Tetzaveh 2023



By Rabbi Moshe Goodman, Kollel Ohr Shlomo, Hebron

Torah is Like Water 

The Torah and water are connected as our Sages that water is Torah. We see in this painting that indeed upon the waters of the Torah grows the Menora described in the Torah in “vegetative terms.” It receives its light to grow from the Or Ein Sof described in Kabbalah as encircling our world, and that could be the meaning of the yellowish circle around the Menora. The pomegranates also attach the Menora to the garment of the Kohen Gadol, and also the beads of the Menora may hint to the precious gems of the Efod and Hoshen Mishpat. There is an interesting connection between the Menora and the gems of the Hoshen Mishpat: both gave light, signs of the spiritual “enlightenement” inherent at the Temple. Thus, both the Menora and the Hoshen of the Kohen Gadol can be seen as general symbols of the Temple and the Holy Presence shining therein. These themes are all found in this parsha, which begins with the lighting of the Menora, continues with the garments of the Kohen, and ends with the resting of the Holy Presence in the Mishkan through the Miluim ceremony. The connection to the Holy Presence in this painting also implies that the Holy Presence rests with the study of the Torah. All of these ideas come together in Hebron, focal point of the Holy Presence, which is also synonymous with Torah study as the Zohar [p. Shlach] says: “Hebron is Torah, for all those that occupy themselves with it [Torah] are called a haber [Torah scholar].”

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