Happenings of the Chabad Lubavitch אנ"ש community of Rockland County, New York
Thursday, February 22, 2018
By Rabbi Yisroel Shusterman
This week’s Parsha Perspective is
dedicated in memory of Elka bas Zisel OBM
Dedicated in memory of Leah bas
This week’s Torah
portion,Parshat Tetzaveh (Shmos [Exodus] 27:20-30:10). begins
with a discussion about preparing and kindling the menorah. It then moves
on to describe the different priestly garments worn by
the Kohanim while serving in the Temple, and it concludes with
the construction of the incense altar and the laws of the daily incense
What connection is there between these three
ideas? What is the common thread that ties them together into one Parshah?
Let’s first understand the nature of these
The theme of the menorah is light. What is
Light is not an entity unto itself; it is
merely an emanation from its source. The source, be it the sun or a candle, is
full of brightness, and this automatically radiates out, creating light. Light
can only exist because its source does.
2. Incense and Incense Altar
The function of incense is to create an aroma.
What is the nature of an aroma?
An aroma works very much the way light does. It
too is not an entity unto itself; rather, it is something which emanates or
wafts out from its source, and its existence is representative of that source.
What light and smell have in common, therefore,
is their authenticity. They are true reflections of their source. When you look
outside in the morning and you see sunlight, you know that the sun is in the
sky. When you walk into a kitchen and smell an aroma, you know that something
is, or was, cooking, and you might even know exactly what it is. Light and
smells don’t lie.
3. Priestly Garments
What is the nature of clothing?
Clothing, too, is not entirely an entity unto
itself. It is attached to the person who is wearing it, and is nothing more
than an extension of him.
But clothing differs greatly from light and
smell. Clothing does not necessarily represent the person wearing it. It is
possible to dress as anything, even if it’s not who you really are. Clothing
can be used in an inauthentic way.
The Profound Sandwich
This, then, is the connection between these
three ideas and why they appear in the Parshah in the order that they
do—menorah, priestly garments and incense.
The Torah sandwiches the description
of the priestly garments between the ideas of light and smell to convey a
profound and important message.
A Kohen serving G‑d in the
Temple had to dress appropriately. He had to dress in a manner fit for the King
of kings, with special garments that looked honorable and beautiful.
But this alone was not sufficient. The Kohen
couldn’t just dress this way on the outside; the garments had to be an
authentic representation of who he was as a person, beautiful and honorable on
the inside. As with light and smell, his external qualities had to mirror his
The same is true for us. The garments that G‑d
wants us to wear are a reflection of the way G‑d wants us to be as people.
It is very important to dress in a Jewish way,
modestly and respectably. But more importantly, we have to be modest
and respectable. We must be authentic in the way we present ourselves—not only
holy and pure on the outside, but on the inside as well.
(Excerpts from Chabad.org - from Rabbi Sholom
The joyous holiday of Purim begins
this week - Wednesday night, February 28 and
continues through Thursday, March 1,
2018 (March 2 in Jerusalem).
For information about this wonderful holiday and how to observe
it, click here : http://www.chabad.org/holidays/purim
May you have a
meaningful and uplifting Shabbos!
And Joyous Holiday of
If you would like to dedicate the
weekly Parsha Perspective in honor or memory of a person or occasion,
please contact Rabbi Shusterman at email@example.com