Daily Aliya for Tetzaveh, Sheni (2nd Aliya)
Aliya Summary: We now read about the High Priest’s Choshen Mishpat (“Breastplate of Judgment”). It contained four rows of precious stones, each row containing three stones. Artisans engraved the names of the Twelve Tribes of Israel upon these twelve stones. This cloth breastplate contained a fold wherein the Urim v’Tumim, a parchment on which was written G‑d’s Name, was inserted. The Choshen Misphat was then secured by straps which connected it to the ephod.
Interesting thought from OU’s Torah Tidbits: Wool is the chief fiber from the animal kingdom. Flax is (or at least was) the chief fiber from the plant kingdom. Garments are the chief use of fibers. If so, we can say that one of the manifestations of human dominance over nature is our ability to take fibers from both plants and animals, process them and use them for our own benefit, comfort, and adornment. Taking the most prestigious of each kingdom, and weaving them together, and wearing garments made from the combination of wool and linen is one of the ultimate signs of our top position on the nature pyramid. While this is prohibited to be worn for our own benefit (Shatnez), it’s required to be worn for G-d’s benefit (Kohen Gadol’s clothes).