• Dvar for Tetzaveh (Exodus 27:20-30:10)

    We were all given human traits to help us deal with people, situations, and life in general. This week’s Parsha contains a crucial element to understanding those traits. Parshat Tetzaveh describes a golden plate (Tzitz) that Aaron wore, which bore the words “holy unto G-d” (28:37). Doesn’t that seem like a brazen thing to be placing on one’s forehead? The appearance of such an ornament would seem anything BUT holy.

    As Living Each Week relates, the Baal Shem Tov taught that if a person has an undesirable trait, he/she should direct that trait toward constructive channels. Traits such as stubbornness, anger and even violence can be channeled correctly. How do we know this? Because the Tzitz was worn on the part of the face associated with brazenness (worn by the head Priest), yet served a holy purpose nonetheless. We must heed the same calling, recognize all those personal traits that need “channeling”, and convert all those seemingly negative qualities into positive triumphs.

  • Dvar for Tetzaveh (Exodus 27:20-30:10)

    We were all given human traits to help us deal with people, situations, and life in general. This week’s Parsha contains a crucial element to understanding those traits. Parshat Tetzaveh describes a golden plate (Tzitz) that Aaron wore, which bore the words “holy unto G-d” (28:37). Doesn’t that seem like a brazen thing to be placing on one’s forehead? The appearance of such an ornament would seem anything BUT holy.

    As Living Each Week relates, the Baal Shem Tov taught that if a person has an undesirable trait, he/she should direct that trait toward constructive channels. Traits such as stubbornness, anger and even violence can be channeled correctly. How do we know this? Because the Tzitz was worn on the part of the face associated with brazenness (worn by the head Priest), yet served a holy purpose nonetheless. We must heed the same calling, recognize all those personal traits that need “channeling”, and convert all those seemingly negative qualities into positive triumphs.

  • Dvar for Tetzaveh (Exodus 27:20-30:10)

    The Torah tells us in this week’s portion, Tetzaveh, that the hem of the priestly robe (ephod) would have bells sewn on them.  As the priest enters the sanctuary with the bells on his robe, “a voice will be heard” (Exodus 28:33-35). What is the significance of these bells and their “voices”?

    Rabbi Avi Weiss explains that among his many duties, the priest would offer atonement for his own sins.  As it would be embarrassing for others to be present during this personal process, the bells would signal that those present should leave, allowing the priest private moments with G-d. At the same time it was only fair that people know when the priest was entering so they not be taken by surprise. In fact, privacy is so important that Jewish Law tells us that one should be careful to knock before entering anywhere, even one’s own home or a child’s room (Pesachim 112a). It is these little bells of privacy and sensitivity to others that should make the Torah so private and personal to each of us.

  • Daily Aliya for Tetzaveh, Shvii (7th Aliya)

    Aliya Summary: The Incense Altar is to be constructed of acacia wood, 1 amah wide by 1 amah long, by 2 amot tall. It is to be plated with gold and adorned by a decorative border of gold. Two gold rings were attached to opposite edges for the carrying poles, themselves made of wood covered with gold. This Altar was placed in front of the Parochet and was used primarily for the daily offering of incense (and for part of the Yom Kippur Avoda), in the morning when the Menora was tended. Incense was offered towards evening too. No other use of the Golden Altar was permitted.

  • Daily Aliya for Tetzaveh, Shishi (6th Aliya)

    Aliya Summary: Daily procedures on the Altar are to include the sacrificing of two lambs as Burnt-Offerings, one in the morning and the second one in the late afternoon. These daily sacrifices are accompanied by flour and oil “mincha” and wine for libation.

    In response to our consecration of the Kohanim, G-d Himself will sanctify the Mishkan, the Altar, and the Kohanim. “And I will dwell among the People of Israel and be their G-d” (29:45). Rabbi Yaakov Auerbach z”l points out that the numerical equivalent of that whole passuk is 2449, the year from Creation in which the Mishkan was first dedicated. That hints to the fact that the whole purpose of creation was to get to this stage where we can incorporate G-d into our midst/lives.

