main postsTetzaveh

Tetzaveh: The Crown of a Good Name

 “And you shall put the mitznefet (type of hat) on his head and you shall place the holy tiara on the mitznefet.” The holy tiara is the Golden Plate. Now we can see that the Golden Plate is actually a crown/tiara on the head of Aaron, the High Priest.

The tiara (nezer) is reminiscent of the wreaths on the vessels (zer) in the Tabernacle: The golden wreath on the Ark, the golden wreath on the Table and the golden wreath on the Golden Altar. The wreath on the Ark is the “Crown of Torah”, the wreath on the Table is the “Crown of Kingdom” (because the Table expresses wealth, as in the expression “A table fit for a king”) and the wreath on the Golden Altar is the “Crown of Priesthood”. In the Mishnah, however, it is written, “There are three crowns: the crown of Torah, and the crown of priesthood and the crown of kingdom, and the crown of a good name is loftier than them”. The Golden Plate on the head of Aaron is the Crown of a Good Name, loftier than the other crowns.

There is Divine light that we can feel in our midst. This is God’s Immanent Light. But the Holy Temple is illuminated by God’s Transcendent Light, an encompassing, Divine light too great for us to integrate. Instead, it is like a crown on our heads, “a golden, encompassing wreath”. The wreath (zer)  is encompassing light, while the nezer is even more than that. It is נ-זר /50 times zer (wreath), corresponding to the encompassing Fifty Gates of Understanding.

The Crown of Torah was given to Moses and to each Jew who learns Torah. The Crown of  Priesthood was given to Aaron and his descendants. The Crown of Kingdom was given to King David and his descendants. And what about the Crown of a Good Name? That is the crown of Mashiach (who also has the Crown of Kingdom).

And now for a beautiful allusion: We have discussed three wreaths (zer) and a tiara (nezer). Zer zer zer nezer = Mashiach when it is written out in full, mem, shin, yud, chet מם שין יוד חית.

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

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