In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Prov.3;6 ב”ה
Tetzaveh. Fully Clothed for His Splendor. Adar 12, 5777 3-10-17
A little history before we being our lesson, for the time of year in which we find ourselves:
Purim is approaching. It is the last Yom Tov (“good day”) on the Jewish Calendar. While it is not a Moed- Biblically appointed time it was instituted as an עֵד ed- witness. It is taught that Haman, a direct descendant of Amalek, sought the date to destroy the Jewish people based upon the date of Moshe’s death. What he hadn’t calculated was that it was also Moshe’s birthdate:
Moses died on the seventh of Adar. The Talmud proves this as follows: In Deuteronomy 34:8 we read that the Jews mourned for thirty days following Moses’ death in the Plains of Moab. This area borders Israel, just east of the Jordan River. The book of Joshua begins with G‑d’s command to bring the Jewish people across the Jordan River. G‑d specifies that they are to cross in three days time. This instruction was given immediately after Moses died, meaning at the earliest possible opportunity after his death. This would have been following the thirty days of mourning. In Joshua 4:19 we are told that the Jews crossed the river on the tenth of Nissan. If we subtract the three days between the command and actual crossing, plus the thirty days of mourning, we find the date of Moses’ passing is the seventh of Adar. Incidentally, the seventh of Adar is also Moses’ birthday. This we derive from what Moses said on the day of his death (Deuteronomy 31:2): “Today I am one hundred and twenty years old.” Malkie Janowski for chabad.org
- The Jewish Calendar is a circle, at one “end” we find Purim, which is right next to the feast of Pesach.
Haman cast the infamous lot to set a date for the destruction of the Jews on the 13th of Nisan (Esther 3:7, 12). The third day, when Esther went in to see the king, would have been Nisan 15. Thus, the Jews of Susa fasted through Passover in that year! (Passover and Purim are directly connected, bezrat Hashem- we will investigate this further.)
– Both Passover and Purim occurred outside the land, in Egypt and Persia. Both involved the near extermination of the people of Israel. Moses and Esther both appeared before kings to rescue their people. Pharaoh’s army and Haman both perished.
– In The Complete Book of Jewish Observance, Leo Trepp notes that Purim is a fulfillment of the saying from the Passover Haggadah: “Not just one Pharaoh rose against us to exterminate us, but in every generation did they rise up to exterminate us, and each time the Holy One Blessed Be He has rescued us from their hands.”
– In the time of the Book of Esther, Haman was the one who tried to destroy us. In modern times, there have been two significant figures who have threatened the Jewish people, and there are echoes of Purim in their stories.
- Many have noted the echoes of Purim in the Nuremberg war crime trials. In the Book of Esther, Haman’s ten sons were hanged (Esther 9:13); in 1946, ten of Hitler’s top associates were put to death by hanging for their war crimes (including the crime of murdering 6 million Jews). One of the men seems to have been aware of the parallel: on the way to the gallows, Julius Streicher shouted “Purim Fest 1946!”
- In early 1953, Stalin was planning to deport most of the Jews in the Soviet Union to Siberia, but just before his plans came to fruition, he suffered a stroke and died a few days later. He suffered that stroke on the night of March 1, 1953: the night after Purim (note: Jewish days end at sunset; you will see March 1 on the calendar as Purim). The plan to deport Jews was not carried out.
This weekend is the very period in which some of the events of Purim took place: In the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, on its thirteenth day … on the day that the enemies of the Jews were expected to prevail over them, it was turned about: the Jews prevailed over their adversaries. – Esther 9:1
And they gained relief on the fourteenth, making it a day of feasting and gladness. – Esther 9:17
[Mordecai instructed them] to observe them as days of feasting and gladness, and sending delicacies to one another, and gifts to the poor. – Esther 9:22
It is taught that this Parasha פָּרָשָׁה of Tetsaveh תְּצַוֶּה (“you command”) is the only Parasha where Moshe’s name is not found. This is said to be God’s response to Moshe’s statement: “But now, if You will, forgive their sin– and if not, please blot me out from Your book which You have written!” Sh’mot 32;32 Tetsaveh is read on the weekend of Purim, and interestingly, Hashem’s Name is also not found in the entire book of Esther. But as we well know, Hashem’s hand was in every step of the Esther account, and Moshe was directly involved as well as this week’s Parasha.
