The Eighth portion of the Book of Exodus begins, as G-d tells Moses to command (Tetzaveh, in Hebrew) the Jewish People to provide the olive oil to be used to fuel the lamps of the Tabernacles Candelabra. G-d taught Moses the procedure for kindling the lamps, and then how to fashion the special garments for the priests.

“you must draw you brother Aaron to you, together with his sons, to minister to Me (as priests).(28:1)

It would seem that we should all want to be priests, consecrated to G-d. This is indeed a worthy ideal, but if it were put into practice, it would undermine the purpose of creation. G-d created us not to be angels but human beings who dwell in the mundane world. Only in this way can we elevate the world, refine it, and fill it with Divine Consciousness.

On the other hand, in order to elevate the world, we need to preserve the image of the totally Divine way of living that  we are striving to elevate it to. Hence, a select minority of the people had to live out this ideal in practice; they were the priests.

Similarly, we must all consecrate a portion of our personality to the sole purpose of serving G-d. By creating (installing) this “inner priest”, we can than relate to the world at large as we are meant to, guiding and leading to to its Divine fulfilment. This is how we fulfil G-d’s promise to us when He gave us the Torah: “you will be unto Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”

Enjoy a lovely meaningful Shabbos and a fulfilling week to follow.