Friday, February 07, 2014

Living on the edge

Old-fashioned fashion isn't likely to catch your eye. It's even less likely that you'd imagine you could learn a life-lesson from ancient clothing.
Well, everything in the Torah is meant to be a lesson for us. If it had no take-home message, the Torah would not have mentioned it.
You have to wonder, then, what could you learn from the uniforms that the kohanim used to wear in the Temple. The whole Torah portion this week focuses on the four garments that a simple kohen wore and the eight that the high priest wore.
Big deal. I mean, you may find the blue tunic or sparkling breastplate interesting, but the real question remains: "Will knowing how long the kohen's belt was really make me a better person?"
Let's look at one item from the chief kohen's wardrobe and the real-life lesson that it shares. When the kohen gadol wore his special garments, he represented the entire Jewish people, not only as their spokesperson, but even by wearing clothes that represented different types of Jews. One garment that the kohen gadol had to wear was called the "me'il", a long blue cloak that had bells and pomegranates on its hem. The designs at the bottom of that cloak, millimetres off the ground, represent the Jews on the fringe- the disaffected, disenchanted and the disiniterested.
We may sometimes feel tempted to write off or criticise the Jews who are "empty" of Judaism. Yet, the Talmud insists that even the most "empty" Jew is full of good deeds as a pomegranate is full of seeds. The pomegranates dangling from the edge of the high priest's clothes remind us that there are no "empty" Jews- and that every Jew comes into the Holy of Holies somehow.

1 comment:

Rabbi Shai Specht said...

Amen selah! 😃