Let us take a moment to make a little sacred space in our lives to pour this lesson into. Remembering that any learning should be for the ultimate purpose of “closeness with Hashem”. Visualize your “holy of holies”, you heart and prepare a place for Him at this time. Go inside, clear out some space, rearrange, take out the garbage, light a candle. Welcome in God’s presence in that place prepared. Let us again get into a meditation of understanding that every element of the Mishkan and Temple service teach us something about Yeshua, the Torah made flesh who dwelt among us. It will teach us something about ourselves and our own service of Hashem as “temple’s” for Him to LIVE. Not visit, to be with us at all times. Leaving Egypt, is a love story. The people are ‘fleeing an abusive relationship’. In part, at first, following God is “ a way out….” Hosea 2;14 ”Therefore, behold, I will allure her, Bring her into the wilderness And speak kindly to her. Then God ‘courts’ Israel providing for her and proving His affection and desire along the way. We see God reveal Himself in magnificent ways and so the Sabbath comes as an avenue to cease in one’s own place (wherever you are in life) and get to know God on a personal level. The marriage was at Sinai, the wedding terms agreed to…Sh’mot 19; 8 All the people answered together and said, “All that the LORD has spoken we will do!” Making the Mishkan relates: “Now we can live together.” Many people can not understand something unless they have an experience. This is what the trials in our lives are meant to teach us, how to be compassionate toward our fellow and willingly, lovingly, taking up and living out God’s commands as moral imperatives in order to allow our relationships to function ‘divinely’ and let His ‘Name’, that light from the ‘firey Law’ to be seen in this world. Remember the commandment was: Make the Mishkan, I will dwell within them. The Mishkan is the conduit in order to create this relationship, the relationship is the real thing.
(First and Second occurrence’s of #3372 yareh יָרֵא – to fear, to reverence.)
- B’reshit 3:10 He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.”
- B’reshit 15:1 After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying,
“Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you; Your reward shall be very great.”
#5027 navat נָבַט (v) – to look, to regard, to have respect, to see, to behold.
- Tehillim 34;3 O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together. 4 I sought the LORD, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. 5 They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces will never be ashamed.
- Sh’mot 3:6 He said also, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.
# 2372 חָזָה Chazah (v)- to see, behold, to look upon, to contemplate, to choose, to have experienced.
[ Tehillim 11:4 The LORD is in His holy temple; the LORD’S throne is in heaven; His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men.
- Sh’mot 24; 9 Then Moses went up with Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, 10 and they saw וַיִּרְאוּ (ra’ah) the God אֱלֹהֵי of Israel; and under His feet there appeared to be a pavement of sapphire, as clear as the sky itself. 11 Yet He did not stretch out His hand against the nobles of the sons of Israel; and they saw וַֽיֶּחֱזוּ (Chazah) God הָאֱלֹהִים , and they ate and drank. 12 Now the Lord said to Moses, “Come up to Me on the mountain and remain there, and I will give you the stone tablets with the law וְהַתֹּורָה (Torah) and the commandment וְהַמִּצְוָה ( mitsvah ) which I have written for their instruction לְהוֹרֹתָֽם(yarah).” 13 So Moses arose with Joshua his servant, and Moses went up to the mountain of God. 14 But to the elders he said, “Wait here for us until we return to you. And behold, Aaron and Hur are with you; whoever has a legal matter, let him approach them.”….
- ….15 Then Moses went up to the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. 16 The glory of the Lord rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days; and on the seventh day He called to Moses from the midst of the cloud. 17 And to the eyes of the sons of Israel the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a consuming fire on the mountain top. 18 Moses entered the midst of the cloud as he went up to the mountain; and Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.
Sh’mot 32; 6 So the next day they rose early and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play (tsachak).
Sh’mot 32;25 Now when Moses saw that the people were out of control—for Aaron had let them get out of control to be a derision among their enemies— 26 then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, “Whoever is for the Lord, come to me!” And all the sons of Levi gathered together to him.
#6544 (v) para פָּרַע – to overlook, to reject, to make naked, to make unbridled.
- Vayikra 13:45 “As for the leper who has the infection, his clothes shall be torn, and the hair of his head shall be uncovered, and he shall cover his mustache and cry, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’
- Vayikra 21:10 ‘The priest who is the highest among his brothers, on whose head the anointing oil has been poured and who has been consecrated to wear the garments, shall not uncover his head nor tear his clothes…
- B’midbar 5:18 ‘The priest shall then have the woman stand before the LORD and uncover the woman’s head, and place the grain offering of memorial in her hands, which is the grain offering of jealousy, and in the hand of the priest is to be the water of bitterness that brings a curse.
