1. Exodus: Tetsavyeh

The faster I go, the behinder I get.  My dad used to say that.  It seems to fit my pattern right now, but it will change.  I know that I can tell you my little not-so-secret.  I am leaving my job.  I’m sad, nervous, relieved, sad.  I know I said sad twice.  But I do love my job and all of the people that I work with.  So I’ll be sad to leave them, but they need me and a half.  And all I have to give is me.  So it’s time to step away and find a way to do what I love to do in the amount of time that I have to do it.  I’m sad, yes, but also excited to set out on a new adventure.  And I’ll have to dress properly.

Not a very graceful segue, but it’s late and I’m behind (er).  Tetsavyeh is all about fashion.  Appropriate fashion.  Aaron and his progeny’s priestly fashion to be exact.  And God was extremely exact about how the priests should dress.  Colors, materials, how they were used and what they stood for are all covered here.

Fashion is a gift and a curse.  In our society so many are slaves to the fashion gods (you know, the beautiful people in all of those advertisements).  I once had a plan to take the label out of every piece of clothing I owned and put them all on a single shirt.  That would be my “label”.  When my kids were young I told them that I wouldn’t buy them clothes with the name of the manufacturer brazenly displayed (unless of course the company wanted to pay me to use my children as billboards).  That is the cursed aspect of fashion.

But there’s another side to fashion.  As a society we set up visual rules and customs that help us to organize.  Every society does this.  Remember when Nixon flashed his two finger peace sign (in China perhaps?) and deeply offended the locals?  They didn’t read his two finger gesture as a compliment….I think it had a similar meaning to our middle finger gesture.  Well our clothes carry messages as well.  When I walk into a business meeting, I don’t wear jeans and a t-shirt.  I wear clothing that tells the people in the room that I have style and taste.  I’m an interior designer for heaven’s sake!  My visual presence is part of my story.  It’s not ALL of my story, but it definitely carries a message.

How many times have you connected someone that you did not know well with what they looked like?  “Remember that guy who had the funny tie and that yellow shirt?”  We hired a sculptor once to work on a hotel project that we were involved in.  He showed up at the meeting in pants that exposed much too much of his nether region, a t-shirt that was a few sizes too small, and an odor that was memorable.  When discussing him later, he was always described as the slob.

We cast judgment before we have a chance to know people.  It’s not a terrible thing, so long as we remain open to our judgment being wrong.  But you save a whole step by dressing in synch with the message you wish to send.  So it seems right that God made a big deal about the fashion associated with the people who were representing him.  If someone were representing me, I’d have an opinion on the subject as well.

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