9:1. Bayom Hashemini and the Haftorah.
Before the eighth day, on the first seven days of the avodas hamilu’im, Moshe did the avodah. He had the status of a kohen gadol during that time, as Rashi in Shvu’os says. But he did not wear bigdei kehunah, as the gemora and rashi say in Avodah Zora 32a, and he wore a “chaluk lovon,” a white cloak.
The Likutei Sichos Book I Year I page 228 on the haftorah of this week’s parshah brings from the Rambam in Klei Hamikdosh 13:12 that there is a garment called an “Eifod Bod” which had important symbolic meaning; the Rambam says that we find in Tanach that many people who were not kohanim wore an Eifod Bod, and that it was a sign that the wearer was in a state of preparation for hashro’as hashechina. This is found in Shmuel I 22 regarding the residents of Nov, and also that Shmuel Hanovi wore it, and that Dovid Hamelech wore it when the Aron was brought to Ir Dovid, as described in today’s haftorah. (I do not know whether the Chaluk Lovon is the same as the Eifod Bod, but maybe it is. Also, see Shelah in Torah Shebiksav Shovevim Tetzaveh, that has an entirely different mehalach in the Chaluk Lavan.)
The Rebbe’s theme is that the simcha of Dovid had two stages: first, to be zocheh to hashro’as hashechina, so it says “lifnei Hashem,” and second just out of unbridled joy, wild abandon. When Dovid told Michal that this was the reason he was chosen over Shaul, he meant that Shaul was a determined rationalist, but Dovid was ‘avdi,’ he was subsumed in his avdus of Hashem, and that it was that avdus that expressed itself in his joy. (The Rebbe goes on to say that this is the reason they ignore the halacha in Shulchan Aruch by banging the table to the beat of the song when they dance on Shabbos and Yomtov, which he himself says is indefensible “al pi nigleh.)
This can be related to the parsha by showing that Nodov and Avihu, according to some Medrashim, were motivated by a burning desire, a ‘hislahavus,’ to do certain avodos themselves. This emotional desire ended badly. And when Shaul, the rationalist, “mishichmo ulemaloh govo’ah mikol ho’om,” felt pity, it was misapplied to Agag. So we can see that there are dangers both in rationalism and in enthusiasm. But they are both valid, even essential, ways of serving Hashem. In fact, when Dovid said, in a Haftorah a few weeks ago, “mikaf oyvov umiyad Shaul,” Hashem said, “you think I saved you because you are better than him? One hundred Dovids would not equal one Shaul. I did what I did because Shaul’s actions had that result.” And Dovid said “Shigoyon leDovid...Kush ben Yemini.” The point is that each is a way to gadlus, and each has its own dangers.