Sh’mot 28; 1And you bring near to yourself your brother Aaron, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel to serve Me [as kohanim]: Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar, Aaron’s sons.
2You shall make holy garments (beged) for your brother Aaron, for honor and glory. 3And you shall speak to all the wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, and they shall make Aaron’s garments to sanctify him, [so] that he serve Me [as a kohen]. 4And these are the garments that they shall make: a choshen, an ephod, a robe, a tunic of checker work, a cap, and a sash. They shall make holy garments for your brother Aaron and for his sons to serve Me [as kohanim]. 5They shall take the gold, the blue, purple, and crimson wool, and the linen, 6 and they shall make the ephod of gold, blue, purple, and crimson wool, and twisted fine linen, the work of a master weaver.
Inextricable bound are the concepts of the Holy Mishkan, the place where God’s glory will ‘rest’, where His Shkinah (indwelling presence) can live WITHIN man… and the ‘sin’ in gan Edan. Man lost innocence, man realizes he’s naked, man hides. The Mishkan comes to say, this is where God is making the way for man to FACE his sin and where man and God can “deal with” sin together. Man is naked and homeless so God says, “make me a home”. This gives a mission to man and a means by which he can DRAW NEAR to God once more. We recall the significance of the placement of these parashiot regarding the IDEA and ACTUALIZATION of the Mishkan ‘sandwiching’ the terrible sin of the egol, the Golden Calf. Like Adam became naked and ashamed, the people at the calf become exposed, their rising up to “play” is a word we have discussed previously- צָחַק tsachak a word which has something to do with “sexuality”.(see: B’reshit 21;9, 26;8 39; 14,17 ) “How have you left the people uncovered?” Moshe asks Aaron. Here once more we see the “nakedness” of the people and again we realize the need for a way to approach God when we are in sin. This is one of the major purposes of the Mishkan, it was not for God….it was for us. The Mishkan is the way that man can rectify his transgressions and mend the strains and pains in the relationship he is forging with Hashem. There is one man who has the most paramount and yet demanding ‘job’ one could imagine. The Kohen Gadol, the High Priest. This man bears the entire nation upon his shoulders and carry’s them, for better or worse, into the place of “closeness” before Hashem. He directly handles the ‘offerings’ for worship but also for sin and guilt and is in a most vital position. He is poised to carry out the services within the House and on the occasions for mending the relationships between neighbors and ‘lovers’ he is mediator and administrator.
The Kohen is the picture of Yeshua’s role, he kindles the flames of our love for Hashem and draws us to Himself, He teaches us how to give more than just an offering on the outer Altar’s of our lives. He teaches us how to share our souls with one another and most importantly, He teaches us how to dedicate our souls to Hashem. Parish Tetsaveh describes the Priestly garments, of which there are 8 pieces. Let us take a look at the meaning behind these garments. To do so, once again, we will go back to the garden.
# 6175 (adj) עָרוּם aruwm– crafty, prudent, cautious.
Only occurrence of this word in the Torah: B’reshit 3:1Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?”
# 5903 eyrom עֵירֹם – naked, nakedness. [ shoresh: #6951 (v) aram עָרַם – to be crafty, to act craftily, to act prudently, to be naked, to make naked. Examples: Tehillim 83:3 They make shrewd plans against Your people, and conspire together against Your treasured ones. Mishlei 15:5 A fool rejects his father’s discipline, but he who regards reproof is sensible. Mishlei 19:25 Strike a scoffer and the naive may become shrewd, but reprove one who has understanding and he will gain knowledge.]
B’reshit 3:7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings…10 He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” 11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”
#898 (v) bagad בָּגַד – to oppress, to afflict, to spoil, to act covertly, fraudulently. (A BETRAYAL)
Tehillim 78:57 But turned back and acted treacherously like their fathers; they turned aside like a treacherous bow.
Tehillim 119:158 I behold the treacherous and loathe them, because they do not keep Your word.
#899 (masc. n) beged בֶּגֶד – a covering, cloth, a garment.
Every occurrence of beged so far has had some element of “treachery” or betrayal laced into it’s context. It is only until God gives the commandments for the HOLY Beggadim (garments) of Aaron do the contexts of Beged completely change focus.
Am I a body with a soul? Or a soul who happens to be in a body?
