Priestly You: TorahCycle Tetzaveh

TetzavehPart of most people’s emotional paradigm is a desire to feel special. That may be a yen to excel in something obvious, like sports or a musical instrument. Or to be deeply loved and witnessed. There’s also the spiritual ego. The part of us that wants to feel like we’re making a little progress while we’re here. Getting wiser, or at least smarter. Better at navigating the challenges life throws us, and learning our lessons a little better each round so we don’t have to repeat them quite as often.

This week’s reading is all about the making of the high priest. The one who’ll enter the holy of holies on the most sacred of days, wearing beautiful, white ceremonial garb, exquisitely designed and bejeweled. Part of the regalia is a long white rope for a belt, so that if he’s gone into the core of holiness less pure than he outta be, they can pull his stricken body out without peril.

Confession. I’ve earned all the spots and mottles on my robes. Being foolish in love. Stepping too far up or down at the wrong times. Words spoken or not. Shoulda woulda coulda is how most of us rationalize our mistakes. But even the wisdom of retrospection can’t erase their wounds, their scars, and their legacy.

So no white belt for me, not yet this round, at least not without lots more bleach and scrubbing. You can decide if you’re ready, or if there’s some a cleansing process that would serve you well before you put all your chips on the line.

Many of us embrace the idea that we’re trying to get clearer and cleaner. Moving closer to the virtues of compassion, goodness, and service, even if we’re petty, distracted, or insonsistent too much of the time.

This reading talks about initiation. About a specific path that an aspiring priest must walk. In part to prove to others that it’s been done, and in part to, gulp, actually have to pay attention to specific criteria about how you should live and what you should do. It’s all about choosing actions that’ll require a couple big giant steps towards holiness, and a whole lotta consistency in daily living.

Exercise: Think about times you have committed, in a deep way, to becoming your higher self. Not talking reaching full-bore enlightenment here. But saying a serious Yes to the universe that included some accountability and doings. For real. Stepping up to being more priestly in your dealings with yourself and others.

This is a good week to look into that mirror. It’s one of those fork-in-the-road moments that seem to clear in hindsight but you have no idea in the world that you’re standing at until it’s time for a big eeek or hooray. You may not make active choices now. But let the questions rumble around in you and listen for when they come knocking again.