The Breastplate Of Judgment: Parashat Tetzaveh Reflections


Hebrew Vision News Exclusive

by Miykael Qorbanyahu aka The End Time Scribe


It is this very knowledge, this understanding of the multiplicity of meaning, implied by the workings of the Urim and Tummim in the Breastplate of Judgment, which serves as an atonement for an incorrect judgment, for a poor reading by the judges of the reality which they were called upon to determine. For the high priest, after all, has the Tummim, with which he can hope to get the inspiration necessary to arrive at a true meaning of the message of the Urim, the lit up letter…

Rabbi Shimon Felix from Multiplicity of Meanings

And you shall make a breastplate of right-ruling, a work of a skilled workman, like the work of the shoulder garment. Make it of gold, of blue and purple and scarlet material, and fine woven linen.

– Exodus 28.15


1priestlygarmentsA uniform is usually wore by individuals in order to designate their specific position, office, role and rank in their employment. For instance, an individual in the military is identified by their uniform and their position, role and rank is designated by the decorations and badges that are usually pinned on the breast of their jacket or their headgear. This same principle once applied to the Levitical Priesthood of Yisrael. As the ministers of the Mishkan and the Mikdash,  the priests were responsible for all of the official ministrations that took place within the precinct of the Tabernacle or Temple. Not only were these individuals differentiated from the rest of the nation by bloodline, but the priesthood was also distinguished from all other Yisraelites by the very garments that they were to wear when they went about conducting the orders of the Tabernacle or Temple services. This week’s parashat, Tetzaveh, which means to command, establishes the precedent for the priestly garments that were to be wore by Aharon and his sons, the Levites;

And you [Moshe], bring near Aharon your brother and his sons with him, from among the children of Yisra’ĕl, for serving as priest to Me: Aharon, Naḏaḇ and Aḇihu, El‛azar and Ithamar, the sons of Aharon. And you shall make set-apart garments for Aharon your brother, for esteem and for comeliness. And you, speak to all the wise of heart, whom I have filled with a spirit of wisdom, and they shall make the garments of Aharon, to set him apart, for him to serve as priest to Me. And these are the garments which they make: a breastplate, a shoulder garment, a robe, an embroidered long shirt, a turban, and a girdle. And they shall make set-apart garments for Aharon your brother and his sons, for him to serve as priest to Me.

Exodus 28.1-4

The garments that Aharon and his sons were to wear, for esteem and comeliness, were truly magnificent in all of their intricate designs and purposes. Designed by those who were filled with the spirit of wisdom, these unique clothes consisted of eight vestments (שּמּנּהּ בגדיםthat were to inspire awe with those who viewed them on their wearers. The eight vestments that are identified with the High Priest in this week’s sidrah are:

  1. The Embroidered Coat (ketonet/כְתֹ֥נֶת)
  2. The Girdle (abnet/אַבְנֵ֑ט)
  3. The Turban (migbaot/מִגְבָּעֹות)
  4. The Pants (maknaci/מִכְנְסֵי)
  5. The Robe (maiyl/מְעִ֔יל)
  6. The Mitre (mitznaphet/מִצְנֶ֣פֶת)
  7. The Shoulder Garment (ephod/אֵפֹוד֙)
  8. The Breastplate (choshen/חֹ֤שֶׁן)

Of the eight vestments, only four were peculiar to the High Priest; these were called the Holy Garments (הַקֹּדֶשׁ בִּגְדֵי) which consisted of the robe, the mitre, the ephod and the breastplate. All of the priesthood, however, regularly wore the white coat, the girdle, the white turban and the white pants while officiating.

It is understood that each of these priestly garments contained a symbolic meaning which alluded to the complete atonement of Yisrael. According to the Temple Institute’s article The Priestly Garments, there was a redemptive and atoning power that was present in the garments themselves. Of this principle, the article states

Another important quality of the priestly garments is that their very presence, worn by the priests during the Temple service, serves to atone for the sins of Israel. It is taught that just as the sacrifices facilitate an atonement for sin, so do the priestly garments (BT Zevachim 88:B).

