Cohen HaGadol Breastplates – Beauty Brought Into My Life
My name is Sandy Cohen, as you all know the last name Cohen is very important in Judaism. Many years ago at the time of the First Temple, the Cohanim had a very special role and many responsibilities. The Cohen HaGadol wore eight garments including a breastplate, an apron, a jacket, a patterned tunic, a turban, and a belt. The breastplate had 12 precious stones set in gold representing the 12 tribes of Israel.
When I saw what the Cohen Gadol wore in the Holy Temple, and when I saw the breastplate, it looked like eye shadow and I got the idea to represent my family through makeup. Makeup is what makes me glow and shine inside and out, just like my family has always been there to cheer me up, make me laugh, keep me company, and will continue to be there for me. Like every other makeup kit, mine has many parts to is such as the foundation, bronzer and blush, lipstick, eye shadow, nail polish and my perfumes. I chose to represent my parents as the foundations because, they have set and shown me the foundation to life. My sisters symbolize the blush and bronzer on my makeup kit because they are the ones that add light and shimmer into my life. The four perfumes are my grandparents because although I don’t see them everyday I know that they are always there when I need them.
I’m always reminded of them through smells around me. The smell of a good matzah ball soup or spinach souffle takes me right back to both of my grandparent’s houses and brings back so many memories. The eight lipsticks represent my eight great grandparents because they had a strong character, stood by their decisions, and were bold like the colors of lipsticks. If they were not this way, and didn’t take a chance of leaving everything behind and traveling to Mexico to start over, I would have not been here today. The eye shadow on my makeup kit resembles my aunts and uncles because I only get to see them sometimes on special occasions like for Shabbat dinner. Just like in my makeup kit, I know they are there but I don’t always get to see
Each nail polish is unique, one of a kind, fun, adventurous and always makes a difference. My cousins are represented in the nail polish because each one adds a pop of color to my life. Whenever I see myself in the mirror I am a combination of my parents, grandparents, and great grandparents. I have my mother's nose, my Babi’s eyes and I’m funny like my dad. The makeup represents how I am a combination of everyone in my family. When I see my reflection, I don’t only see myself but also everyone on my makeup kit that has made me the person I am today.
I always carry my family with me the same way Cohanim carried the beauty of the 12 tribes with them at all times on the breastplate.
cosmetics such as lipstick or powder applied to the face, used to enhance or alter the appearance.