Tetzaveh

“Parsha and Purpose” – Tetzaveh 5780

“Parsha and Purpose” – Parshat Tetzaveh 5780
Rabbi Kenneth Brander’s weekly insights into the parsha 

“Will our Children Carry on Our Spiritual Legacy?”

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Parshat Tetzaveh: Will Our Children Carry On Our Spiritual Legacy? 

During the week in which we read Parshat Tetzaveh, we commemorate the loss of Moshe Rabbeinu, on the 7th of Adar. Some suggest that this is the reason why his name is not mentioned in the entire parasha – a unique phenomenon from the beginning of Sefer Shemot until the end of the Torah. 

But I’d like to ask a more challenging question. 

Why don’t we know where Moshe is buried? After all, we know where our patriarchs and matriarchs are buried. We know where other great personalities are buried. Why is the exact place of Moshe’s burial hidden from us? 

The answer that I’d like to suggest is a difficult one, but one which I think should speak to all of us. We don’t know where Moshe is buried because the purpose of a burial place is for family. Ultimately, visiting the burial place of an ancestor, like saying Kaddish, is a mark of continuity, of personal connection with the previous generations.  

Our rabbis teach us that Moshe’s children did not follow in his footsteps. We hear very little about them at all; there is no indication that they participated in Moshe’s “career” as Eved HaShem – God’s servant. His sons may not even have been present at Mount Sinai, when the Torah was given to the entire Jewish nation.  The Book of Shoftim tells us that one of Moshe’s descendants – a Levite – even served as a priest to an idol. Moshe’s sons did not continue his legacy.

What good is it to know where a person is buried if children do not continue their parents’ traditions? We need to ask ourselves this question during the week of the anniversary of Moshe’s death. 

How do we make sure that our children and our families continue our legacy? We have to realize they are not our spiritual genetic clones and that they don’t always look at Judaism the same way that we do. But we do have keep the avenues of communication open with them so that our legacy continues even after we are no longer here. 

After the end of our days in this world, the people who will sit shiva and say Kaddish for us are our children. Making sure we have a relationship with them while we are alive is critical. 

We learn from all the strengths of Moshe Rabbeinu. One of his greatest strengths was his unique relationship with God. But the Torah reminds us to also learn from his weaknesses.  The Torah tells us that Yitro has to bring Moshe’s family back to him, to remind him to engage with his own family. That does not seem to happen; Moshe is more comfortable engaging with God than he is with his own family. It is God himself who buries Moshe – we have no indication that his sons were even with him before, or even after he died. At the end of the day, there is no identifiable burial place because his children do not continue his legacy. 

This week’s Torah portion, Tetzaveh, and the yahrzeit of Moshe’s death on the 7th of Adar, should remind us to ask ourselves some very important questions: how do we engage with our own families to make sure that we leave a spiritual legacy to our children? How do we communicate with them to ensure that they will continue to be committed to our heritage? What we do today determines whether we truly deserve a resting place that our children will visit.

Shabbat Shalom, and may we truly understand the meaning behind Moshe Rabbeinu’s yahrzeit.

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Parshat Tetzaveh: Moses is Missing…Really?

David Nekrutman

Parshat Tetzaveh: Moses is Missing…Really? David Nekrutman is the Executive Director of  Ohr Torah Stone’ Hertog Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation (CJCUC).   The observational humor of Jerry Seinfeld has made audiences laugh for decades. His take and comic delivery on human behavior has even caused an existential crisis for many who buy donut …

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“Shabbat Shalom” – Parshat Tetzaveh 5780

Shabbat Shalom: Parshat Tetzaveh (Exodus 27:20 – 30:10) By Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel – “Now you bring near to yourself Aaron your brother and his sons with him…. to minister to Me. You shall make vestments of sanctity for Aaron your brother, for honor and splendor” (Exodus 28:1,2)  The two leaders during this interim …

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Parshat Tetzaveh: The Role of the Incense Altar

Rabbi Baruch Kehat

Parshat Tetzaveh: the Role of the Incense Altar How does the Lower Altar differ from the Higher Altar, and why doesn’t the commandment regarding the Incense Altar appear in its natural place? by Rabbi Baruch Kehat, senior faculty of the Joseph and Gwendolyn Straus Rabbinical Seminary and the Robert M. Beren Machanaim Hesder Yeshiva “There I will …

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“Shabbat Shalom” – Tetzave 5779

Shabbat Shalom: Parshat Tetzaveh (Exodus 27:20 – 30:10) By Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel – “And you shall command the children of Israel… And you shall bring forth your brother Aaron and his sons together with him… And you shall speak to all of the wise-hearted.” (Exodus 27:20–28:3) Often what you really have is that which …

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“Parsha to the Point” – Tetzaveh 5778

Parshat Tetzaveh (Exodus 27:20-30:10)  Rabbi David Stav  This Shabbat, we will read Parshat Tetzaveh in our synagogues, and also remove another Torah scroll from the ark, from which we will read an excerpt containing the verses, “Zachor (remember) what Amalek did to you…you shall not forget!” . This is why this Shabbat is named “Shabbat Zachor” …

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“Shabbat Shalom” – Tetzaveh 5778

Parshat Tetzaveh (Exodus 27:20 – 30:10) Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel – “You shall blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under Heaven; do not forget!” . Parshat Zachor – Deuteronomy 25:17-19 Each year on Shabbat Zachor, the Sabbath that precedes the festival of Purim, we read from a selection in the Book of Deuteronomy …

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