By Rabbi
Pinchas Frankel

     

 

Parashas Tetzaveh – 5776

Some Pesukim, According to the Ramban

 

The Urim and the Tumim

 

The Urim and the Tumim were the holy Names of God, and it was by virtue of the power residing in those Names that the letters inscribed upon the stones of the breastplate would light up before the eyes of the priests who inquired of their judgment. For example, when they inquired, ‘Who shall go up for us first against the Canaanites to fight against them?’ the priest fixed his thoughts on the Divine Name which was the Urim [literally: lights], and the letters forming the name ‘Yehudah’ lit up before his eyes… But then there were other sacred Divine Names [in the fold of the breastplate] called Tumim [literally: perfection] through whose power, the priest’s heart was made perfect to understand the meaning of the letters which had lit up before his eyes; that is, he was able to read the letters as ‘Yehudah Ya’aleh,’ instead of some other combination of those letters.

 

Me’il

 

According to the Ramban, the Me’il is a garment in which one wraps oneself, just as Scripture says, “and he (Shmuel) is covered with a ‘me’il’ ” (I Shmuel 28:14) The ‘me’il’ is a garment with which one enwraps the whole body from the neck downwards to the feet of the person, and has no sleeves at all.

 

Pa’amonim Ve-Rimonim

 

I will attempt to explain the function of the bells according to the Ramban’s understanding of the Midrash describing the entry of the Kohen Gadol to the Kodesh HaKodoshim on Yom Kippur.

 

“And that which is said above is in my opinion an explanation for the commandment of the bells [upon the robe], since there was no need to wear them, nor are they customary amongst dignitaries. Therefore He said that He commanded that they be made in order that the sound thereof be heard in the Sanctuary, that the Priest enter before his Master as if with permission. For he who comes into the king’s palace suddenly, incurs the penalty of death according to the court ceremonial, just as we find in the case of Ahasuerus. It thus alludes to what the Rabbis have said in Yerushalmi Tractate Yoma: “And there shall be no man in the Tent of Meeting when he goes in to make atonement in the holy place (Vayikra 16:17) – even those heavenly beings of whom it is written, ”As for the likeness of their faces they had the face of a man” (Yechezkel 1:10), they too are not to be then in the Tent of Meeting.”

 

“Therefore He commanded that the ministering High Priest make a sound to be heard, as if crying out (as Yosef HaTzaddik had done before revealing himself to his brothers), ‘Cause everyone to go out from before me’ (Bereshis 45:1) so that he can come to minister before the  King alone. Similarly, when going out from the Sanctuary, his sound is heard, that he might leave with permission, and that the matter be known, so that the King’s ministers can go out before Him. In the Chapters of the Palaces this subject is known. Thus the reason [for the bells upon the robe of the High Priest] is that he should not be encountered and harmed by the angels of God…”

 

L’Illuy Nishmas Beni, Aharon Baruch Mordechai ben Pinchas Menachem

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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