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Tetzaveh (You Shall Command)

In Terumah, we discussed how we are a tabernacle where the Breath or Spirit of God dwells. We also make up a greater tabernacle where the Spirit dwells amongst us. We can’t see this tabernacle, but it comprises everyone working towards a common goal. The goal is to create a space for the Creator to dwell. What if the Priestly garments spoken about in last week’s Torah Portion, labeled Tetzaveh, pointed us to garments we wear but cannot see?

For instance, in this Torah Portion we read that these garments are for beauty and glory in Exodus 28:2;

“And you shall make holy garments for Aaron, your brother, for glory and for beauty.”

There are garments that some people wear that are dishonorable.

Psalm 109:29: Let my accusers be clothed with dishonor, and let them cover themselves with their own shame as with a robe.

The Priestly garments were to be clean, meaning they were to be righteous.

Revelation 19:8: It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

Isaiah 64:6: For all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment;and all of us wither like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

There was a time when those Priestly garments became filthy because they symbolized works, the things we do clothe us.

Zechariah 3:4: Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, “Take away the filthy garments from him.” And to him, He said, “See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes.”

We can also wear garments of pride, violence, and curses instead of the Priestly garments of praise.

Isaiah 61:3: To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

Psalm 73:6: Therefore pride is their necklace;
The garment of violence covers them.

Psalm 109:17-18: As he loved cursing, so let it come to him; As he did not delight in blessing, so let it be far from him. As he clothed himself with cursing as with his garment, So let it enter his body like water, and like oil into his bones. Let it be to him like the garment which covers him, And for a belt with which he girds himself continually.

Paul admonishes us to put on our Priestly garments in Ephesians 6, and in that chapter, he tells us to put on a belt of truth, in opposition to the belt of cursing mentioned above.

Ephesians 6:14: Stand firm then! Buckle the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness.

In the end, just like in the beginning, we struggle with wearing the right clothes or making the right choices. God provides garments for us. We just have to put them on.

Isaiah 61:10: I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

Learning about the Priestly garments of Ancient Israelites can benefit us as it is a shadow of a future reality. Once we understand what these garments symbolize, we can try to clothe ourselves with them. A simple takeaway is that white, clean clothes reflect light, unlike dark and dirty clothes that absorb the light and reflect very little. We are always trying to mirror the Light.

Brianna Lehmann

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