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Friday, February 7, 2014 / "-'

Tetzaveh

Candle Lighting: 5:31 Havdala: 6:34


Note: The Halachic times listed here are from www.myzmanim.com.

The Ultimate Sacrifice


By Zev Karasik, 12 th Grade
This weeks Parashah begins with the , And you shall words command the children of Israel. While it is clear in this Passuk, as well as in other instances throughout the Parashah, that G-d is instructing Moshe to do something, it is interesting to note that Moshes name is never mentioned in . In fact, with the exception of Sefer Devarim (a first-person narrative spoken by Moshe), Moshes name is mentioned in every Parashah after his birth, EXCEPT for this one. According to the Baal HaTurim, the Torah omits Moshes name because after , the sin of the calf (in next weeks Parashah), Moshe says to Hashem (32:32): "And now, if You forgive their sin. But if not, erase me now from Your book, which You have written." After witnessing the Jewish people worshipping the calf, Moshe begs Hashem to forgive them. Additionally, he asks to be removed from the Torah if G-d chooses not to absolve the Jews of their sin. This was realized in , explains the Baal HaTurim, since the curse of a righteous person, even if made conditional on an unfulfilled prerequisite, always comes to fruition in some way. In other words, even though the Jewish people were forgiven for their sin, Moshes name still had to be erased from the Torah (to an extent), as his words carry much spiritual weight. In a similar vein, the story of Yaakovs " " encounter with Lavan, who accuses him of stealing his idols ( , why have

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" you stolen my gods? in :) , shows an identical manifestation of the concept introduced by the Baal HaTurim. Yaakov responds to Lavans question with: ,

YOU shall command the children of Israel.


The word you implies its subject's very self; a name, in comparison, is more superficial. Essentially, this means that Moshe is actually more present in our Parashah than he is elsewhere.

The one with whom you find your gods shall not
live. Yaakov was unaware of the fact that Rachel had stolen Lavans idols; had he known, he would have never made such a harsh statement, lest he endanger the life of his beloved wife. Rachel, however, dies prematurely at the age of 36. As per the Baal HaTurims earlier statement regarding the nature of the words of the righteous, the curse of Yaakov was fulfilled. The Lubavitcher Rebbe makes an interesting analysis regarding the nature of the way Moshe is portrayed in . While his name does not appear in , Moshe plays a large role in the Parashah, as it consists entirely of G-ds words to him.

While this seems to contradict the notion expressed by the Baal HaTurim, it is necessary to realize that we can learn a great lesson from Moshes sacrifice; because he was prepared to forgo mention of his name in the Torah for the sake of the Jewish people, he merited that his quintessential self, which cannot fully be expressed in a name, be mentioned in the Torah. Ultimately, we can learn from the self-sacrifice of Moshe and apply such an attitude to our daily lives; while it may be difficult, the final outcome will be priceless.

Lehaalot Ner Tamid- The Nature of Prayer


By Joey Senders, 11 th Grade
In the first verse of this weeks Parashah, Parashat Tetzaveh, the Jews are commanded to crush olives into olive oil to light the Ner Tamid, or the Eternal light. The word Tamid, or eternal, forms the basis for understanding the obligation to pray on a daily basis. But is prayer something that is biblical in nature or rabbinic in nature? The Rambam states in the Mishneh Page 2 of 5 A Fuchs Mizrachi Stark High School Publication Torah, Hilchot Tefilla 1:1 that the source for prayer is biblical and is derived from the verse, Vahavta Et Hashem Elokecha, And you shall serve Hashem your God (Shemot 23:25). Rambam states that when the Torah refers to service, it means prayer or service of the heart. He clearly regards prayer as a biblical

