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FASHION STATEMENT
THE VESTEMENTS OF THE HIGH PRIEST

by The Editorial Department    
Torah from Dixie Staff Writer    

The first part of Parshat Tetzaveh describes the vestments worn by the Kohanim (priests) during their service in the Mishkan (Tabernacle). In addition to the four special garments worn by the regular Kohanim, the Kohen Gadol (High Priest) donned four more garments which are briefly described below. Log onto our website to view pictures of these garments, as well as other items used in the Mishkan.

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The first part of Parshat Tetzaveh describes the vestments worn by the Kohanim (priests) during their service in the Mishkan (Tabernacle). In addition to the four special garments worn by the regular Kohanim, the Kohen Gadol (High Priest) donned four more garments which are briefly described below. Log onto our website to view pictures of these garments, as well as other items used in the Mishkan.

Choshen- the breastplate (Exodus 28:15-30). Perhaps the most dazzling of the Kohen Gadol's four special vestments, the choshen was adorned with twelve magnificent stones, each one corresponding to one of the twelve tribes of Israel. Inserted within the pocket of the choshen was the urim v'tumim, a piece of parchment upon which the name of G-d was inscribed. When the Jewish people had a question of national importance, the Kohen Gadol would communicate the question to Hashem, and He would respond by miraculously causing the letters on the stones to light up, sending an encoded response to the Jewish people.

Ephod- the special apron (ibid. 28:6-14) worn by the Kohen Gadol, woven of turquoise, purple, and scarlet wool, linen, and gold. On the top of its shoulder straps were two gold settings containing precious stones called the avnei shoham upon which the names of the twelve tribes were engraved.

Me'il- a full-length robe (ibid. 28:31-35) made of turquoise wool and worn from the neck to the ground. Hanging all around its hem were pomegranate-shaped tassels and golden bells.

Tzitz-- a head-plate of pure gold (ibid. 28:36-38) with the words "Holy to Hashem" engraved upon it, worn by the Kohen Gadol on his forehead.

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View our Guide to the Tabernacle to learn more about the Tabernacle.

You are invited to read more Parshat Tetzaveh articles.

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