INSIGHT: Chapter of Strength!

Extra-Special Clothes for the Extra-Special Kohen Gadol

Extra-Special Clothes for the Extra-Special Kohen Gadol

The Kohen Gadol wore twice as many clothes as the regular Kohanim. He wore the same Kesones, Avnait, and Michnasayim that the Kohanim wore, and a turban rounded on the top, called the Mitznefes (unlike the pointed top of the Migba’as of the regular Kohen), plus four more multi-colored garments.

Here’s a list:

  1. Eifod – a colorful, woven apron, which draped down the back and tied around the waist in front. It had 28 threads made of different materials, including a thread made out of gold! The Eifod had 2 shoulder straps, each of which had a Shoham stone attached to it. The names of 6 tribes of Israel were engraved on the stone of the left shoulder strap, and the names of the other 6 tribes were engraved on the stone of the right shoulder strap.
  2. Choshen Mishpat – a beautiful, woven chestplate, also made of 28 threads.
  3. Me’il – a coat woven of blue wool. Hanging from the bottom hem were 72 little golden bells and 72 decorations shaped like pomegranates. The bells would jingle and make plenty of noise when the Kohen Gadol walked. This jingling reminded the Kohen Gadol and all of Bnei Yisrael how important his work in the Mishkan was.
  4. Tzitz – a golden headband, which had the words “Kodesh L’HaShem” – Holy to HaShem – engraved on it. The name used for HaShem was the holy, four letter name: Yud-Hey-Vav-Hey.

Did you notice that there seems to be something missing from this list of clothing? What about special shoes for the Kohanim?

Well, there weren’t any! HaShem wanted the Kohanim to feel the holy stones of the Mishkan floor – so no shoes or socks were allowed!

Shazak insight

Chapter כ"ח – 28 – The Chapter of כֹּחַ – Strength!

Check it out yourselves. HaShem’s commandments about the clothes of the Kohen and Kohen Gadol are in chapter 28 of the Book of VaYikra.

So what?

Well, the Hebrew letters for the number 28 are Chaf-Ches, which spell the word Koach, meaning strength. Perhaps this is a hint that these special garments of the Kohanim energized them with strength – both physical and spiritual – to perform their difficult and super-important service in the holy Mishkan.

SHAZAK
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