I spent many years singing in choirs on the topics of love, loss, and all manner of (mostly non-Jewish) spiritual experience--but I never made music about holy jewels, as I will this coming Shabbat morning. My section of Tetzaveh concerns the choshen hamishpat, the "breastplate of decision" that the High Priest wore above his apron-like multi-colored garment. I get to describe it line by line, and hope that people will see something like this in their mind's eye as they read along in English:
(Illustration from Wikipedia)
Until this week I didn't realize how many choshenim (choshenot?) were in my life, and then took a closer look at the ornamentation on my candlesticks:
(They came from an Israeli crafts fair, and you can buy them online here.)
Perhaps some congregants will be wearing the ever-popular choshen necklace on Shabbat morning:
And if there is such a thing as a choshen tie, F., our gabbai, will have it on.
On the one hand it seems sacrilegious to hang a tiny holy breastplate from your neck or ears, but on on the other, what better way to remember Aaron, who got to wear much nicer clothing than his brother? I would love to see a choshen design on a "kittel of decision" (rather than of eternal rest) for the hazzan to wear on Simhat Torah, a holiday when jewels of joy would make perfect accessories.