Parshat Tetzaveh

(Exodus: 27:21- 30-10)

(Shmuel I, 15:1-34)

(Parshat Zachor, Fast of Esther, Purim)

  1. [27:20 ] “And you will command the children of Israel and they will take for you pure olive oil…” The language of this pasuk is very strong in Hebrew. The olive oil for the menorah is the job of the Kohanim and could have been part of a longer list of articles for the mishkan. What is so important about the olive oil for the menorah that makes the Torah emphasize it so much?
  2. [28:3 ] “…to make him holy, to serve me.” Rav Kuk (1865-1935, Lithuania, Israel) tells us that for some people serving God is like serving people. That is, it may be a great honour, but it also feels like a burden. For others, however, serving God is an act of freedom.  Pirkay Avot tells us that in the religious life, effort is what counts (Pirkay Avot 5:26).  Which of these two types of people is more praiseworthy?
  3. [Shmuel I, 15:9] “And Shaul and the people spared Agag…” Shaul was a wealthy king and he was specifically told that God commanded him to destroy all of Amalek. He meticulously carried out most of the commandment. What was Shaul thinking that caused him to spare the king of Amalek and other things.
  4. [Purim] Purim seems to us to be the festival which is most suitable for children. However, our tradition tells us that Purim is one of our most important and serious festivals. Why is Purim so important, and why has it been made into such a “fun” festival?
  5. [Megillah of Purim 10:3] “Because Mordechai…was accepted by most of his brothers…” Mordechai had done so much to save the Jewish people. Why is it that he was accepted by most of his brothers, and not by all of them?

Commentary

Know yourself and your world. Know the meditations of your heart and of every thinker. Find the source of your own life and of the life beyond you and around you—the glorious splendour of the life in which you have your being.

–R. Avraham Y. H. Kuk, 1865-1935, Lithuania and Israel.

This study page is dedicated to the memory of Gad Eliahu ben David and Kochava—Eli Zucker

And this study page is dedicated to the memory of Sarah Bella bat Yitzchak Kummer, Chaim Yosef Yechiel ben Eliyahu Kummer and Eliyahu and Margaret Kummer

 

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