This is one of the deeper aims of wearing these garments, and something for the priest to ponder while they are upon him. For his everyday actions in the Temple transcend his own personal idiom and take on a more universal theme…he makes atonement and spiritual rectification for all humanity.

Thus we are taught (ibid.): The tunic, which covers most of the priest’s body, atones for killing. The belt, wound about the body and worn over the heart, atones for “sins of the heart” – improper thoughts. The turban, worn on the head, atones for haughtiness. The pants atone for sexual transgressions. The robe atones for evil speech.  The High Priest’s crown atones for arrogance. The ephod atones for idolatry.  The breastplate atones for errors in judgment.

Image result for urim and thummim bibleWhile this article could veer in several directions given the vastness of information that has been heretofore presented in regards to the priestly garments, it is the intent of this reflection to bring our focus to that of the Breastplate of the High Priest, which is called the hoshen mishpat (חֹשֶׁן מִשְׁפָּט) and the Urim and Tummim (הָאוּרִים וְאֶת־הַתֻּמִּים). As our attention will focus on these two most unique and powerful spiritual tools, suffice it to say that what we are presented with so as relating to the entire priesthoods holy attire is also that of which Shaul of Tarsus wrote when he stated,

Put on the complete armor of Elohim, for you to have power to stand against the schemes of the devil. Because we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against authorities, against the world-rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual matters of wickedness in high places. Because of this, take up the complete armor of Elohim, so that you have power to withstand in the wicked day, and having done all, to stand. Stand, then, having girded your waist with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having fitted your feet with the preparation of the Good News of peace; above all, having taken up the shield of faithfulness with which you shall have power to quench all the burning arrows of the wicked one. Take also the helmet of deliverance, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of Elohim, praying at all times, with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, watching in all perseverance and supplication for all the set-apart ones;

Ephesians 6.11-18

There was a correspondence that existed with the protective function that priesthood played over the nation of Yisrael and the protective capacity of the garments the priests wore during their officiating of services. The Hoshen played a central role in this matter. In order for us to fully appreciate and comprehend the mystique and function of the hoshen, therefore, let us first seek to capture the capacity of the Levitical priesthood. According the Jewish Encyclopedia’s article called Priest, the origin of the [Yi]sraelit[e] Priesthood [and] the functions of the priest were twofold: to care for and guard the sanctuary and its sacred images and palladia, and (of still greater importance) to consult the oracle. While we are well aware of the care and guarding of the sanctuary and Tabernacle and Temple structures, let us now so draw our attention to that of the consultation of the oracle.

In Hebrew, the word for oracle is dabar (דָּבָר) and has as its meaning, a word; by implication, a matter (as spoken of) or thing; adverbially, a cause:—act, advice, affair, answer. Furthermore, the word dabar carries with it the idea of, according the Dictionary of Torah Names and Words, an insight of the heart that enformulates the mind [being that w]ords are illuminated insights that make an appearance to construct, build, develop the mind of man as a ruler, governor, teacher of all life energies: a word is…an open gate to the houses of knowledge [because they] are seen as the basis of life, for they formulate energies that belong to the unity of life. It is in this light that the priest was to provide the people with the direct revelation of Elohim as a result of accessing יהוה‎‘s living oracles through the insight of heart so as illuminated by the Hoshen. The reality of this revelatory role is best expressed and so described by the prophet Malaki who prophesied,

And you shall know that I have sent this command to you, as being My covenant with Lĕwi,’ said יהוה of hosts. ‘My covenant with him was life and peace, and I gave them to him, to fear. And he feared Me, and stood in awe of My Name. The Torah of truth was in his mouth, and unrighteousness was not found on his lips. He walked with Me in peace and straightness, and turned many away from crookedness. For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and they seek the Torah from his mouth, for he is the messenger (מַלְאַךְ) of יהוה of hosts.’

Malaki 2.4-7

As the messenger, representative or even what is known as the angel of the Most High, the role of the priest wasImage result for levites taught the torah pivotal to the national direction and well-being of Yisrael. While each priest was charged with specific functions within the sanctuary edifice, as just mentioned, the greater responsibility of the Priest was to provide the people with the prophetic Word of the Most High so as to address whatever issue, circumstance or situation was present. This role was all the more the responsibility of the High Priest who wore the Hoshen with the inserted Urim and Tummim.

