Monday, February 18, 2013
The Weight Is Great,But The Value Is Greater - Parashat Tetzaveh
Did you know that when the Israelites sinned the sin of the Golden Calf, Moses actually tried to erase his name from the Torah if God didn't forgive the Jewish people?
Well, this week's parashat doesn't mention Moses' name.
But Parashat Tetzaveh begins: "You shall command....", which actually refers to Moses indirectly. So, his name isn't in the parashat, but he's IN the parashat.
The instructions are then given regarding the clothing of the High Priests....such intricacy, and quite a fashion statement: the breastplates, with the 12 gemstones, each different, each set in gold...and the weight of the ornate garment, with stones placed on each shoulder strap!
Aaron and his sons must have looked magnificent. But, the real value wasn't necessarily in the gold and the stones. It was in the names it held. These stones had the names and seals of the tribes of Israel carved into them, six on each stone.
"And Aaron shall carry their names before Adonai upon his two shoulders as a remembrance" (28:12)
The expensive linen, rare dyes and gems that Aaron and his sons were wearing were priceless, and it would have been easy for them to forget about why they were dressed in all that magnificence.
But, there was a purpose for all of that weight that they were carrying. It was always there to remind them that the clothing were symbols of their service to God.
The weight on our shoulders might be heavy, but the value is great.