Friday, February 22, 2013

Parsht Tetsaveh: Wrapped in wise-heartedness

 Ex. 28:3. And you shall speak to all the wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, and they shall make Aaron's garments to sanctify him, [so] that he serve Me.

After this statement, the text goes on to speak in great detail about all the parts of the garments, of how they are to be constructed, of the colors, of the placement of hems and gold chains and bells and embroidered pomegranates. We might be tempted to think that it is the beauty and uniqueness of the clothes themselves that enables Aaron to serve God. But look again at the text - it says that that the wise hearted shall make Aaron's garments to sanctify him.  The text is telling us that there is something in the process of how these spirit-filled people clothe Aaron that sanctifies him.  Perhaps it is the lovingkindness that the wise hearted bring to the process of creation that is woven into the garments that inspires Aaron to serve.

May we recognize the way the wisdom from our friends and loved ones enwraps us in a layer of protection, helping us to tap into our own spirit through which we are able to serve others.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Parshat Terumah: the ark and its poles

 Ex. 25:15: The poles of the ark shall be in the rings; they shall not be removed from it.

The prohibition against the removal of the poles from the ark is one of the 613 Divine precepts. Although the table and the two altars also had rings and poles, there is no similar prohibition against removing their poles. Why so for the ark?*

This teaches us that the Torah is not a fixed, immovable text, but rather a practice we must constantly carry with us into our lives. 

May we be inspired to bring the wisdom of Torah with us on every step of our journey.