Why is it that a Kohein who became blemished in one of his limbs is disqualified from service in the sanctuary? The man has a pure heart, and his intentions are noble, so why should externality disqualify him?
This man can receive full reward for his good intentions, but Hakadosh Baruch Hu deals with the world according to the laws of human nature. And human nature is that they have respect for perfect things. We want his service to make the proper impression on thebeholders.
A Kohein by the way can't have any soiled garments, the garment must be pure white, and he must be perfect in his externality. Not only that, his demeanor, he's trained how to behave, like a prince, like a king. And so when you are a visitor and you view the avodas beis hamikdash, and you see these noble men walking in the azara with fear of Hakadosh Baruch Hu and with utmost dignity, and everything is done as in the service accorded to a king, it fills your heart with reverence and you yourself are impressed to such a big extent, that you go home with memories that you'll hold forever; you'll think about the service of Hashem. Therefore for the purpose of the impression, it's important to maintain the externalities.
That's why we have to honor Hashem with all external honors. We shouldn't say what difference does it make if I put my tefillin in a worn out, torn tefillin bag? No! Put it in a beautiful bag. You might say what difference does it make if I'll carry my Esrog in a paper bag, why not put it in a shopping bag? No! Carry your Esrog if possible, if you can afford it in a silver box, let the world see how precious it is to you, that will impress them, and people are impressionable.
It's important to impress others, and to impress ourselves. That's why externalities are very important.
Good Shabbos To All
This is transcribed from questions that were posed to Harav Miller by the audience at the Thursday night lectures. To listen to the audio of this Q & A please dial: 201-676-3210