  • Daily Aliya for Tetzaveh, Chamishi (5th Aliya)

    Aliya Summary: The Torah continues describing the procedure for the offering, and the consumption of the inaugural sacrifices. G‑d commands Moshe to repeat this inaugural service for a seven day period, after which the consecration will be complete. Also included in this section is a description of how future High Priests are to be inducted.

    The Parsha (and this particular Aliya) goes through so many rules about who can enjoy which sacrifice, and where they can eat their portion. If a sacrifice has been brought to G-d, it would seem that who eats the leftovers would be an insignificant afterthought. Unless, that is, you step back at the bigger picture: A sacrifice is brought either because someone transgressed a commandment, or as appreciation for something having happened to them. Either way, the point of the sacrifice is to strengthen the bond between the person and G-d. The sacrifice isn’t for G-d’s benefit, but for ours. Therefore, what happens to every step in its offering is important to US. Te sacrifice represents our willingness to give of our possessions, and through that giving others close to G-d benefit from your actions. The Kohen benefits from your leftovers, you benefit from expressing your bond with G-d, and G-d benefits by having better Jews.

  • Daily Aliya for Tetzaveh, Revii (4th Aliya)

    Aliya Summary: This Aliya prescribes the procedure for consecrating Aaron and his sons as priests. Aaron and his sons were brought to the door of the sanctuary, they immersed in a mikvah (ritual pool), and were dressed in the priestly garments. Moshe then offered various inaugural sacrifices on their behalf.

    The very first offering in the Mikdash was symbolic of the Golden Calf and came as an atonement for that sin. It’s interesting to note that while the Golden Calf experience was hurtful towards G-d, it is something not shied away from, but rather confronted. As psychologists would attest, talking about hurtful events help you get over it, and more importantly, forgive those that caused it.

  • Dvar for Tetzaveh (Exodus 27:20-30:10)

    The Torah tells us in this week’s portion that the hem of the priestly robe (ephod) would have bells sewn on them.  As the priest enters the sanctuary with the bells on his robe, “a voice will be heard” (Exodus 28:33-35). What is the significance of these bells and their “voices”?

    Rabbi Avi Weiss explains that among his many duties, the priest would offer atonement for his own sins.  As it would be embarrassing for others to be present during this personal process, the bells would signal that those present should leave, allowing the priest private moments with G-d. At the same time it was only fair that people know when the priest was entering so they not be taken by surprise. In fact, privacy is so important that Jewish Law tells us that one should be careful to knock before entering anywhere, even one’s own home or a child’s room (Pesachim 112a). It is these little bells of privacy and sensitivity to others that should make the Torah so private and personal to each of us.

  • Daily Aliya for Tetzaveh, Shvii (7th Aliya)

    Aliya Summary: The Incense Altar is to be constructed of acacia wood, 1 amah wide by 1 amah long, by 2 amot tall. It is to be plated with gold and adorned by a decorative border of gold. Two gold rings were attached to opposite edges for the carrying poles, themselves made of wood covered with gold. This Altar was placed in front of the Parochet and was used primarily for the daily offering of incense (and for part of the Yom Kippur Avoda), in the morning when the Menora was tended. Incense was offered towards evening too. No other use of the Golden Altar was permitted.

  • Daily Aliya for Tetzaveh, Shishi (6th Aliya)

    Aliya Summary: Daily procedures on the Altar are to include the sacrificing of two lambs as Burnt-Offerings, one in the morning and the second one in the late afternoon. These daily sacrifices are accompanied by flour and oil “mincha” and wine for libation.

    In response to our consecration of the Kohanim, G-d Himself will sanctify the Mishkan, the Altar, and the Kohanim. “And I will dwell among the People of Israel and be their G-d” (29:45). Rabbi Yaakov Auerbach z”l points out that the numerical equivalent of that whole passuk is 2449, the year from Creation in which the Mishkan was first dedicated. That hints to the fact that the whole purpose of creation was to get to this stage where we can incorporate G-d into our midst/lives.

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