Delray Orthodox Synagogue
DELRAY ORTHODOX SYNAGOGUE
"A Jewel of a Shul"
7319 W. ATLANTIC AVENUE
DELRAY BEACH, FLORIDA 33446
RABBI MENACHEM JAROSLAWICZ
HARRY LAZARUS, PRESIDENT
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This week’s Parasha, Tetzaveh, begins by telling us:
“V’atoh tetzaveh es Bnei Yisroel . . . . [And you shall command the Children of Israel that they shall take for you clear olive oil, crushed for illumination, to light a lamp continually].”
Last week’s Parasha taught us about the construction of the vessels for the Mishkan. This week’s Parasha discusses how all of the priestly garments need to be made.
The burning question is: Why is the Torah inserting instructions about the use of the Menorah over here, smack in between discussions of the making of items for the Mishkan? The lighting of the Menorah is part of the “Avodah” (the “service” that is done in the Mishkan) and not part of its creation. Its proper placement should be in Parashas Emor, where all of the other services done in the Mishkan are discussed. As a matter of fact, to make this question even stronger, in Parashas Emor the Torah DOES mention the need to light the Menorah, “Ya’aroch es hanairos [You should kindle the candles],” so why the need to say it twice?
If we carefully reflect on the reason for the existence of the Mishkan, we can understand the answer to these questions. The Mishkan was designed to be a place of “Hashro’as Ha-Shechinah,” a place for the Holy Countenance of Hashem to rest Itself on this world. The Torah tells us in last week’s Parasha; “V’asu le Mikdash, v’shachantee besochom [They shall make Me a Sanctuary – and I will dwell amongst them].”
The Gemara tells us that the light of the Nair Ha’Maaravi, the Western Lamp, remained illuminated 24/7 via a miracle. This flame acted as a testimony that Hashem’s Countenance was present in the Mishkan (Shabbos 22b).
We can now understand the placement here of commands regarding the Menorah. This is not about the Avodah of the Menorah. The Pasuk here specifically says, “L’ha-alos NAIR tamid [to light a LAMP continually].” The word “NAIR” (LAMP), is in the singular, referring to the Nair Ha’Maaravi. In Parashas Emor it says, “Ya’aroch es HANAIROS, [You should kindle the LAMPS].” There the Torah is discussing the Avodah of the Menorah and the lighting of ALL the candles, while here the ONE candle is testifying to Hashem’s presence.
“V’asu le Mikdash v’shachantie besochom [They shall make Me a Sanctuary, and I will dwell amongst them].”
Chazal teach us that the reason the Pasuk says “besochom” (amongst THEM), and not “besocho” (within IT), is because Hashem is telling us that, if we, the Children of Israel, make a space within ourselves that is open to G-d, He in return will dwell within each and every one of us.
Purim is the time of year when we, the B’nei Yisrael, reaffirmed our acceptance of the Torah with “Love” because of the joy that we experienced from the miracle of seeing Haman and his entourage being destroyed against all odds. We opened our hearts and then filled them with the acceptance of Hashem and His Torah. Every year, when we experience great joy on Purim, we once again have the opportunity to fill our hearts and souls with super-charged G-d energy that will supply us with a LOVE for Torah and spirituality.
We start the week, Parashas Zachor, with the sadness of remembering what Amalek did and continues to do to us. BUT... We end the week with the JOY of Purim, reaffirming our connection to Hashem, and feel comforted knowing that He will watch over His people, and we will once again emerge victorious over all the obstacles that stand in our path.
Let the internal spark within each and every Jew stand as a testimony that the countenance of Hashem continues to dwell amongst us, from within us.
Have a great Shabbos and a Very Happy Purim!
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Delray Orthodox Synagogue is not validating the Kashrus level of any of the food establishments found on Shamash. Please check the Rabbinical Certification on your own, ask your Rabbinical consultant, or feel free to ask our Rov at 845-270-0700.
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