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Torah QueeriesWeekly Commentaries on the Hebrew Bible$
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Gregg Drinkwater, Joshua Lesser, and David Shneer

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780814720127

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814720127.001.0001

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When the Fabulous Is Holy

When the Fabulous Is Holy

Parashat Tetzaveh (Exodus 27:20–30:10)

Chapter:
(p.106) Twenty When the Fabulous Is Holy
Source:
Torah Queeries
Author(s):

Marla Brettschneider

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814720127.003.0020

This chapter highlights the queerly characteristics of sacred garment and the sumptuous animal sacrifices in the readings of Parashat Tetzaveh of Exodus. The text instructs that the sacred adornments—a breastpiece, an ephod (an elaborate embroidered garment), a robe, a headdress—features opulent appearances. For instance, the robes should have pomegranates and tiny golden bells that make tinkling sound when the wearer walks. Moreover, the parasha commands that blood from the sacrificed animal be dabbed poured and sprinkled on every side of the altar. Given that Israelites do not normally wear such finery nor carry out such routine, the extravagance of the garment and the rituals resonate concept of performativity—a notion that challenges the idea that identity is “inherent” in a person or group.

Keywords:   queerly characteristics, animal sacrifices, performativity, sacred garment, Parashat Tetzaveh, Exodus

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