Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Tetzaveh...from another blogger

Nili Kook provides us with the Blessing of the Cohanim. Notice how that in her bronze and terracotta sculpture she uses the Israeli flag rather than a tallit to drape her men in prayer.

G-d instructs Moshe about the oil to be used for the Menorah. Moshe is told to separate Aharon and his sons to be the Cohanim (priests), and to make special garments for them to wear. The Ephod is only worn by the Cohen Gadol (High Priest), and is made out of six-coloured thread. It is an apron tied with a belt, and has two shoulder pads with two sardonyx stones on them, on which the names of the twelve tribes are engraved.

The Cohen Gadol also wears the Choshen Mishpat (Breastplate of Judgement). It has four rows with three precious stones in each row, each stone corresponding to one of the twelve tribes. The Urim V'Tummim (Lightings and Decisions) is placed inside the Ephod, and when worn by the Cohen Gadol can be consulted like an oracle. Next Moshe is instructed to make a robe for the Cohen Gadol. It is entirely techeilet (a shade of blue). At its base are "pomegranates" made of thread, interspersed with gold bells. The Cohen Gadol must also wear a Tzitz (forehead-plate) of pure gold, engraved with the words "Kadosh LaShem" (Holy to G-d). He also wears a linen tunic and a turban.

The regular Cohanim wear only tunics, sashes, turbans, and linen pants. These garments must be worn by the Cohanim whenever they perform the sacrifices in the Temple.

Moshe is instructed as to how to consecrate the Cohanim. Moshe must bring them to the Communion Tent and immerse them in a Mikvah (special pool for ritual purity). He must then dress them in their appropriate garments and anoint Aharon (as Cohen Gadol) with the anointing oil. He must then offer sacrifices on their behalf to inaugurate them.
Moshe has to consecrate the altar with the daily Tamid sacrifice. He is also instructed to construct a second altar, to be of wood covered with gold. This altar is only to be used for offering incense, except for the Day of Atonement when the Cohen Gadol sprinkles blood of the Atonement sacrifice on it.

No comments: