Date: 19.2.24 / 10 Adar 5784
Parsha: Tetzaveh: Exodus 27:20 - 28:13
In Parshat Tetzaveh, we learn more about the role of the Priests. Unusually, Moshe’s name is not mentioned once. Instead, his brother Aharon, the Kohen Gadol (High Priest), is our main focus.
We read about the jobs the Kohanim (the Priests) had to do in the Mishkan, the special clothes they had to wear, and the special ceremony (their consecration) for the Kohanim when they began their service.
There are also some extra details about the Mishkan itself.
- Thursday: AMTa @ First Aid course
Thought of Rabbi Sacks
“Art in Hebrew – omanut – has a semantic connection with emunah, “faith” or “faithfulness.” A true artist is faithful both to his materials and to the task, teaching us: “To see a world in a grain of sand, And a heaven in a wild flower, Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour.” The name Betzalel means, “in the shadow of God.” Art is the shadow cast by the radiance of God that suffuses all things: “The world is charged with the grandeur of God. It will flame out, like shining from shook foil.”
God’s Shadow, Covenant & Conversation, Vayakhel 5771
Around the Shabbat Table
- Why is Judaism wary of the values represented by clothing?
- How can the Mishkan and the Priestly Garments lead to “glory” and “splendour” (kavod and tiferet)?
- What is Judaism’s approach to physical beauty?
- Judaism is concerned with inner truth. Clothes have to do with surface, not depth; with the outward, not the inward; with appearance rather than truth. The Hebrew for “garment,” b-g-d, also means “betrayal,” and this week’s Covenant & Conversation lists several examples of clothing in biblical stories being used for deception and betrayal.
- The purpose of the Tabernacle and all aspects of the Divine worship within it was to bring the experience of the sublime and incorporeal God down to earth in a physical structure. It was important that this structure and service was physically beautiful in order to inspire awe and wonder in those worshiping (the Kohanim) and those on whose behalf they were conducting the service (the Israelites). This is the “glory” and “splendour” – these emotions are the manner in which we can connect to God in His worship.
- Physical beauty is an expression of God’s sublime spiritual beauty. We can find this in nature and in man-made beauty. (The challenge is to ensure we don’t disassociate physical beauty from spiritual beauty, and overemphasise the aesthetic.) We are encouraged to utilise it in our worship. One example is at Succot time, people take great care in decorating their succah and ensuring their etrog is beautiful. This is a prime example of hiddur mitzvah.
Parsha summary adapted from Chabad.org and Rabbi Sacks Legacy
The weekly mitzvot are adapted from the PAJES Primary Parashat Hashavua Curriculum, and form the basis of the school's PSHE curriculum for all pupils alongside the Torah, Well Being and Me curriculum.