In this week’s Parasha, the Torah describes at length what the Kohen Gadol should wear when doing his Avodah in the Beit HaMikdash. The Pasuk states, “VeAsita Vigdei Kodesh LeAharon Achicha LeChavod UL’Tifaret,” “And you shall make holy garments for Aharon, your brother, for honor and splendor” (Shemot 28:2). Two Pesukim later, Hashem enumerates the necessary garments: a Choshen, an Eifod, a Me’il, a Ketonet Tashbeitz, a Mitznefet, and an Avneit (28:4). The Torah then goes on to explain how to make each one of the garments. The obvious question that arises is why the Kohen needs to wear special clothes when he works in the Beit HaMikdash. A similar question is why we need special clothes for Shabbat; after all, we are the same people regardless of what we wear!
Perhaps the answer lies in basic human psychology. As any coach will acknowledge, the players perform better when wearing the right clothes. Playing basketball wearing a suit won’t be the same as playing in a t-shirt and shorts. Similarly, if someone on a team is not wearing the uniform of the team, the camaraderie amongst the players is reduced. It is the same concept with Shabbat clothes and the Bigdei Kehunah. When we put on special clothes, we actually feel like different people. Hashem tells the Kohen to put on special clothes to do the Avodah because the Kohen needs to feel special when performing his holy service. The Bigdei Kehunah help create this feeling do exactly that.