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Power dressing do the clothes make the man essay

Do Clothes Make the Man? An Essay by Edward Knippers

Nearly all the tasks associated with the Temple and its maintenance were performed by the descendants of the priestly family, the Kohanim. It would seem, then, that the majority of the information presented has little relevance to the average person, who is not of priestly lineage. However, all the Jewish people are, in truth, considered Kohanim, as the verse states: One of the priestly services performed in the Holy Temple involved clearing the excess ashes which accumulated upon the altar.

Afterwards, the priest would change out of his priestly garments, into other, less distinguished ones, and remove the rest of the ashes to the outside of the camp, to a pure place.

Do Clothes Make the Man?

The purpose of the wardrobe shift seems fairly straightforward. Removing the ashes was bound to be a rather messy job, and dirtying the priestly garments would be neither appropriate nor respectful.

However, a quick analysis of the duties performed by the priests within the Temple boundaries reveals that the regular services were not any more tidy. Why did the priest have to change his outfit in order to bring the ashes to the outskirts of the camp?

To address this question, Rashi offers an illustration: The fact that the very same kohen performed both duties gives us an insight into the true meaning of Divine service.

Power-dressing: Do the clothes make the man? Essay

It often seems that certain roles in life are crowned with distinction and renown. We perform them in a dignified setting, while dressed in an expensive suit. When we are called upon to fulfill such functions, we feel graced with prestige and importance.

Then there are other tasks, which are plainly inferior and undignified. They are executed far from the limelight, are often thankless or boring, and carry none of the ego-massaging perks of a more public role.

Do clothes make the (wo)man?

We tend to shun such jobs, or at least fulfill them grudgingly and half-heartedly. Compared to a dazzling, celebrated position, what inspiration is there in, well, taking out the garbage? Yet the true Divine servant knows how to master both these tasks. He can perform both with the same fervor, for he understands that both roles are equally important in the fulfillment of the Divine will. This same teaching applies just as well to our interpersonal relationships. There are certain individuals whose association seems to enhance our own status and advance our own agendas.

We feel stimulated in their presence and delight in their company. Then there are others who make us plainly uncomfortable. We perceive them as the bores, the rejects, the pathetic misfits and loners of our society. They may need our listening ear or compassionate heart, but we have little or no patience for their demands. After all, we have far more important matters to occupy our time.

G-d relates to each of us in a reciprocal fashion.