" commandment even if the details are worked out later by the rabbis. The Ramban disagrees. He states that the verse cited above simply means that you shall be wholehearted in your service to God. If biblical figures like Abraham, Isaac and Jacob prayed, it was not because it was a biblical commandment, but rather, because they felt the desire to express their feelings to God. About what are the Rambam and Ramban really arguing, and why is it relevant to us, today? Rabbi Jonathan Sacks begins to answer this question by citing the Talmud in Brachot 26b in which there is an argument between Rabbi Yose and Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi about the historical source for prayer. Rabbi Yose says the forefathers set the precedent, Abraham for Shacharit, Isaac for Mincha and Jacob for Maariv. Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi says the prayers were instituted to replace the sacrifices. What is the difference between these two positions? Rabbi Yose says that prayer is spontaneous. Abraham prayed for Sodom. Isaac prayed for a child. And Jacob prayed for continuity. They all prayed for something that they needed, and their prayers were not monotonous or organized. Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi says that prayer comes from the organized and formulaic use of the sacrifices. Each day, the same sacrifices were done and each day they were done in exactly the same way. For Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi, prayer then, must be a formula said the same way each time. This argument echoes a similar argument between Rabban Gamliel and Rabbi Eliezer. Rabban Gamliel says you have to say 18 blessings in each prayer. Rabbi Eliezer says if you make your prayer keva, established, you havent truly prayed. Again, the difference is between organized prayer and spontaneous prayer. Perhaps this is also the difference between the Rambam and Ramban. For the Rambam, prayer is biblical. It was started by the Avot and continues to represent each persons connection with God. It is not a specific formula that can be said in any way, shape or form. For the Ramban, prayer is like the sacrifices. It has to be done in the same way each and every day. So we have two traditions about what tamid is all about. For those of us who favor the tried and the true, Ramban is there to back us up. But, for those of us who are looking for more spontaneity and meaning in our prayer and are looking to mix things up a bit more, weve got the Rambam himself, a pretty big player in the halachic universe.

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The Nation and Their Leader


By Rabbi Barry Kislowicz, Head of School
Of all the clothing worn by the Kohen Gadol, perhaps the most central and the most enigmatic is the Choshen, the breastplate to which stones with the names of each Shevet were affixed. The mefarshim struggle to explain the meaning of these stones and their placement, and a number of their explanations offer us insight into the role of the Kohen Gadol as a leader of the Jewish people. The majority of these explanations focus on the Kohen Gadols role in enhancing the Jewish peoples spiritual connection to G-d and helping them achieve atonement when necessary. Rashbam, for example, explains the meaning of the Choshen together with another element of the Kohens dress, the Tzitz. The Tzitz was a gold band worn on the Kohen Gadols forehead on which were inscribed the words, ' Holy to G-d. Rashbam explains that in fact the names on the Choshen and the words on the Tzitz are meant to be read together in order to say: The Jewish people are Holy to Hashem. Thus, each time the Kohen Gadol enters the Beit Mikdash his very clothes are meant to constitute a prayer demonstrating the Jewish peoples connection to Hashem and on that basis atoning for their sins. Ramban, however, cites a midrash which points us in the opposite direction. He notes that the reason all of the tribes names are included on the Choshen is actually as a support or zechut for the Kohen Gadol. As the Kohen Gadol attempts to enter the holiest location on earth we know that he is taking a spiritual risk, and therefore he needs support and zechuyot to help him be successful. The names of the shevatim are included as a prayer to ask Hashem to remember the merit of the 12 shevatim, and in their merit to allow the Kohen Gadol to fulfill his task successfully. On the one hand, through Rashbams explanation we can see the Choshen representing the manner in which the Kohen Gadol, our leader, helps and supports the Jewish people. On the other hand, through the Rambans explanation, we see the manner in which the Kohen Gadol himself needs the support of the Jewish people in order to be successful. In truth, this lesson can be applied to all those who seek to demonstrate true leadership. True leaders are those who understand that while they lead and support the community they in turn can only be successful with the communitys support.

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Shabbat Table Discussion Questions:


By Avi Hartstone, 10 t h Grade
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Why must there be a continuous flame? (27:20) Why cant the Kohanim make their own garments? (28:2-3) Why must incense be burned in the Mishkan? (30:7) How can a sin be atoned for through a Korban's blood? (30:10) Why is it necessary to learn about the garments of the Kohen and the Korbanot? How are we supposed to connect to them?
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