Friends of Itamar

Leah's BlogLeah’s Blog Parashat Tezaveh 2024

Leah’s Blog Parashat Tezaveh 2024

Leah’s Blog – Tezaveh – February 2024

It was a day that I stepped out of the house towards Michal who sat parked, car engine running. Excited to go to the Petach Tikva Mall, our occasional getaway- an hour’s drive, so close but so far. The window shopping escapism, merging with the masses in terrific ambience as we pass our favorite shops, mostly checking the prices ( expensive!!) but also the styles bring us delight. From the driver’s seat Michal is taking off her sun glasses and glaring at me. “You are NOT wearing that!” “Huh?” I answered, looking down at my simple perhaps dowdy outfit. She flicked her pointer finger towards the house and said, “Go change.” Dolling up with a pretty cotton dress I save for Shabbat and black boots with a bit of heel I returned within five minutes and we sailed away. Michal smiled and said nothing. But I heard her thoughts in my mind. “Why do you wear shmahtas? What does that say about you?” “You’re beautiful- celebrate that.”

From that moment on I went through an inner process that I’m still working on even now. There were Covid days I would apply eyeliner as usual (lipstick was futile), but mostly a sifting out of lots of things I will never wear from my closet. How do you feel when you wear these clothes I asked myself. The change of consciousness on how my clothes inspire, what dredges up, are they comfortable, is the fabric right? (I find I really only wear cotton), is the color right for me? I was getting rid of a lot of black. Some of my clothes I discovered were literal false attire, not me.

A new kind of cute easy and snug hat came into the market that made wearing a head covering a blessed event perfectly at the time I was feeling I needed it. This was and is also a journey into inwardness – that affects outwardness. Your body too has physical clothing affecting your inner nefesh that wear internal garments. It’s a reciprocal relationship. What you wear- as the Torah points out in this Parsha- even influences your Middot. You pick the uniform of the idea you represent. People respect you more. My kids smile at me more, my grand -daughters take notice, admiring.

Purim comes out of a box. Costumes are strewn all over even now as kids are choosing what they will wear in a month. In Adar we begin to think about wearing something different, even extreme for one day. It’s fun! It is also a time that the weather warms up a bit; our wardrobe is about to change. Let’s face it, I know it’s not Purim yet but the world wears costumes. From the judges at The Hague with their ridiculous wigs and their pensive faces they brand Israel with hot irons, the famous politicians, mannequin like in their stiff suits as the sun glints off their eye tooth tailoring Israel to build a Hamas state in the heart of our country, cloaking it in a banner of terrorism. Everything seems fake, and it’s apparent. The policy, as we were sunbathing in Tel Aviv and turned our backs on the holy mountains left our holy sites draped in garbage, skeletons of stolen cars and donkey dung, of defeatism, eviction within our own land and avoidance of the core issue of our identity. Clothed in false garments, these places must shed all wrong, all ghouls, all gloom, all disrespect. For those that pushed us out of Jericho, the Temple site, out of the resting places of the sons of Aaron- Itamar and Elazar who are buried right down the road from this very house I am writing to you from- from the tomb of Yosef HaTzaddik – hopelessness is not the way we want to dress this land. By withdrawing from our core heartland we left the northern and southern borders vulnerable. We must do a turnaround- “clean out our closets”, uncover, sifting out of all the demons, terrorists and “concepts” of the past, a time we remove the mask. What regard do we show the altar of Joshua, what esteem do we gift the heart of Israel? Adar is a time of “”נהפוכו, a time of changing our clothes, a turnabout, a time we must dress the Bride, a time we celebrate restoration and respect. You are beautiful- celebrate that.

A special thank you to YAD LEAH, Nachamu, Kees and Tinekeh, Anita and Enrico and many of you- dear friends for making it possible for Friends of Itamar to be a pipeline of beautiful Purim costumes as well as fine quality clothing for all of us out here. We love you.

Shabbat shalom, Leah

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