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Tzav. Isolation, Insulation, and the Power of Immersive Environments

I am, quite naturally, thinking about the nature of social isolation.

In this week's parsha we find Aharon and his sons unable to leave the house for 7 days and nights! :-) (Actually it is not their own private dwelling; it is the Tent of Meeting!)

"You shall remain at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting day and night for seven days, keeping the Lord’s charge—that you may not die—for so I have been commanded." (Lev. 8:35)

This is part of the seven day Milu'im ritual which inaugurates the Tabernacle and the priests themselves.

  • But why are the priests restricted to the Tabernacle for seven days and nights?

  • What does this achieve?

One way to explain confinement is that it functions to protect a person from danger lurking "out there", in the streets. The paradigm of this model is the night of the Exodus:

None of you shall go out of the door of your house until morning when the Lord goes through the land to strike Egypt. (Ex.12:23-24)