23.6. The Frontlet (28:36-38)

 (36) You shall make a frontlet of pure gold and engrave on it the seal inscription: “Holy to the Lord.”

(37) Suspend it on a cord of blue, so that it may remain on the headdress; it shall remain on the front of the headdress.

(38) It shall be on Aaron’s forehead, that Aaron may take away any sin arising from the holy things that the Israelites consecrate, from any of their sacred donations; it shall be on his forehead at all times, to win acceptance for them before the Lord.

(36) You shall make a frontlet of pure gold and engrave on it the seal inscription: “Holy to the Lord”: The purpose of the frontlet (tzitz, diadem) is to correct for the sin of arrogance.

There is rudeness and there is arrogance, and they are not the same thing. Even a person who is always polite, never rude, to others might still be arrogant, and feel no actual regard for those people. The various elements of the priestly garments correct for these sins.

Because the sin of rudeness concerns all people equally, its correction is found in the turban, which is worn by all priests. But the sin of arrogance applies in greater measure to high-ranking individuals, and its correction is therefore in the tzitz, the diadem, worn only by the High Priest.

(38) It shall be on Aaron’s forehead, that Aaron may take away any sin arising from the holy things that the Israelites consecrate, from any of their sacred donations; it shall be on his forehead at all times, to win acceptance for them before the Lord: The intentions of the person bringing an offering in the Temple are of utmost importance – his attitude toward the Temple, and to the offering. A defect on the part of the offerer in those intentions and that attitude is what the Torah here calls “any sin arising from the holy things.” With the aid of the diadem inscribed with the words “Holy to the Lord,” those defective attitudes can be corrected, so as “to win acceptance for the Children of Israel before the Lord.”

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Bible Dynamics, VOL. 2. EXODUS Copyright © by Orot Yerushalaim / P. Polonsky / English translation of the Torah by the Jewish Publication Society, New JPS Translation, 1985. With sincere gratitude for the permission to use. All Rights Reserved.

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