Sedra of the week: Tetzaveh
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here
Analysis

Sedra of the week: Tetzaveh

Rabbi Ariel Abel looks ahead to this week's portion of the Torah

Rabbi Ariel Abel

Ariel Abel is rabbi of the Liverpool Old Hebrew Congregation

A reconstruction of the Menorah of the Temple created by the Temple Institute (Wikipedia/Author: The Temple Institute, Jewish Quarter, Jerusalem.)
A reconstruction of the Menorah of the Temple created by the Temple Institute (Wikipedia/Author: The Temple Institute, Jewish Quarter, Jerusalem.)

 Tetzaveh introduces us to the Israelites the sevenbranched menorah and the priestly garments and adornments. The family of Aaron is instructed how to prepare for service in the sanctuary. Every aspect of the sanctuary is emulated in the home; there is a correlation between Divine service and domestic behaviour.

For this reason, the timing given to light the Chanukah candle is, according to one opinion, the time at which lamps are lit for mundane use. The priestly garments reflect

modest dress – for men too – in the trousers worn against the skin, and a loose fitting robe which arguably, Jews ought to wear as distinctive dress, not only Muslims; we are at source a Middle Eastern people.

The hat worn by the priests may have mutated over time into the custom of Jews not to go bareheaded. A custom recorded in the Talmud is that when at prayer, a Jew should not wear an unbelted one-piece garment when at prayer. This derives from the priestly belt.

Other garments are said to reflect expected standards of behaviour, such as the bells which rang on the hem of the high priest’s cloak which warned others of his proximity; so we must not to creep up on people but gently warn of our approach.

The apron was emblematic of the importance to guard oneself against illicit temptation of a sexual nature. The golden head-plate bore God’s name on the high priest’s forehead at all times during services. This pointed out the need to check one’s outward pose and posture against being highhanded and arrogant, by humbly remembering that we are all mortal creations of an immortal God.

  •   Rabbi Ariel Abel serves Liverpool Old Hebrew Congregation and padre to HM Armed Forces
Help perform the greatest mitzvah: save a life

While life in Israel has returned to normal and hopes are high that Britain is set for a summer without restrictions thanks to vaccines, for billions around the world there is no such imminent light at the end of the tunnel. In the majority of countries around the globe, particularly the poorest, the vaccine rollout has barely kicked off.

That's why Jewish News, the leading source of news and opinion for the entire UK community, is throwing its full weight behind UNICEF’s VaccinAid campaign by using this platform usually reserved for encouraging donations towards our own journalism to instead urge our readers around the globe to perform the greatest mitzvah: saving a life.

We have never before done this for any charity fundraiser but it's hard to recall a campaign that affects so many people, and indeed an entire planet aching for a return to normality. Just like the Chief Rabbi and Rachel Riley, we hope to boost the mission to deliver two billion vaccines, 165 million treatments and 900 million test kits around the world by the end of this year.

Please donate as much as you can, in the spirit of the Talmudic sages: “to save one life is to save the world entire”

read more:
comments