The Breastplate, also known as the oracle, was wore by the high priest for the exclusive purpose of revealing the express Will and Word of Elohim. Derived from an used root that has a supposed meanings of to sparkle, a pocket or rich, the Hoshen was set with twelve engraved stones, representing the twelve tribes of Yisrael. The Metaphysical Bible Dictionary states that this suggests that the twelve faculties of the mind must be massed at the great brain center called the solar plexus in order for sound judgment to be made both by the High Priest and the people of Yisrael. For the High Priest, mental clarity and moral purity were essential conditions that were to be present as he donned the holy regalia and the powerful Breastplate.

Image result for new jerusalem foundation stones picture

As already mentioned, the Breastplate was also the storage pouch for the Urim and Tummim and was designed as a foursquare golden plate with four rows of three stones set across it. Along with the twelve stones of the Breastplate and the two shoham/onyx stones of the Ephod, the Urim and Tummim were also said to be made of crystals, or precious stones. While conveying the direct meaning of lights and perfections, respectively, there is a much more profound idiom that is present that this oracular device carried with it. Taken together, the Urim and Tummim imply that the emanated presence of Elohim in creation [which provides humanity with] energy bestowing uniting thoughts [conditioned upon the] energy [which] is bonded to knowledge [of the] mind [causes] the invisible principles contained in knowledge [to give light to the] concepts of life contained in and bestowed by the Head of the Universe, [which is] the Force of Unity that maintains and governs…all [in alignment] with the composed messages [which are able to] achieve fullness multiplied [and capable of bringing forth] the “spotless” condition of the lambs or the offerings, signifying that all of the attributes of life have been developed and that there is no lack or shortcoming of representation concerning the being of יהוה. For it is when the clarity of this mindset is brought forth by the High Priest that this prophetic reality is able to be declared as the revealed and express Will of יהוה through the mechanism of the Hoshen and the Urim and Tummim. 

What makes the Hoshen so powerful, in addition to the command to bring forth by יהוה, is the representative nature of the stones that made up the Hoshen and their ability to provide the High Priest with a definitive, prophetic word. When considering the spiritual properties of each stone, we find that each stone emanates an energy that allows for the High Priest to concentrate and harness all of the innate abilities that he possessed which were then enhanced by the stones properties. Let us now consider the spiritual benefits of each of the twelve stones present in the Breastplate. The website Crystal Vaults  provides us with these wonderful insights into the mineral world of these most precious stones that were set in the Hoshen.

Ruby signifies light to the darkness of one’s life. It encourages “following your bliss,” teaching one to enjoy berubying in the physical world and perceiving the spiritual energy that exists throughout the realm of matter. It offers lessons in mastering the transformation of thought and intent into physical manifestation in order to change one’s world. Ruby assists in connecting one’s energy field to the Earth for the purpose of replenishing one’s energy stores. It is excellent for grounding and overcoming mental overload, and is a great support during times of stress or when there is a lengthy sojourn before having the opportunity to rest.

topazTopaz is an excellent crystal for boosting faith and invigorating one’s spiritual development. It cuts through uncertainty and doubt, and instigates a sound trust in the universe. Topaz carries a marvelous energy for tapping into higher realms of awareness in order to channel Divine wisdom and knowledge, and for connecting with one’s spirit guides, angels, loved ones and Ascended Masters. It is ideal for recognizing the signs and symbols one is sent to help with daily life.

Emerald is a stone of aspiration and inspiration, [it] opens the heart, clearing and strengthening one’s connection to Divine Love, and sustaining one in their spiritual journey. It encourages one to live and emeraldact from the heart, offering unconditional love and compassion in daily life and relationships, and to be open to receive love from others. A strong and open heart also allows universal blessings to flow into one’s life. Emerald stimulates not only the hope of wealth in material possessions and financial standing, but allows one to experience true abundance beyond mere wealth. Abundance is the ability to receive the gifts of Spirit within all of life’s experiences and embrace its manifestations with gratitude. It encourages trust that the Universe will provide for all of one’s needs and that there can be no lack in reality.

