פ’ תצוה תשע”ח
Volume 22, Issue 8
INSIGHTS from the SEDRA
Insights from the Sedra is a project of the Scholars’ Kollel of Great Neck. It aims to provide several questions and answers about the Sedra, culled from various commentaries, including the following: Baal Haturim, Darash Moshe, Vedebarta Bam by Rabbi Moshe Bogomilsky, Torah Treasures by Dov Furer, Wellsprings of Torah by Alexander Friedman, and Kol Dodi by Rabbi Dovid Feinstein, Great Torah Lights by Rabbi Yitzchak Meir Goodman, Something To Say by Dov Wasserman, The Vilna Gaon, and Growth Through Torah by Zelig Pliskin.
ואתה תצוה את בני ישראל
“Now you shall command the children of Israel…” (27:20)
The Vilna Gaon notes that this parsha does not begin with the often used phrase And Hashem spoke to Moshe saying. He also points out that Moshe Rabeinu’s name is not mentioned in this parsha even once, something that has not occurred from the birth of Moshe Rabeinu in the Chumash of Shmos, until the end of the Torah.
The Parsha of Tetzaveh, the Gaon explains, is generally read during the week in which the 7th of Adar falls, the day of Moshe Rabeinu’s death. The fact that Moshe Rabeinu died is alluded to by his name not being mentioned in the entire Parsha.
The Zohar writes that there are fifty-three parshiyos in the Torah, as does the Vilna Gaon. But, the Tosefos Berachah observes, when we count them, the sum we arrive at is fifty-four. How are we to account for this discrepancy? It is in consideration of the omission of the name of Moses from this parashah, something which does not occur in any other one, from the point of his birth until the end. Out of respect for Moses, therefore, parashas Tetzaveh is considered an adjunct to parashas Terumah, in which his name does appear. The number of parshiyos, according to this count, is only fifty-three. (Torah Gems)
ויקחו אליך שמן זית זך כתית למאור
“They shall take for you clear olive oil, crushed for illumination…” (27:20)
Why did the Torah specifically command us to light the Menorah with olive oil? As it is known, the Menorah is an illusion to the Torah (Menachot 89a). The Zohar says that the olive tree is unique amongst fruit trees in that the olive tree has olives all year round. Just as there are olives throughout all of the seasons of the year, the light of the Torah must burn throughout all of the seasons. As the Gemara states, there is only one avodah that is permitted to be done at night and that is the lighting of the Menorah. (Something to Say)
והיה על אהרן לשרת
“The Robe must be worn by Aharon in order for him to serve…” (28:35)
The unity of the Jewish people was reflected in the three primary garments of the high priest: The names of the tribes that were engraved on the Breastplate, resting on the high priest’s heart, signified the righteous among us. The names of the tribes that were engraved on the stones of the Ephod, which mainly covered the high priest’s back, signified formerly estranged Jews who have returned to Jewish observance. The bells and pomegranates of the Robe signified those Jews still struggling with their misguided inclinations. All of these Jews must be represented when the high priest enters the Sanctuary, for he must invoke the merit that is common to all his people.
Similarly, when we see people in need of a spiritual boost, we must first make them aware of their inherent worth: that they possess a soul that is truly a part of G-d. By welcoming them back into Jewish observance, we help them reconnect with their true selves. After this, we can help them shed whatever negativity remains in their lives and increase their performance of deeds of light and goodness. (Lubavitcher Rebbe)
והטור השני ויהלם
“The second row…yahalom.” (28:18)
The stone of Zevulun was a yahalom. The people of Zevulun were the businessmen who supported the Torah study of Yissachar. What led them to this destiny?
The people of Zevulun transported merchandise on the sea. The Sages teach us that most sailors are pious (Yerushalmi Kiddushin 4:11), because their profession constantly puts them at great risk. As the saying goes, there are no atheists in a foxhole. The great piety of Zevulun’s people led them to the realization that there would be no better way for them to serve Hashem than by using their resources to support the Torah learning of Yissachar. The letters of יהלם can also spell להים, to the sea, for it was because they were seafarers that they gained their spiritual strength. (Kol Dodi)
ועשית ציץ זהב טהור ופתחת עליו פתוחי חתם קדש לה’…והיה על המצנפת אל מול פני המצנפת יהיה
“Make a forehead plate of pure gold, and engrave on it the same manner as a signet ring, holy to G-d…so that it can be near the front of the turban.” (28:36)
The turban, which is on top of the priest’s head, atoned for arrogance and conceit. But there is a time and place for pride and that is when a person is proud to do the will of the Almighty. That is alluded to in our verse. When pride is “holy to the Almighty” then it can be on top of a person’s head. When you are proud of your Torah values, you will not be ashamed to fulfill the commandments even if others who do not appreciate them will mock or insult you. Arrogance is a trait that is detrimental to one’s spiritual development and causes many difficulties when dealing with people. But when you are proud of doing good deeds you will be motivated to continue to do the right thing. (Growth Through Torah)
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