Pekudei: Chapter 20

Sacred robes


Rabbi Shimon describes how the sacred robes of Michael, the High Priest, were made from the supernal light that sparked off purple and blue. In the same way that Michael does not enter the sanctuary until he is robed, Moses did not go up into the mountain before he donned the cloud, as in: "Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and went up into the mountain." These garments are called 'uniforms' since they were made from the residue of the supernal lights. It is because the High Priest wears the robe that he is allowed to enter the Temple. Rabbi Shimon talks about "Yisrael is holy to Hashem, His first fruits of the increase," saying that "Yisrael is holy" because all the colors are in Yisrael and the colors are the Priests, the Levites and Yisrael itself. They are also the colors of Chesed, Gvurah and Tiferet - white, red and green. We learn that the soul does not ascend until it is worthy of donning the highest garments, and that the soul does not descend to earth until it wears the clothes of this world. This is also true of the holy angels when they have a mission here. When Adam and Eve were still in the Garden of Eden they wore clothes of celestial light, but when they were driven out they wore the clothes of this world: "Hashem Elohim made for Adam and for his wife coats of skins, and clothed them." Rabbi Shimon repeats that man's raiment of the next world is made from the good deeds he performs in this world, as they draw light from the supreme radiance. To summarize, the reason that the soul has special garments in the two worlds is so that it has wholeness, both in the world below and the world above.