Turquoise unites the earth and sky, bringing together male and female energies…STurquoise Metaphysicalpiritually, Turquoise heals and cleanses both the energy centers and the physical body. It acts to induce wisdom and understanding, and to enhance trust, kindness, and the recognition of beauty…Turquoise enhances the ability to see all aspects of ourselves, good and bad, and to integrate these aspects into a cohesive whole. While it is tempting to try and rid ourselves of the traits of self that are not entirely enlightened, Turquoise, like an ancient Grandfather ally, reminds us that all experiences are valid and that mistakes are simply another experience. Wholeness can only come when we are willing to embrace all of who we are and what we have learned.

SapphireSapphire tends to focus, emanate and radiate its energy in fulfilling dreams and desires of the consciousness, even without conscious initiation. Blue Sapphire is a Wind element stone activating the higher mind. It opens awareness and communication with the higher planes, and stimulates psychic visions, extrasensory perception and one’s inner sense of knowing. It engenders strength of mind and increased learning ability, and may be used for wisdom in negative situations. It also allows one to act as a conduit in channeling received information.

Image result for uncut diamondDiamond brings a sense of radiance, a loving energy that clears the aura and fills the emptiness with purity and Light. It links with the Divine, and as the evolution and required growth manifests within the heart, it allows the soul’s light to shine out and be shared with others. Diamond also encourages one to look at the struggles and hardships of life and see if the lessons and growth they’ve provided can be used in a positive way. The Diamond lends strength in dealing with high-pressure situations and assists in responding with grace. It asks us to be a model of fortitude in times of adversity, and helps one understand it is in these difficult times our behavior reveals our true inner beauty and our soul’s knowledge.

SapphireJacinth is said to be able to ward off evil and protect your property from theft. It helps to lift and protect you spiritually.  It instills deep wisdom and attracts great riches.  Most impressively though, Jacinth gemstones are believed to be barometers of health; their luster fades as health deteriorates.Agate

Agate raises awareness and links into the collective consciousness of the oneness of life. It encourages quiet contemplation of one’s life experiences that lead to spiritual growth and inner stability.

AmethystAmethyst carries a high spiritual vibration of humility and devotion to the Divine. It is highly conducive to stilling one’s thoughts in prayer and meditation, and surrendering to that which is greater than the self. Amethyst also stimulates the higher mind to receive one’s spiritual power as a creation of the Divine being and to open to the insights, wisdom and guidance that is offered. Amethyst is a stone of spiritual protection and purification, cleansing one’s energy field of negative influences and attachments, and creating a resonant shield of spiritual Light around the body. It acts as a barrier against lower energies, psychic attack, geopathic stress and unhealthy environments. It is a valuable protection for those doing psychic or intuitive work, and enhances personal environments with a healing and protective circle of Light.Emerald

Beryl embraces an awareness and recognition of those beings who are from other planetary worlds, and imparts the message to accept all events and conditions knowing that in the perfect state, one has no concerns or requirements except to impart love.

Shoham, or onyx, teaches the appropriate use of power and focusing one’s energy and will into a positive force. It is an excellent tool for grounding and connecting with the electromagnetic energy of the EOnyxarth, as well as facilitating alignment with Higher powers for guidance and strength. Onyx may be used to stimulate the psychic senses and engenders a protective shield for those who offer spiritual counseling, tarot readings, channeling or mediumship, automatic writing, or any endeavor that opens one to psychic influences. It encourages one to feel safe in its presence and is a remarkable aid for past-life and between-lives regression to heal old wounds and physical trauma affecting the present life. White Onyx amplifies telepathic connection to one’s higher Self, and assists in tapping into the Akashic Records and opening to the angelic realm.

JaspeImage result for jasper stoner strengthens one’s connection to the Earth and the spiritual wisdom and sacredness of life that exists in nature. It encourages one to celebrate moments of beauty in the ordinary and the extraordinary, and to find harmony within the self, and with others. Through meditation and dream work, Jasper can provide a connection with Earth’s ancient past and allows one to retrieve spiritual knowledge for use in the present to help heal humanity and the planet.

