One of the most important functions carried out in the Mishkan (the portable Sanctuary in the desert) and later in the Beis HaMikdash (the Holy Temple) was the lighting of the Menorah, the seven branched candelabrum. The primary objective was to extend the light of the Sanctuary where G-d was revealed to the entire world. It would not suffice for there to be a single place on Earth that reflects the Divine reality; the ultimate objective is that the entire world will be illuminated by and bask in Divine light. This, indeed, is the very rationale for the creation of the world and which will be realized in the imminent Age of Redemption.
Entries in Tetzaveh (11)
In this week’s Torah portion we learn about the commandments of building the Mishkan and its’ vessels as well as the garments of the Kohanim and the Kohen Gadol. The commandment to build the Mishkan is an eternal one, as the main commandment is to build a home for Hashem inside each and every Jew. As our sages say on the Pasuk (Truma 25:8) “And they shall make Me a sanctuary and I will dwell in their midst,” “The verse does not say, ‘and I will dwell within it,’ but ‘and I will dwell within them,’ within each and every one of them.”
The Kohen Gadol was required to wear eight priestly garments. One of them was the tzitz, a golden plate, placed on the High Priest’s forehead, on which was engraved the words “Holy to G-d.”
Thus, it is written, “Six hundred thousand people on foot are the people in whose midst I am,” for by means of the “people on foot” the Divine revelation of Anochi is drawn within the midst of Moshe.
Garments play an important role in the life of a Jew. But in no area of Torah learning is the significance of clothing more pronounced than in reference to the Bais HaMikdash. When a Kohen offered sacrifices or lit the Menorah, he had to wear the four Priestly garments. The High Priest could not officiate without an additional four garments.
Simply immersing oneself in the spiritual ocean of Torah and then abruptly leaving it to go onto “dry land” can be hazardous to one’s health… If we fail to make the gradual and deliberate transition from the holy to the profane we risk suffering a spiritual form of decompression illness that can derail our spiritual progress.
Moshiach will judge by using his sense of smell. This is a metaphor for his ability to “sniff out” any miscarriage of justice. Moshiach will be endowed with Divine Inspiration that will guarantee the integrity of justice.
The message should have been unmistakably clear. The way to generate brotherly love and respect for our parents is by going out of our way to help bring purity to our brothers and sisters, even if it means that we sacrifice some of our own purity. Only the sacrifices that we will make for one another are the key to reconnecting to our Heavenly Father.
How does one summon such arrogance and self-indulgence to say that when the Jewish people need to be saved from exile, all the Jewish people remain as they are for a moment while the redemption begins to unfold for this individual?! * The entire world was indeed created for the individual Jew, to the extent that “G-d stands with him.” Thus, the redemption first unfolds for him.
If the “pomegranates” adorning the hem of the m’il of the Kohen Gadol are (not functional per se but) intended for bringing out beauty, the virtues of the Jewish people, we must not emphasize the quality alluded to by pomegranates (“the empty among you are full with Mitzvos as a pomegranate”) but the inner virtue of a Jew, the fact that every Jew is like a “golden apple” (solid gold, not empty or vacuous, G-d forbid). * The inner quality of a Jew in the light of the commentary of Ramban.
As we prepare our souls for the coming of Moshiach at which time we will see G-d’s glory without any screen or filter, it is our task to come before Him with a pure soul. By taking our “olive oil” and bringing it to Moshiach, the Moses of our generation, by following in his pure and holy ways that are untainted by the exile mindset, we are guaranteed that our souls will indeed be purified. And when we will stand before G-d in the third Temple we will not be embarrassed because at that time our souls will radiate the purest of light.