April 12, 2024
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April 12, 2024
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Wise Hearts and Hearts That Carry

Aaron, the Kohen Gadol, was known as as a person who loved others and pursued peace (“אוֹהֵב שָׁלוֹם וְרוֹדֵף שָׁלוֹם”). He was a person who helped others. He helped people in many ways: he fixed marriages, friendships, families, and more. But how is it possible to help other people with their relationship problems? Can someone like you and me do this?

Parshat Tetzaveh helped me understand how Aaron was able to do this. As part of Aaron’s clothing, he needed to wear something called a Choshen Mishpat (of judgment). The Choshen was placed on his heart so that he would carry the judgment of Bnei Yisrael on him. While this was a way for Bnei Yisrael to know their judgment, it can mean much more. Aaron was not only carrying their judgment, in the sense that he knew what Hashem’s verdict was, but Aaron felt Bnei Yisrael emotionally. Aaron was empathetic and had the ability to feel the emotional needs of Bnei Yisrael as if it were him. Through his empathy and heart, Aaron brought love and peace.

None of us is a Kohen Gadol, so can we do this like Aaron did? This week’s Parsha also allows us to understand that we can do this too. This Parsha explains that Aarons’s clothes needed to be made by people who were חַכְמֵי לֵב (wise- hearted). In my eyes, a wise-hearted person uses his/her emotions to help others. I believe the person who had to make Aaron’s clothing was someone who used his emotion of love for Hashem and decided to use love to happily make these clothes. Like Aaron, this regular person who made the clothes knew how to get in touch with his feelings. Once we are in touch with our feelings, we can be more empathetic like Aaron.

Parshat Tetzaveh follows a journey. The Parsha begins with a person with a wise heart creating the clothing to teach us that we need to be in touch with our emotions. Once we are in touch with our emotions, then it is possible to put on the clothing of Aaron and the Choshen on our hearts. When we can be in touch with our own emotions,then we can help others with theirs. May we all grow to have a wise heart! And may we all bring peace upon all of Am Yisrael!


Shira Sedek is a passionate educator currently working toward a master’s degree at Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration.

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