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Representing Others

Sunday, 13 February, 2011 - 12:49 pm

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One’s clothing depicts who he is and what he represents. A uniform shows allegiance to a company, country, group, and at times, are worn for protection.

This week’s Torah portion talks about the garments of the Kohen, the garments that were worn during the Temple Service.  They were: the ketonet -- a full length linen tunic, the michnasayim -- linen breeches, the mitznefetor migba'at -- a linen turban and the avnet -- a long sash wound above the waist.

Why? What purpose did the uniform serve? Why could they not come dressed as they pleased? Why was it that in the Temple was there no such thing as “casual Friday”?

One possible answer may be that in order to represent the community to G-d, and offer sacrifices on their behalf, one must remember at all times that serving the community is not about whoyou are but about whom you represent.  In our personal life, when our ego gets in the way, it is our prerogative to get rid of this ego, or not. However, when a person is in a position of power, in a position of representing his community, he has a responsibility to liberate himself of his ego.

We all represent our communities, some more often then others. We must remember, especially at those times, that we need to put the cause forward without the ego getting in the way. Whether we are saying I am a resident, I am a parent or I am a Jew, we should learn from the Kohen how to sacrifice our egos for the greater good.

Have a good Shabbos,

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman

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