Again this week’s Parsha left me only with open thoughts.
The beginning of the Parsha goes in detail to what the Kohanim wore- what fabrics, what colors, what was on them, etc. It also goes into all of the specifics of the Mishkan- not just how big things need to be, but also what color, what material, etc.
One thing we could learn is the importance of detail in communication. When we want someone else to help us create something, and we have a vision of what it should look like, it is up to us to go into as much detail as possible. There is no way for someone to reason another person’s mind- and so we should go into as much detail as we can, so that even the tiny bells at the bottom of a dress will be made in the right shape.
One could also say that when we love something or something is very important to us, we think about all of the details that go into it. We look at every small thing. Every small bit is makes up the bigger piece, but it is all important nonetheless. As someone who is a perfectionist, I know that I try to figure out each small thing, and make them all perfect. But maybe this is trying to teach us, that we should be worrying about the small things only with the things that are greatest to us?
One could also look at the idea of presentation. Why did the Mishkan and the Kohanim need to look that way? Are we being too materialistic? Or is it that we want people to see a certain thing when they look at this building or these people?
This is something I struggle with regularly. Being someone who is studying to be a rabbi, I realize that there are things that I choose not to wear because of what it might look like. That there is a certain way that, even my school, tells us we are supposed to look like. Now if I were to wear short-shorts and a tank-top, it would make people question not only my own place, but also other women who are studying to be orthodox rabbis.
As much as I understand this, it is something that I don’t like. I want to be able to wear jeans (I think that women can wear pants), but I don’t want to have an hour long conversation about why I think that I can wear them. I want to just be able to get dressed without it being reflective of my religious practices- because I don’t believe that what one wears has anything to do with how observant they are. But in society it is how it has become.
So, I don’t really have a conclusion- except for sometimes details are important, and sometimes we make details too important. So may we be blessed with being able to recognize when the small things mean something and when the small things are just holding us back.