Friday, February 11, 2011

Parsha T’tzaveh - Beyond the senses, into the blue

Parsha T’tzaveh

Exodus 28:33. And on its bottom hem you shall make pomegranates of blue, purple, and crimson wool, on its bottom hem all around, and golden bells in their midst all around.

The very essence of pomegranate is its blazing, fiery, scarlet redness. It is deep red as a flower and as a ripe fruit. Breaking it open, its inner treasure of juicy seeds, nestled in the bitter white pulp of the enclosing membranes, sparkles with redness.
There is no blue in a pomegranate, inside or out. Why, then, do the instructions for the priest’s garments specify including blue wool to make the pomegranates for the hem of the priestly garment?   The obvious purpose of the bells and pomegranates is to awaken our attention and to lift us into heightened appreciation of kvod and tifereth, of honor and splendor. But the blue of the pomegranate goes even farther. It stokes our sense of wonder and our imagination. It asks us to imagine a world even more beautiful than the one we inhabit with our usual senses.

May we be inspired to risk moving beyond the known, into the realm of the ineffable. 

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