Making the Kingdom visible


In the Torah portion of this week shaatnez is on the agenda. It is the prohibition to use mix wool and linen in one peace of clothing. It is an important mitzvah to perform and simple to apply. Wool is the symbol for the world. When you labor on the land you perspire. And the best way to protect yourself from getting too hot as well as allowing yourself to ventilate well is to wear woolen clothes. But let’s face it: perspiration is part of what Hashem put on us when we had to leave Gan Eden, Paradise. So wool is symbol of life outside Gan Eden.

On the other hand our priests had to wear linen clothes while performing their Temple duties. And so linen is the symbol of the holy place, of the Kingdom, in fact of Gan Eden. It is making the Kingdom visible. The Lord has seen the importance of not mixing the fleshly world outside of Gan Eden and His Kingdom. In the same way we are not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, so as not to mix good and evil in one fruit.

In wearing the right kind of clothes we cannot change ourselves. But we are able to remind ourselves often to classify evil as evil and good as good. When we apply this to our characters and to our relationships, we should able to make visible the Kingdom of Hashem a bit more.