weekly Torah reading: parashas Vayakhel-Pekudei 5783
“And the opening of the robe was turned inward like the opening of a coat of armor; its opening had a border around it so that it should not be torn.” – Exodus 39:23
The kohein gadol wore eight garments, specially tailored for his role. The seam around the neckline of his robe was to be made with a border, akin to those found in a coat of armor. For the sake of comparison, the kohein gadol, perhaps, in some ways can be regarded as a type of “spiritual warrior.” Thus, his role entailed, serving on behalf of Bnei Yisrael (the Children of Israel), that he seeks atonement for their sins, especially as a nation on Yom Kippur; and, also to reconcile them to the L-RD, through the various offerings made in the courtyard of the sanctuary.
Additionally, the upkeep of the sanctuary where H’Shem dwelt within the midst of the camp of the Israelites. His role, in a sense, included an emphasis on countering the enemy both within and without. That is to say, to seek atonement for the sins of Israel that were committed because of the overpowering enemy within, the yetzer hara (evil inclination). And, to counter the actual enemies of Israel, by seeking advice from H’Shem in times of war.
One year since the war in Ukraine began, we seek the help of G-d, in regard to the plight of our brethren in Ukraine. May the L-RD shine His countenance upon all people in the region, who seek shelter, food, and safety in the midst of chaos. Inasmuch that many believe that we are currently in the achronim yomin (end of days), we look forward to the final redemption, where all of Israel will be saved. “O Israel, that art saved by the L-RD with an everlasting salvation; ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end” (Isaiah 45:17, JPS 1917 Tanach).