"And you shall make holy garments for your brother, Aaron, for splendor and beauty." (Ex. 28:2)

The Torah commanded that the High Priest wear 8 garments, 4 made of white linen and four containing gold. The Torah says that the reason is "for splendor [in Hebrew, 'kavod'] and beauty [in Hebrew, 'tiferet']".

These garments would enable the Israelites…to achieve their proper place in the higher regions….

We find the following comment in the introduction of Tikunei Zohar: "The four golden garments are an allusion to the four letters in the name Havayah, whereas the four white linen garments are an allusion to the four letters in G‑d's name Ado-nai."

We should remember that the name Havayah reflects G‑d's attribute of "tiferet", whereas G‑d's name Ado-nai reflects his attribute of "kavod". According to this, the word "tiferet" in our verse would refer to the golden garments, whereas the word "kavod" would refer to the white garments. The Torah listed varying degrees of holiness in ascending order, hence the attribute "kavod" precedes the attribute "tiferet".

G‑d decreed that eight garments were to be made for the High Priest in order for him to be able to obtain atonement for his people for the various imperfections that people are guilty of as a normal part of their lives. Aaron's wearing these garments would enable the Israelites concerned to achieve their proper place in the higher regions.

[Selected with permission from the five-volume English edition of "Ohr HaChaim: The Torah Commentary of Rabbi Chaim Ben Attar" by Eliyahu Munk.]