Tzav: Inside their heads – Moses and Aaron

A Midrash.  Aaron is about to be ordained as High Priest, and there will be a very public, very ornate ceremony for him.  These two brothers – what are they thinking at this moment?

Moses:  I should be proud of my brother.  Here’s his big day, when he gets ordained as the High Priest. Everyone’s here, it’s quite a turnout to see it. Quite the to-do.  Frankly….it’s a bit much.  I mean, I went up the Mountain and talked with God directly, got the Ten Commandments, and supervised the whole building of the Mishkan till it was finally done -and without so much as a new robe or new sandals on my feet.  Now, Aaron just steps in at the end?  Aaron, who screwed up so badly at the Golden Calf thing…he gets robes, breastpieces, bells, all this fancy stuff, decorated like a..a….well I’ll just say it, like an Egyptian Pharaoh.

Really, is all this necessary? 

Aaron:  Well, it’s about damn time.  Finally all the eyes are on me, and Moses, little brother, it’s your turn to dote on me.  Finally, here’s my redemption from that whole Golden Calf mess; it was awful, I’lll admit, but you,  oh great Moses,  did leave me to fend for myself, with no idea what I was doing.  You set me up! But now everybody knows I’m the leader I was supposed to be, and my  name is cleared. Like I said, about damn time.   I’ve got the “Nod from God” to be the public face of this whole Israelite ritual thing, this Tabernacle is my office, my turf, where what I say, goes.   All these fancy robes and such…it’s befitting my new status.  Ok, it’s heavy, I’ll grant you that….that’s kind of a downside.

Moses:  Then again, it is good for the people to be seeing someone different in front of them, someone besides me.  I won’t be here forever.  Of course, neither will Aaron, but at least, by bringing my nephews into the whole production today, the people will get the idea of how to carry on without me, or Aaron for that matter.  Somehow the people have to know what to do every day, and I can’t always be interpreting  for them what God’s told me.  Aaron does look pretty impressive in all this finery.

Aaron:  This must be hard for my brother, now that I think about it.  I mean, he’s used to being in the spotlight, and as much as he says he doesn’t like it, it’s who he is. After all, what else has he got?  Not much of a home and family life.   How much is he home with Tziporah and the boys?  At least, I’ll get to see my sons everyday; we’ll be working together.  This whole ordeal, I mean, ordination, must be really rubbing it in his face, though, showing up that he’s not always going to be the be-all and end-all for God-connections around here.  That can’t be easy. 

Moses:  Frankly, this will take some of the pressure off.  It was Aaron and me all along, when I think about it.  Right from the start, with the burning bush, when Aaron just showed up, he has been with me every step of the way.  I’ve needed him.  I still do. We make a pretty good team, actually.  He’s so much better with the public, dealing with their constant complaining…I’m much happier just to be with God.  In fact, I lose my temper when I have to deal with the people directly.  Aaron’s much better at this.  Good for him, getting all this attention. He deserves it.  I’m glad it’s me ordaining him.  I wouldn’t want it to be anyone else, in fact. Ok, it’s show time, here we go.

Aaron:  It takes a lot for my brother to control his temper, and by me taking this role of High Priest, it should make it a little easier on him.  We make a pretty good team, actually.  I’m better with the people, he’s better with God directly.  All that one-on-one time with God would scare me to death.  The people need us both.   I’m glad it’s him, ordaining me.  I wouldn’t want it to be anyone else. Ok, it’s show time, here we go.

“Then Moses brought Aaron and his sons forward and washed them with water.  He put the tunic on him, girded him with the sash, clothed him with the robe, and put the ephod on him, girding him with the decorated band withwhich he tied it to him.  He put the breastpiece on him, and put into the breastpiece the Urim and Thummim……  Then he brought forward the second ram, the ram of ordination.  Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon the ram’s head, and it was slaughtered.  Moses took some of its blood and put it on the ridge of Aaron’s right ear, and on the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe of his right foot.  Then Moses brought forward the sons of Aaron, and put some of the blood on the ridges of their right ears, and the thumbs of their right hands, and on the big toes of their right feet. “(Lev 8:6~24)

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