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Flawless View

By: Mrs. Lauren Goldschmidt

”You shall place both stones on the shoulder straps of the ephod, remembrance stones for the Children of Israel. Aharon shall carry their names before Hashem on both of his shoulders as a remembrance.”

(Shemos 28:12) Rashi comments that Hashem told Moshe to engrave the names of the twelve shevatim onto these stones that were attached to the ephod, so that when the Kohen Gadol performed the avodah, Hashem would remember the righteousness of the shvatim, and accept the avodah of the Kohen Gadol. Hashem’s commandment to inscribe the names of the shvatim as a remembrance seems to be difficult.

Although the shvatim were all tremendous tzadikim, nevertheless, they were tainted to some degree by having committed the sin of selling their brother Yosef. If so, the inscription of the shvatim’s names on the ephod of the Kohen Gadol might have had the opposite effect of invoking memories of sin and not righteousness. The answer to this question on Rashi requires a paradigm shift on how we view the concept of sinning. Although it’s true that the shvatim erred by selling their brother Yosef, they were indeed incredible tzadikim on an unimaginable spiritual level. Even the most precious diamonds have slight flaws, but that doesn’t take away from their beauty. The shvatim’s sin was definitely part of them and it created a blemish on some spiritual plain, but that flaw was one small part of a great entity. This concept can teach us a tremendous lesson. We all try to do our best, and yet we all know that sin is inevitable. But we shouldn’t be discouraged by the presence of a sin because it is merely a small flaw in a beautiful diamond.

Shabbat Shalom.




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