t help but wonder – were they intended for legit Temple business or His Project Runway audition?

Then I came across an article that addressed the very same issue. First it pointed out the fact that it takes us less than one second to judge somebody when we see them for the first time. It’s shocking how often people are judged based on the clothes they wear or how they look. Society has ingrained in us to reduce a person to their appearance and not the content of their character.

In the case of this week’s Parsha, the purpose of the clothes the Kohanim had wear to do their service in the Temple was actually to represent the dignity of the job that they were performing in their service of Hashem. These holy garments were worn “for glory and for beauty” (Exodus 28:2) but not the glory and the beauty of the ego of the Priests who wore them but for the sake of glorifying and beautifying the sacred task at hand. The elegant garments in the Parsha were never intended to enhance the outer image of the Priests themselves but to sanctify their service to God.

Our obsession with the exterior can sometimes lead to serious consequences involving issues from boundaries, to consent, to body image, and others. Likewise, people are often judged on how “religious” they are based on appearance, which is also misguided. True beauty and holiness comes from inside. As this week’s parsha teaches us, we must remember that a person is a great deal more than just their outward appearance.

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