We take so much for granted, either because we do not think or because we think that we are entitled. We could be in the midst of receiving an incredible act of generosity, a miracle of epic proportion, and allow it to just go over our heads as if it had never taken place. Moshe Rabbeinu reminds Klal Yisrael to look at their clothing. The mere fact that their clothing remained spotlessly clean and as new as the day when they had first received it is, in and of itself, an indicator of Hashem’s Presence within their camp. Furthermore, as the Midrash notes, the clothing grew with them. Their children, some of whom had been in the desert for forty years, from birth, saw their clothing grow and expand as they did. Yet, the people took the gift and ignored the Sender.
I wonder why, among the numerous miracles that Hashem wrought for Klal Yisrael, He included the “miracle of the clothing.” He could easily have sent down a Heavenly haberdasher to supply the nation with fresh clothing. Perhaps the answer lies in the value of clothing vis-à-vis our character and self-expression. The Torah perceives clothing to have a greater degree of distinction than other means of obtaining honor and attention. Hence, so much space is devoted to the Kohanim’s vestments and the need for them to express beauty and glory. Dressing appropriately in a dignified and immaculate manner is important as part of our service to the Almighty, not simply because it is trendy.
Last, the clothing one wears, and the manner in which he wears it, define him. Often, it indicates a proclivity towards a certain lifestyle. Clothing makes a statement. Clothing reminds one of who he is and where he is going. It also sends a message to the world outside: This is who we are. This is what we represent. We are promoting Judaism. How people perceive us is how they will view what we represent. That is what Kiddush Shem Shomayim, sanctifying the Heavenly Name, is all about.