Clothing for the Priests

Mar 8, 2015

וַיַּעַשׂ אֶת־הָאֵפֹד זָהָב תְּכֵלֶת וְאַרְגָּמָן וְתוֹלַעַת שָׁנִי וְשֵׁשׁ מָשְׁזָר׃

The ephod was made of gold, blue, purple, and crimson yarns, and fine twisted linen.

Exodus 39:2

וַיַּרְא מֹשֶׁה אֶת־כָּל־הַמְּלָאכָה וְהִנֵּה עָשׂוּ אֹתָהּ כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה יְהֹוָה כֵּן עָשׂוּ וַיְבָרֶךְ אֹתָם מֹשֶׁה׃

And when Moshe saw that they had performed all the tasks—as Hashem had commanded, so they had done—Moshe blessed them.

va-YAR mo-SHEH et kol ha-m'-la-KHAH v'-hi-NAY a-SU o-TAH ka-a-SHER tzi-VAH a-do-NAI KAYN a-SU vai-VA-rekh o-TAM mo-SHEH

Exodus 39:43

This section begins with detailing, step-by-step, the creation of Aaron’s garments as High Priest. First the Ephod is made, then the breastplate, then the robe. Three verses quickly tell us about the four garments common to both the High Priest and the ordinary priests — the tunic, turban, breeches and sash — then the Torah returns to Aaron’s special garments with the preparation of the headplate.


With the priestly garments, the work on the Tabernacle is complete. The people bring all the pieces to Moses for inspection, and he deems it correctly made. He blesses the congregation for its work.


Following as it does upon the heels of the sin of the golden calf, it was vitally important that the Children of Israel complete the Tabernacle exactly as instructed. As the Israel Bible points out, this demonstrates they have learned that serving God is meant to be done precisely as commanded, and not in accordance with their own interpretations. Moses is overjoyed to see the people have learned their lesson and is moved to bless them.


Virtual Classroom Discussion

As we were initially told in the portion of Tetzaveh, the High Priest’s robe is to be hemmed with pomegranates and bells so that he makes a sound when he enters and leaves the “holy place” and thereby “that he die not”. Why do you think he needs to make a sound as he comes and goes?

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