Our soul’s need clothing. The clothing of the soul is a body. In this day and age it seems much easier and more simple to ‘take off our clothing’, than it is to share our soul with someone. Sometimes the idea of ‘sharing our soul’ with another is a concept which leaves us entirely vulnerable and perhaps even humiliated. How well do you know your soul? How often are do you consider your soul? How much do you identify with your soul? Once we can begin to understand the soul, and identify the soul we can then feel comfortable enough to be vulnerable enough to share our soul. Clothing is what we do to hide who we are. Clothing helps our bodies hide our souls. The Lie: your soul’s being covered up. When we look at “garments” in the bible, we can see that even the word Begadim- represent a betrayal. Adam and Chavah cover themselves. What did Adam and Chavah make to “hide” themselves? The Fig leaf is camouflage, it is a guise, it masks your nakedness. All the fig leaf does is stops you from being naked.
When man is exiled from Paradise, God is still showing His compassion and magnificent mercy in that He makes Adam and Chavah animal skins. The animal skin covers them, protects them….it is as if Hashem is saying, even when exile awaits you, even when you’ve betrayed me and strained our love…I am not sending you out empty handed. I will still protect you in exile. The fig leaf, versus the animal skin. One is not being naked the other is being clothed. The permanence of leather versus a leaf. When man sins and is feeling naked, we require clothing. Even there God gives us clothing to protect us. Clothing can be either a symbol of a betrayal or a symbol of God’s compassion. Until this point in the bible, clothing has not been something, until now clothing had never been a commandment. Now God fixes (what an act of kindness) this by commanding the Kohanim to wear certain, particular clothing. Commanding to do that which allows man to retain his own dignity.
Once we feel good about ourselves we can fix the relationship with yourself,
God and your fellow man.
“Every single person has the ability to bring God into his home. That is what the garden was. But because of the sin we ran away from God, our spouses, our selves. We need to wear the type of clothing that allows our souls to express themselves properly. We are souls. God gave us bodies for our souls to have as clothing. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that you are your body or your clothing. Realize that you are your soul. Listen to your soul, understand your soul, then you will get to the point you’ll be able to share your soul.” (rabbiarikahn.com)
The “fixing” of these relationships, all is under the watchful eye, authority, agency
and direction of Yeshua. The High Priest.
- Hebrews 4; 14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. 16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Ezekiel 23; 26-30 ‘They will also strip you of your clothes and take away your beautiful (תִפְאַרְתֵּֽךְ tif’arah) jewels.‘Thus I will make your lewdness and your harlotry brought from the land of Egypt to cease from you, so that you will not lift up your eyes to them or remember Egypt anymore.’ “For thus says the Lord GOD, ‘Behold, I will give you into the hand of those whom you hate, into the hand of those from whom you were alienated. ‘They will deal with you in hatred, take all your property, and leave you naked and bare. And the nakedness of your harlotries will be uncovered, both your lewdness and your harlotries.‘These things will be done to you because you have played the harlot with the nations, because you have defiled yourself with their idols.
When there is a terrible betrayal in a relationship is it possible to rebuild? And if it is possible to rebuild, what does that process look like? Is there a process that can be followed?What happens between G-d and the people – whether the relationship is with man and G-d or whether it’s with people and other people, how does one go about rebuilding? What are the stages? What do you have to do? How do you step back from the edge of the cliff? These are the questions we will look at as we attempt to allow the meaning in the Mishkan to pour into us.
Devarim 26; 15 Look down from Your holy habitation, from heaven, and bless Your people Israel, and the ground which You have given us, a land flowing with milk and honey, as You swore to our fathers.’ 16 “This day the Lord your God commands you to do these statutes and ordinances. You shall therefore be careful to do them with all your heart and with all your soul. 17 You have today declared the Lord to be your God, and that you would walk in His ways and keep His statutes, His commandments and His ordinances, and listen to His voice. 18 The Lord has today declared you to be His people, a treasured possession, as He promised you, and that you should keep all His commandments; 19 and that He will set you high above all nations which He has made, for praise, fame, and honor; and that you shall be a consecrated people to the Lord your God, as He has spoken.
#8597 (fem.n) תִּפְאָרָה Tif’arah – splendor, glory, GLORYING.
- Sh’mot 28:2 “You shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty.
- Sh’mot 28;40 “For Aaron’s sons you shall make tunics; you shall also make sashes for them, and you shall make caps for them, for glory and for beauty.
#2451 (fem.n) חָכְמָה Chachmah– skill, dexterity, wisdom.
