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The Living Torah by Aryeh Kaplan: A Review of the 39th Chapter

The Living Torah by Aryeh Kaplan: A Review of the 39th Chapter

The Living Torah by Aryeh Kaplan is a popular and comprehensive translation and commentary of the Five Books of Moses, also known as the Torah. It is based on both traditional and modern sources, and aims to present the Torah as a living document that speaks to every generation.

In this article, we will review the 39th chapter of The Living Torah, which covers the topics of the Tabernacle, the priestly garments, and the Sabbath. We will highlight some of the insights and explanations that Kaplan provides in his commentary, and show how they can enrich our understanding of the Torah.

The Living Torah Aryeh Kaplan Pdf 39

The Tabernacle

The 39th chapter begins with a description of how the Israelites completed the construction of the Tabernacle, the portable sanctuary that housed the Ark of the Covenant and served as a place of worship and revelation. The Tabernacle was made according to the specifications that God had given to Moses on Mount Sinai, and was adorned with various materials and colors that symbolized different aspects of God's presence and attributes.

Kaplan explains that the Tabernacle was not only a physical structure, but also a spiritual one. He writes: "The Tabernacle was designed to be a microcosm of creation. It represented all aspects of existence, both physical and spiritual. It was thus a model of the universe as God created it."

He also notes that the Tabernacle was a reflection of man's soul, which is composed of different levels and faculties. He writes: "The Tabernacle also represented man's soul. The outer court corresponded to man's physical body; the holy place to his intellect and emotions; and the holy of holies to his essence."

The Priestly Garments

The 39th chapter also describes how the Israelites made the garments for Aaron and his sons, who were appointed as priests to serve in the Tabernacle. The garments included a breastplate, an ephod, a robe, a tunic, a turban, a sash, and a head-plate. Each garment had a specific function and meaning, and was designed to enhance the dignity and holiness of the priests.

Kaplan explains that the priestly garments were not only meant to adorn the priests, but also to protect them from harm and sin. He writes: "The priestly garments were also armor against evil. They shielded the priests from negative influences and helped them avoid transgression."

He also notes that the priestly garments were a representation of God's attributes, which the priests were supposed to emulate and manifest. He writes: "The priestly garments also symbolized God's attributes. They expressed God's love, justice, mercy, wisdom, glory, and sovereignty."

The Sabbath

The 39th chapter concludes with a reminder of the commandment to observe the Sabbath, which is a day of rest and sanctity for the Israelites. The Sabbath is a sign of the covenant between God and His people, and a testimony to His creation of the world in six days.

Kaplan explains that the Sabbath is not only a day of abstaining from work, but also a day of enjoying God's blessings and presence. He writes: "The Sabbath is not merely a day of rest from work. It is also a day of delight in God's goodness. It is a day when we experience God's closeness and intimacy."

He also notes that the Sabbath is a foretaste of the world to come, which is a state of eternal bliss and harmony. He writes: "The Sabbath is also a taste of paradise. It is a glimpse of what life will be like when God's will is done on earth as it is in heaven."


The Living Torah by Aryeh Kaplan is a valuable resource for anyone who wants to study and understand the Torah in depth. The 39th chapter offers many insights into the meaning and significance of the Tabernacle, the priestly garments, and the Sabbath. By reading this chapter, we can learn more about God's plan for His people and His world. 0efd9a6b88


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