top of page
  • Writer's pictureEve Was Right

20. We Deserve Humble Religious Leaders

Updated: Apr 8

Just like police and politicians, many religious leaders get into their work out of a desire for power.


Parshah Tetzaveh


TL;DR of the Text


Major Themes

  • Strategies for keeping powerful people grounded

*Important attribution note: All quotes listed in this article are credited to the Artscroll Stone Edition Chumash. Here is an Extremely Clear Citation so I don’t get in trouble: Nosson Scherman, Hersh Goldwurm, Avie Gold, & Meir Zlotowitz. (2015). The Chumash: the Torah, Haftaros and Five Megillos. Mesorah Publications, Ltd.


Exodus 28:40-41*

“For the sons of Aaron you shall make Tunics and make them Sashes; and you shall make them Headdresses for glory and splendor. With them you shall dress Aaron your brother and his sons with him. You shall anoint them, inaugurate them and sanctify them, and they shall minister to Me.”

About five paragraphs of instructions for the priestly attire preceded this passage. 


The directions accomplished a few important things. First, they allowed Israel to actively participate in creating their new religion. More subtly, and more impactfully, giving the nation such an active role decreased the risk of them starting to worship Aaron as a god. For a people innately accustomed to paganism, it was paramount to avoid the tendency to deify their leaders. 


GIF of a clip from Lord of the Rings. The Hobbits bow to Aragorn, and Aragorn tells them, "You bow to no one."

God didn’t give Aaron these glorious and splendid outfits; his fellow humans made them. The Israelites couldn’t worship them as holy because they witnessed their construction. 


Similarly, the Torah refers to Aaron as “Aaron your brother,” emphasizing his relative equality with the people of Israel. Yes, he’s a priest, but he’s not exalted above them.



*Again with the Extremely Clear Citation so I don’t get in trouble: Nosson Scherman, Hersh Goldwurm, Avie Gold, & Meir Zlotowitz. (2015). The Chumash : the Torah, Haftaros and Five Megillos. Mesorah Publications, Ltd.

0 comments

Comments


bottom of page