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Beit Midrash Torah Portion and Tanach Tetzave

An Overview of the Torah Portion

Parasha Summary - Tetzaveh

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Our Parsha begins with the Mitzva given to Ahron & his sons to light the Menora in the Mishkan each and every day (even Shabbat!) with pure olive oil.

Hashem describes to Moshe the special clothes to be worn by the Kohanim. Regular Kohanim wear four garments; the Kohen Gadol wears 8 (inc. a turban, robe, breastplate, tunic, etc). Each garment served to spur the people on to recognize & atone for a particular fault: The meil's (robe's) golden bells warned against lashon hara; the tall miznefet (turban) cautioned against haughtiness, etc. (See the Dvar Torah for more symbolism.)

The Choshen (breastplate) contained the Urim V’Tumim, a piece of parchment with Hashem’s 42-letter name written on it, folded & placed inside the Choshen. The precious stones of the breastplate contained the names of the Sh’vatim & other words, encompassing the entire Alef-Bet. When the Kohen Gadol asked a question of Hashem, the answer would light up in the letters of these words.

The Torah then discusses the 7-day inauguration ceremony held for the Mishkan. On the 8th day, Ahron & sons begin their service. The Torah prescribes the bringing of a twice-daily korban (korban tamid); & the construction of a golden ketoret mizbeyach, used to burn incense each morning & afternoon.

On an unusual note, Moshe's name doesn't appear in this Parsha, as Ahron & his fellow Kohanim take center stage.

The Haftora is from Yechezkel 43, "Ata Ben Adam."
Rabbi Stewart Weiss
Was ordained at the Hebrew Theological College in Skokie, Illinois, and led congregations in Chicago and Dallas prior to making Aliyah in 1992. He directs the Jewish Outreach Center in Ra'anana, helping to facilitate the spiritual absorption of new olim.
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