Related imageGold represents…the vital principle of all life. It is the central, governing authority, the foundation of the financial structure of society, and the source of power both in physical and in spiritual man. The natural gold in the human constitution is the ego, imperishable and as pure as pristine sunlight. But there is another gold that is not the ego, yet that partakes of its enduring nature. This is not the material gold that some strive to make in the chemical shops of the earth. It is a spiritual gold, that is, a gold like unto the ego in its spirituality and continuance. It is even possible to convert, through proper purification, combination and heating, every event of life into this most precious metal. It is possible to use every experience as spiritual metal that enters into the building up of a spiritual form. This immortal body is the transmuted spiritual gold.

With each of these stones set in the gold Breastplate, it becomes rather apparent that the vibratory level of the High Priest was further elevated and all of his cognitive abilities were optimized by the spiritual properties that are present within each stone. Being that the Creator of Heaven, Earth, Sea and all that is in them is the only omniSCIENT, it is also evident that the instructions provided to Moshe in this week’s parashat would enhance the intuitive nature and abilities of the wearer of the Hoshen.

Image result for raise your vibrationsAs we transition from the present age to the age to come, we are witnessing an increased amount of vibrational resonance from the Earth  and the stones are even crying out as we, the living stones which make up the Temple, are awakening from slumber and starting to emanate the healing and spiritual properties that are contained within our spiritual and genetic makeup. As what is known as the Schumann Resonance, the electromagnetic waves in earth that are excited by electrical stimulation in the atmospheric conditions, so too are we affected by external stimuli which can either raise or lower our vibrations based on our thought patterns and exposure to different elemental frequencies. Hence, it was the purpose of providing the High Priest of Yisrael with the Hoshen to not only harness the energies needed to attune into the Most High level of consciousness, but also to protect him from the negative, dark energies that were present in the world meant to cloak and disturb the forces of positive Light. This is what allowed for the Kohen ha Gadol to pronounce righteous judgment.

Therefore, when we read of the established Kingdom of Elohim in the World to Come, we see that there are also present precious stones which will make up its foundation, as well as its gates and streets. This is due to the resonance of these stones which will further conduct the spiritual capacity of the redeemed present within us who will emanate a Light that has yet to be seen in all of creation. The levels of purity and power will be unmatched and unsurpassed in any time prior to that point in time. For the essence of each stone will become the essence of each Tribe of which it represents. For this is the true meaning of the Hoshen, the embodiment of the spiritual principles within the hearts of the people, so as demonstrated by the ideal Yisraelite, a kingdom of priests, which was, is and will be the High Priest. As it is written,

And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the set-apart Yerushalayim, descending out of the heaven from Elohim, having the esteem of Elohim, and her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal, and having a great and high wall, having twelve gates, and at the gates twelve messengers, and names written on them, which are those of the twelve tribes of the children of Yisra’ĕl: three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve emissaries of the Lamb. And he who spoke with me had a golden measuring rod, to measure the city, and its gates, and its wall. And the city lies four-cornered, and its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the rod: two thousand two hundred kilometres – the length, and the breadth, and height of it are equal. And he measured its wall: sixty-five metres, according to the measure of a man, that is, of a messenger. And the structure of its wall was jasper. And the city was clean gold, like clear glass. And the foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls – each one of the gates was a single pearl. And the street of the city was clean gold, like transparent glass. And I saw no Dwelling Place in it, for יהוה Ěl Shaddai is its Dwelling Place, and the Lamb. And the city had no need of the sun, nor of the moon, to shine in it, for the esteem of Elohim lightened it, and the Lamb is its lamp. And the gentiles, of those who are saved, shall walk in its light,a and the sovereigns of the earth bring their esteem into it. And its gates shall not be shut at all by day, for night shall not be there. And they shall bring the esteem and the appreciation of the gentiles into it. And there shall by no means enter into it whatever is unclean, neither anyone doing abomination and falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

Revelation 21.10-27

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