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THEMES of Featured Chasidic Masters Articles

Love Shine
This week's Torah portion contains a description of the sacred implements and priestly garments worn by the High Priest. The "tzitz", a thin plate of gold worn across the forehead of the High Priest, had letters engraved into it, forming the words, 'holy unto G-d'. By wearing it upon his forehead, the High Priest atoned for iniquity and drew divine favor down upon the Jews.
Shining Letters
The Breastplate of Judgment, described in this week's Torah portion, was a prophetic device, worn by the High Priest, through which questions could be asked of G-d. When the king or the High Court would ask a question, when the priest would be enwrapped in Divine Inspiration, he would see various letters sparkle or bulge out, then combining the letters to spell out the answer.
A Simple White Cloak
The Kohanim, whose work was to bring bringing down high levels of holiness and divine light from Above, needed to be covered with special garments as they went about their service in the Temple so as not to attract any would-be evil doers. The Levites were not involved in bringing revelation down into the world, but in lifting the world up. Therefore it wasn’t necessary to conceal the movements of the Levites, and they didn’t need to wear any special clothes.
Costume Connections
Shem miShmuel notes that the kohanim had to wear special clothes, because their service required that they draw down spiritual light from such a high source that their work demanded secrecy and modesty. So too, the spiritual illumination that Esther could bring down from the hidden worlds above to heal the desperate plight of the Jews also needed concealment.