THE TANAKH SOURCES:
Why do you think priests should have separate garb?
How does it make you feel to read this text in a post-Temple world?
THE TALMUD SOURCES:
Why would Achashverosh wear priestly clothes?
What is the context of Achashverosh wearing these clothes, and how does that affect its reception?
What do you think the rabbis are coming to teach us by bringing this comparison of texts?
THE TAKEAWAY: CLOTHING AND IDENTITY
רמב"ן על שמות כ"ח:ב':א'
(א) לכבוד ולתפארת שיהיה נכבד ומפואר במלבושים נכבדים ומפוארים, כמו שאמר הכתוב כחתן יכהן פאר (ישעיה סא י), כי אלה הבגדים לבושי מלכות הן, כדמותן ילבשו המלכים בזמן התורה...
Ramban on Exodus 28:2
(1) For honor and for splendor: That he should be honored and glorious with honorable and glorious clothing, as the verse states (Isaiah 61:10), "as a groom who ministers in glory" - as these clothes were the clothes of royalty. Their likeness was worn by kings during the time of the Torah
- Does this change our understanding of Achashverosh wearing of the priestly garments? Are you comfortable or uncomfortable with it?
What does the Ibn Ezra add that changes our understanding of the significance of these clothes?
Power Dressing: Charting the Influence of Politics on Fashion, Vogue Magazine, Sept 17 2020
“Every choice you make as a company will influence the world. What you make, how you make it, how you speak about what you’ve made—for me, everything is politics.” - Marine Serre
- Marine Serre, a fashion designer, shows us the political power of clothes. How does this affect how we understand Achashverosh’s choice of clothing?
The Ethics of Cultural Heritage, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
4.1. What is Cultural Appropriation?
Cultural appropriation is generally understood as the taking or use of the cultural products of “cultural insiders” by “cultural outsiders” (Young 2005: 136). Cultural products can range widely, including stories, styles, motifs, artifacts, artworks, traditional knowledge, as well as representations of the members of a particular culture (Young 2008: 4; 2005: 136; Scafidi 2005). Questions about cultural appropriation thus often arise in a broad array of artistic contexts (in particular, but not limited to, music and fashion) as well as other non-artistic contexts, such as costumes, hairstyles, cuisine, and traditional knowledge (Young & Brunk 2012).
Harm 4.2.2 (from 4.2 What Might be Wrong with Cultural Appropriation?)
So what might make cultural appropriation harmful? For one, it might be thought to be wrongfully exploitative, defined, for instance, as the appropriation of elements of a subordinated culture by a dominant culture without substantive reciprocity, permission, and/or compensation (Rogers 2006: 477).
Martin Heidegger, Being and Time SZ 74
“Unhandy things are disturbing and make evident the obstinacy of what is initially to be taken care of before anything else. With this obstinacy the presence of what is at hand makes itself known in a new way as the being of what is still present and calls for completion.”
- Do you feel like this can provide a newfound appreciation for these technical ritual laws of this parsha, now that we’ve seen Achashverosh use them incorrectly?