Beit Midrash

  • Torah Portion and Tanach
  • Tetzave
To dedicate this lesson

The Torah study is dedicated in the memory of

Yaakov Ben Behora

Parashat Tetzave



Rabbi Yerachmiel Roness

One of the special garments worn by the Kohen Gadol was the choshen mishpat, the breastplate of judgment. It was called by this name because it was used to present questions to God and the Kohen had to use his own judgment to understand the answer.

The Choshen contained twelve stones each inscribed with the name of a different tribe. Inside the Choshen was the Urim Ve-Tumim, a parchment containing divine names that caused the letters to shine in response to a query by the Kohen. The Ramban (Shemot 28:30) explains how it worked. Shofetim 1:1 states that an inquiry was made "who shall go up for us first against the Cana’anites," i.e. which of the twelve tribes was to fight first. The Ramban says that the priest fixed his thoughts on the divine names and the name Yehuda lit up, together with the letters Yod, Ayin, Lamed, Hei, spelling the word Ya’aleh - he shall go up.

Of course the four letters could have formed other words but the Kohen was operating with Ruach Hakodesh and thus understood the message as Yehuda Ya’aleh.

Jews ask themselves today "Me ya’aleh," who will go up? Who will make Aliya? As people say: "Aliya and death are two of the most talked about topics but it always happens to someone else."

When Yehuda went up first to fight the Cana’anites, this did not exempt the other tribes from fighting, but made it easier for the others to follow. So too today, many have already made Aliya making it so much easier for others to follow.

If we consult our own personal Urim and ask, "Me Ya’aleh," there is no doubt the lights will shine and say "Yehudi Ta’aleh" - Jew go up.

If only we would see the light.

This is a weekly column contributed by Aloh Naaleh an organization devoted to motivating Jews to make Aliya.
Aloh Na'aleh POB 4337, Jerusalem 91042
Tel: 972-2-566-1181 ext. 320 ~ Fax: 972-2-566-1186

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