Rabbi Marci R. Bloch
Magic of clothing
Often when I watch cartoons with my girls, there is a character who has a special wand, staff, or necklace that has magical powers. My girls are always so excited about what those characters can create with those items!
In the Torah portion this week, we learn about the clothing of the high priests. They are supposed to wear a robe, an ephod (which looks like an apron), a breast plate, a fringed tunic, a headdress, and a sash. Interestingly, Torahs in our congregation and all over the world are dressed to replicate what the high priests wore!
The High Priest’s outfit wasn’t just for show. The clothes were to —somewhat magically — help the priests get closer to God. The Talmud teaches that each item of the ritual garb possesses symbolic value — the robe is to prevent slander, the headdress to prevent arrogance, the frontlet to prevent rude loudness, the sash to prevent impure thoughts, the breastplate to remind of the civil laws, and the ephod to prevent idolatry.
Could you imagine if our dress, our jewelry, our glasses, our ties, had an ethical teaching behind them? Can you imagine if, when we wore them, they were a reminder to act a certain way? They would definitely help keep us in check!
All of us have things that remind us of loved ones….but do you have things you wear to remind you to be your best possible self?
I dare you to find something you wear…and tell me about how it can remind you to live at your highest potential? Maybe it’s a ring, a hat—a kippah?
Cartoon characters are not the only ones that are capable of creating magic with their special garments. We are too, so let me know what you are going to create!
Shabbat Shalom, Rabbi Marci R. Bloch