וְהָיָה, עַל-מֵצַח אַהֲרֹן, וְנָשָׂא אַהֲרֹן אֶת-עֲוֹן הַקֳּדָשִׁים אֲשֶׁר יַקְדִּישׁוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, לְכָל-מַתְּנֹת קָדְשֵׁיהֶם; וְהָיָה עַל-מִצְחוֹ תָּמִיד, לְרָצוֹן לָהֶם לִפְנֵי ה’ (שמות כח:לח)
And it shall be upon Aaron’s forehead, and Aaron shall bear the iniquity committed in the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow, even in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before Hashem. (Shemos 28:38)
The gemora in Yuma tells us that the Kohen Gadol is not allowed to have a hesech hadaas while wearing the Tzitz. This means he is not permitted to forget that he has this holy item on his head.
The Haflaa explains that when someone has something so holy – especially if he is a person who understands the value of what he has – it is a terrible sin to not give it the proper honor. This is going to depend on how much the person is aware of the importance of the item that he is wearing. I recall when I was a young bar mitzvah boy, I learned that there is a prohibition for a person to forget that he is wearing tefillin. I tried to figure out: How is it possible for a person to function with this obligation to constantly remember his tefillin on his mind? Wouldn’t he have to stop thinking about his tefillin in order to do something else?
Recently I was at a wedding and there was an entertainer who was balancing a very lopsided item on his head, and he proceeded to dance with the crowd as if there was nothing on his head at all. I was marveling at this sight thinking, how could he possibly do this? A few seconds into his activities, the item started to sway, and he promptly adjusted it. This happened a few times throughout his entertaining routine. (I am sure we all have all seen this many times.) I think that the moshel is very appropriate. Yes, that man can function, but this juggling act is never truly forgotten, on the contrary, it just appears so. It is always there in his mind, never to be forgotten, but subtle enough so that to the onlooker it seems as if his thoughts are far from the lopsided object on his head.
On a simple level, we are all commanded to do this juggling act, as it says in Shulchan Aruch (1:1) “I place Hashem in front of me always” – A person must always have Hashem envisioned in front of him. Obviously, the level expected from a Jew in ordinary situations is not as acute as when one is wearing tefillin, or the Kohen gadol wearing the tzitz.
As Purim approaches, and it is a time when people “let loose”, feeling free because of the joy of the day, one must not lose sight of “Halacha 101”.