They say that a suit makes the man. Perhaps this is a fundamental flaw in the world’s “evaluation” system. People looking for that instant makeover are convinced it will come if they find the right sale at the mall as opposed to concentrating on truly making themselves over, from the inside out.
In this week’s Torah portion we are given the instructions for sewing the garments of the priests who served in the Tabernacle. These articles of clothing were to be used exclusively by the priests and only to be worn when they were doing the service. The average Joe could not borrow the clothing and become a priest. G-d chose Aaron and his descendants as the ones to serve in the Temple. It is an inherent quality, not one “learned on the job” or made possible by putting on a uniform.
Clothing, by definition, covers something. Many people forget this and think that what you see is what you get. Life becomes about developing a sense of style and not a sense of self. It isn’t by chance that we celebrate Purim just a few days after reading this portion.
One of the highlights of Purim is the costume party. All kinds of strangers grace our gatherings and we read the Megillah amongst a most diverse crowd of “people”. Perhaps one of the telling lessons we can learn from all this is that the person under the costume hasn’t changed because he is wearing different clothing. You still call him or her by their name; they still have the same needs and wants, virtues and inner worth. During a normal day there is an expectation to walk around dressed like a mentch and for the environment in which we find ourselves. However, we should not lose sight of what really counts and remember that there is an inside that needs to be cared for and allowed to shine.
Shabbat Shalom and Happy Purim,
Rabbi Mendy Hecht
February 27, 2015 | From the Rabbi's Desk