This week we get a sort of a fashion show.   God tells Moses in intricate detail how Aaron is to be dressed when he’s acting as High Priest. 

But first God says they are to have clear olive oil for the menorah we read about last week.  Now, pure olive oil was expensive stuff, and this was supposed to burn from sunset to dawn!  So it was important!

After issuing instructions about the olive oil, God goes on to describe the outfit that Aaron and his four sons are to wear.

God tells Moses to find some skilled designers to make them.


First there’s an efod, which no one is quite clear about, but which may have been a kind of cape.  In any case, it’s to be very fancy, with gold, purple, scarlet and fine linen.  On the shoulders of the efod go two stones of onyx, each engraved with six of the tribes of Israel.  The stones get braided with gold.  Pretty fancy.

Then there’s a breastplate, made of the same colors and fine linen.  That gets twelve stones, emerald, ruby, sapphire and more.  Again, they’re braided with gold.  On each of the stones is to be engraved the names of one of the twelve Tribes “so that Aaron is to bear the names of the Children of Israel over his heart.”

For the complete outfit, see Tetsaveh – the High Priest’s Garments | Hebrew Congregation of Somers

Food for Thought

Why do you think God cared about what Aaron and his sons wore?