Torah Portion:  Tetzaveh(Command) Exodus(Sh’mot) 27:20-30:10

Haftorah Reading: Ezekiel 43:10-27

Tonight, we read a Torah portion made up almost entirely with a description of the priestly garments and the process of setting apart Aaron and his sons for the priesthood. My question this week covers this process and what it means to be set apart. However, before we get to that there are several other topics I want us to look at and how they speak to our lives today.

In the very first verse we read of the pure beaten olive oil that was to be brought for the light in the Mishkan. I want to take just a moment to examine this and how it might apply in our own life. G-d specifically says the oil the people are to bring must be pure beaten olive oil. In some translations it is called crushed oil. Crushed is probably the better translation. Even today, to get the best extra virgin olive oil the olives are crushed just enough to get the first few drops – the purest of the crop. After that, the olives are beaten to get whatever oil remains. So, the first crushing produces the best and purest oil. From this what oil gives the best light? The purest oil gives the best light.


In the Messianic scriptures we are called to be a light to the world. For this to happen we too will need to go through a crushing process to refine us. Because we are believers does not mean we are exempt from pain and crushing things in our lives. Our Heavenly Father uses circumstances to reveal impurities in our lives. As G-d’s people these circumstances do not destroy us but makes us stronger and more able to be used by G-d. None of us should look forward to crushing events but when they come, we discover G-d is there and hopefully we recognize what He is teaching us through the pain. G-d will take us through these events and enable us to be light to others who are going through difficulties in their lives. We have the opportunity to grow in these times not to be destroyed by them.

Now my question of the week. We read in Exodus 28:2 about the garments to be made for Aaron. It says these are holy garments. What does that mean? How is an inanimate garment classified as holy?  It goes on in this verse to say these garments are for glory and beauty. The word used here for glory is the Hebrew word “Kavod.” This word is also seen in the passage where Solomon dedicated the first Temple in Jerusalem. When the glory of the L-rd filled the Temple the people fell on their faces because they could not stand in the presence of the L-rd. The other word used in the description of the garments is tiferet. This is the first time we read this word in scripture. This word is used to open up a whole new side of the relationship between G-d and man. It signified the absolute truth of G-d. So, here in these garments is found the symbol of G-d’s presence and His truth.

When we apply holy to describe a person or group what does it mean? It means that person or group has been set aside by G-d for His purpose. They are to be used by Him to bring His Presence and truth into the world. Those people are expected to live differently. They are to be different from the world around them. Holy people are expected to make a moral and a spiritual difference. It is not enough to be good or to do good things. Of course, Holy people are supposed to do good things but what set us apart is that G-d has set us apart, as these garments and the priests who wore them. Holiness depends on G-d’s call and our acceptance of that call. Many people will say they are basically good. But it takes more than good. The definition of good changes over time. Today, things are looked at as acceptable or good, that would never have been seen that way in the past. Today society operates on the principle of, As long as what I do does not harm me or someone else it is okay. Our world operates on this principle but it is not a scriptural or G-dly principle. It cannot be our way, as G-d’s people, to operate. The sacred calling on our lives requires us to live our life by principles set down by G-d in His word. These are sacred, non-negotiable standards of how holy people, called by Him, are to live. Our nation has been and still seen as a Cristian nation, yet everyday we as a nation have allowed the rules of a secular society to set the standard by which our country operates.

Respect for life, sanctity of life, have been lost and when the rule of, “If no one is hurt “ is our standard pretty much anything is acceptable.

We as G-d’s people must live our lives as holy people, set aside for a holy life that will bring Him into everything we do and how we live. Kavod (Presence of G-d) and Tiferet (Truth of G-d) must be our standard of life each day. We are a holy people serving a Holy G-d.

Lastly, Aaron and his sons had to bring a blood sacrifice to cover their sins before they could be set apart as priests to carry out their holy role.  In our life, Yeshua provided that blood sacrifice for us. His blood covers all of our sins, past sins, and is available to cover those current sins that might stand between us and the Father.