Erev Shabbos Kodesh Inspiration Tetzaveh 5776


I always find it intriguing that the parasha can be dedicated to one theme but either in the beginning or towards the end, the parasha seems to discuss something totally unrelated to the main theme. In Parashas Tetzaveh the theme is clearly the בגדי כהונה, the Priestly Vestments. Yet, the Torah commences with the mitzvah of lighting the Menorah. Let us examine the first verse of the parasha and we will discover an amazing connection that the lighting of the Menorah has to the בגדי כהונה. The Medrash (Shemos Rabbah 36:1) states that the Jewish People are likened to an olive that is beaten until the first drops of oil are drawn. So too, the gentiles beat the Jews and severely oppress them until the Jews finally repent, and then HaShem has compassion on them. Furthermore, just like oil does not mix with other liquids, so too the Jewish People do not mix with the nations. Additionally, when one mixes oil with other liquids, the oil always remains on top. So too, when the Jewish People perform HaShem’s will, they remain above the gentiles.

This idea is reflected in the words (Shemos 27:20) וְאַתָּה תְּצַוֶּה אֶת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְיִקְחוּ אֵלֶיךָ שֶׁמֶן זַיִת זָךְ כָּתִית לַמָּאוֹר לְהַעֲלֹת נֵר תָּמִיד, now you shall command the Children of Israel that they shall take for you pure olive oil, pressed, for illumination, to kindle a lamp continually. The first letters of the words שֶׁמֶן זַיִת זָךְ equal in gematria the word שׁ-ַדַּ-י, the Name of HaShem that is explained to mean שודד המערכות, plundering the battlefields, i.e. changing nature. According to the Medrash, when the Jewish People do HaShem’s will, HaShem will change nature and allow His Chosen Nation to be like the olive, pure, alone and on top. It is also noteworthy that the last letters of the words זָךְ כָּתִית לַמָּאוֹר spell out the word כֶּתֶר, a crown, alluding to the idea that the Jewish People are above all the nations.

In a similar vein, the Kohen Gadol donned the Priestly Vestments as a sign that he was chosen from the nation for an elevated task, that of serving HaShem in the Bais HaMikdash. Indeed, Dovid HaMelech (Tehillim 133:2) depicts Aharon, the Kohen Gadol, as follows; כַּשֶּׁמֶן הַטּוֹב עַל הָרֹאשׁ יֹרֵד עַל הַזָּקָן זְקַן אַהֲרֹן שֶׁיֹּרֵד עַל פִּי מִדּוֹתָיו, like the precious oil upon the head running down upon the beard, the beard of Aharon, running down over his garments. The words זָּקָן זְקַן equal in gematria the word שַׁ-ד-ַּי, again symbolizing how the Jewish People remain above the laws of nature, similar to the beard of Aharon that crowned his head, the top of the body. Additionally, the last letters of the words עַל הָרֹאשׁ יֹרֵד עַל הַזָּקָן equal in gematria the word כהשמן, like the oil, again depicting the uniqueness of oil that remains at the top.

HaShem should allow us to carry His banner high and remain above all the nations, and then we will merit the Ultimate Redemption, of which it is said (Micha 2:13) וַיַּעֲבֹר מַלְכָּם לִפְנֵיהֶם וַי-ה-ו-ָה בְּרֹאשָׁם, their king will pass in front of them, with HaShem at their head.

Have a CROWNING Shabbos!

Rabbi Adler

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