EphodMoshe and Aharon – brothers and leaders – both appear in this week’s Parsha, Parashat Te’zave, though in very different ways.

From his appearance on the biblical stage in Parshat Shmot until the ending of the five Chumashim, this week’s Parsha is the only one where Moshe’s name does not appear, though he is referred to constantly as the entire Parsha is about him.

Aharon, on the other hand, is mentioned dozens of times as the majority of the Parsha discusses his becoming the High Priest: the special garments he should wear, his dedication ceremony, etc…

The contrast is striking – Aharon is adorned with gold and other precious materials and receives a prestigious assignment for him and his future generations. Moshe, on the other hand, is present in his absence. No special clothes, no public ceremony to celebrate his position, no generational assignment.

What is even more striking is the fact that the contrast does not seem to be a big deal – to them, or anyone else, for that matter.
A few reflections on this may be:

– Unlike so many other brothers in Tanach, Moshe and Aharon are not jealous of each other. Each brother and leader fulfills his God given responsibility. Moshe – to relay the words of Hashem, Aharon – to serve before Hashem as a representative of the people.

– When representing the Jewish People, grandeur is appropriate. Aharon’s beautiful and expensive cloths were not a statement of his individual stature, rather to that of the people he represents. (This is why he carries the names of the 12 tribes).

– In order to allow Aharon to become the representative of Am Yisrael, Moshe is willing to step aside.

Correspondingly:

May we be worthy of leaders whose sense of responsibility is what guides them in their public office, without a mixture of pride or jealousy. May we recognize the importance of how we represent ourselves as a people. There is a place and a value to national pride. May we all understand that sometimes, as individuals, we must put ourselves on the sidelines for the sake of the needs of The Jewish People. Shabbat shalom!