Weekly Reading Insights: Tetsaveh 5764



Overview of the Weekly Reading: Tetsaveh, Zachor

To be read on 13 Adar 5764 (March 6 )

Tetsaveh is the 8th Reading out of 11 in Exodus and 20th overall, and 33rd out of 54 in overall length.
Exodus 27:20-30:10, Maftir "Zechor": Deut. 25:17-19;
: Samuel I 15:2-34 (for Zechor: King Shaul's war vs. Amelek, Haman's ancestor)

Pirkei Avot: not till after Passover

The Jews are commanded to bring oil for illuminating the constantly burning lamp of the tabernacle. Next are listed the instructions for making the priestly vestments of the priests and high priest. The priests, Aharon and his sons, were consecrated and installed into their holy positions through a series of sacrifices, sprinklings, ritual immersions, and garbing themselves in their priestly clothing. This procedure was repeated seven times along with sanctifying the altar. G-d commanded regarding the continual burnt offering and gave instructions for the building and offerings of the incense altar.


From the holy Zohar, teachings of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai (Z:20-64/Tetsaveh )

It is while he is actually being angry that you can know a person and acquaint yourself with who he really is.

For the full article, click to the "Weekly Torah" section on our KabbalaOnline site.

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From the holy Ari, Rabbi Yitzchak Luria of Safed (A:20-64/Tetsaveh )

We are therefore taught that providing for mankind is as difficult for G-d as the Splitting of the Sea ( Bereishit Rabba 97:3, 20:22), for both are subject to G-d's judgment, as mentioned in the Zohar. (Zohar II 170a)

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From the Shelah, Shney Luchot HaBrit by Rabbi Isaiah Horowitz (S:20-64/Tetsaveh )

The anointing oil of Aaron, the High Priest, alludes to the mystical dimension of the holy oil in the Celestial Regions, which have their roots in the sefira of bina.

For the full article, click to the "Weekly Torah" section on our KabbalaOnline site.



"Beaten (katit) for the light, to cause a light to burn continuously." (27:20)
The numerical equivalent of the word katit is 830 - the exact number of years the two Holy Temples stood in Jerusalem. (The First Temple existed for 410 years; the Second, 420.) The Third Holy Temple, by contrast, will exist "to cause a light to burn continuously" - eternally and forever.
(Toldot Yitzchak)

"His sound shall be heard when he goes into the holy place." (28:35)
According to all the signs given by our Sages, ours is the last generation before the coming of Moshiach. In fact, our generation is termed "the heels of Moshiach," and likened to the "hem of the (kohen's) robe." The hem of the priestly garment was adorned with bells and pomegranates, symbolic of Jews on the lowest spiritual level who are devoid of Torah and mitzvot. And yet, when the kohen approached "the holy place," the bells and pomegranates made a "great noise" - "and its sound was heard." From this we learn that the spreading of Judaism in our generation should be done with the greatest publicity, fanfare and "noise."
(Likutei Sichot)


"G-d maintains war against Amalek from generation to generation." (17:16)
After the Jews left Egypt, they were on the highest level of faith in G-d. Amalek's attack on the Jewish people was not merely intended to destroy them physically, but to detach them from G-d spiritually, by putting doubts in their mind about G-d. Whenever a Jew has doubts about Judaism, Amalek is at work. G-d is so angry at Amalek that He wants to wipe out his remembrance entirely.
(Keter Shem Tov)


from the Chabad Master series, produced by Rabbi Yosef Marcus for

www.ascentofsafed.com and www.kabbalaonline.org

An essay from Rabbi Shaul Yosef Leiter, director of Ascent

(for a free weekly email subscription, click here) (W:20-64/Tetsaveh)

In connection with the building of the Sanctuary, the Torah portions of this week and last speak a lot about precious metals, particularly gold. In a very interesting talk from 25 years ago, the Lubavitcher Rebbe explained what is the true significance of gold.
No matter how materialistic something appears to us, since G-d is the Creator of all and the Essence of good, every physical thing has in its core, some goodness. For example, money, which is often used in inappropriate ways. Nevertheless, its essence has holiness. This is as the Talmud writes that gold was only created for use in the holy Temple.

It is easy to see that gold and other precious metals and gems are not needed for the world to function. Silver (in Hebrew-kesef-which is also the word for money) is adequate as a means of monetary exchange, for making jewelry, or what have you. In the broadest terms, luxuries of all sorts such as gold and jewels are things beyond what we need for basic living. Actually, it is the luxuries that test us, that brings us to our limits, sometimes even push us past what we know is good for us.

This being the case, why did G-d create gold? The answer is that there was a need for a Sanctuary, a place for G-d to be revealed. If the Sanctuary would be like any other place, then it would not be apparent that there was any difference between the Sanctuary and any other place! As analogy, even though an animal's barn may have heating and systems for delivering food and drink, you would still not think of decorating a barn to be beautiful. On the other hand, we make every effort that our own homes be beautiful because it is that extra measure that helps us lead productive lives.

So when we build a Sanctuary, a Temple, or even a "mikdash m'at"-a synagogue, study hall, or school-it is not enough to build it as we would our house because that would demonstrate that there is really no special importance in it. Rather it is imperative for us to search out the 'gold' for places that have higher levels of spirituality, even if our own homes suffice with silver and copper.

The opportunity here is two-fold. First, to use gold and luxuries for their true purpose; and second, that not only the Jewish community, but all the nations in the world should see us make spirituality and holiness primary, while in our own home we manage with silver alone.
This concept connects to our daily prayers. Thrice daily, we ask that G-d grace us with MORE than we need for our basic sustenance. On what should we spend these extra resources? Not on gluttonous eating and frivolous drinking! It is incumbent upon us to use the extra resources for holiness, positive acts, charity, building institutions like synagogues, study halls, schools, and all of the many projects that encourages the fulfillment of Judaism in the world.

This is the reason we ASK for extra. And when G-d responds positively, giving us more than we need, He also relies on us as His emissaries to know this abundance comes from Him. He trusts us to utilize these resources to purify and elevate the world, until it will be a true dwelling place for G-d. When we do this, we fulfill the verse, (Genesis 47/24) "Four portions for you, and the fifth for Pharaoh". The Zohar explains, in this context, that Pharaoh refers to G-d, the Source of all abundance. When we give 1/5 for spiritual needs, G-d gives us the remaining 4/5 to use for our needs and those of our family (Sicha Yud Alef Nissan 5739).
Shabbat Shalom, Shaul Leiter

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