This Hebrew term is introduced in the contexts below and found only in sefer Sh’mot and twice in Devarim. I was pleasantly surprised to discover how rare “Chachmah” is and how awesome that it should be found majorly in the context of a spiritual inspiration to construct these garments and this Mishkan.
Sh’mot 28:3 “You shall speak to all the skillful persons whom I have endowed with the spirit of wisdom, that they make Aaron’s garments to consecrate him, that he may minister as priest to Me.
Sh’mot 31:3 “I have filled him with the Spirit of God in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all kinds of craftsmanship,…6 “And behold, I Myself have appointed with him Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan; and in the hearts of all who are skillful I have put skill, that they may make all that I have commanded you:
Sh’mot 35:26 All the women whose heart stirred with a skill spun the goats’ hair…. 31 “And He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding and in knowledge and in all craftsmanship…35 “He has filled them with skill to perform every work of an engraver and of a designer and of an embroiderer, in blue and in purple and in scarlet material, and in fine linen, and of a weaver, as performers of every work and makers of designs.
Sh’mot 36:1 “Now Bezalel and Oholiab, and every skillful person in whom the LORD has put skill and understanding to know how to perform all the work in the construction of the sanctuary, shall perform in accordance with all that the LORD has commanded.” 2 Then Moses called Bezalel and Oholiab and every skillful person in whom the LORD had put skill, everyone whose heart stirred him, to come to the work to perform it.
This place is a reflection of what was meant to go on inside the heart of God’s people. Teshuvah, repentance, Tikun, rectification, Korbanot, offerings with the root- Karav….to draw near. The Jewish people and the Holy Temple of Jerusalem were meant to be that Kingdom of Priests and the Temple, a house of prayer for ALL peoples. I think it is beautiful to recognize that every aspect of the constructing of the Mishkan was Spirit led, Spirit inspired, Heart motivated, Heart driven and focused. Indeed, in our every undertaking….if we are functioning according to the breathing and movement of the Spirit of Hashem and devoting our hearts into our efforts….the results will be something extraordinary, and sacred. Too often we tend to separate “wisdom” with the Spirit, but with the Mishkan as the Prototype we can see that our wisdom, knowledge, understanding, skills and deeds can (and often do!) work hand in hand with the Spirit which gives all of those things true meaning.
Devarim 4; 4 But you who held fast to the Lord your God are alive today, every one of you. 5 “See, I have taught you statutes (chukim חֻקִּים) and judgments (mishpatim מִשְׁפָּטִים) just as the Lord my God commanded me, that you should do thus in the land where you are entering to possess it. 6 So keep (shamar, guard וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם) and do them, for that is your wisdom חָכְמַתְכֶם and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear (shama יִשְׁמְעוּן) all these statutes and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ 7 For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as is the Lord our God whenever we call on Him? 8 Or what great nation is there that has statutes and judgments as righteous as this whole Torah which I am setting before you today?
Romans 13; 11And do this, understanding the occasion. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12The night is nearly over; the day has drawn near. So let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Instead, clothe yourselves with the Lord Yeshua Messiah, and make no provision for the desires of the flesh.
“Goodness and truth never lose any of their validity or justification. Whatever is good and true remains so for all time. Higher manifestations of goodness and truth represent not negation but only a fuller realization of all the goodness and truth that have gone before. Not even the oldest of men can deny the virtues that were his when he was a child Indeed, the virtues of his maturity are merely the fruits of those earlier virtues, now realized under more comprehensive circumstances than they could have been in the narrower contexts of childhood. The most complex system of the most sublime, momentous verities cannot do without the simplest truths that served as their starting point.”
We are not what we wear, our spirituality is not limited to the possibilities, capabilities or functions of our bodies. Esther was really Hadassah, a Hebrew from the tribe of Benyamin, yet to look at her….she was adorned the begadim of Persian royalty. The Jewish people of that time became “caught” in the terrible scheme of Haman/Amalek (=doubt) because they had become convinced that their exilic clothing (assimilation) was their true identity. Many did not come out of exile to help rebuild the Temple. May we learn from the truths that have come before us and know that they are the foundation of our Faith. May you be blessed as we continue to grow together. Sharing this time and opening our souls to the opportunities for vulnerability with Hashem. May our trust in Him increase no matter how difficult our challenges become, may we know that our High Priest is serving daily continually on our behalf. May His Tifarah be uncovered, unveiled and revealed for all peoples soon in our days.
Shabbat Shalom !