Torah Weekly

For the week ending 24 February 2024 / 15 Adar Alef 5784

Parshat Tetzaveh

by Rabbi Yaakov Asher Sinclair -
Become a Supporter Library Library


Hashem tells Moshe to command the Jewish People to supply pure olive oil for the Menorah in the Mishkan (Tent of Meeting). He also tells Moshe to organize the making of the Bigdei Kehuna (priestly garments): A breastplate, an ephod, a robe, a checkered tunic, a turban, a sash, a forehead-plate, and linen trousers. Upon their completion, Moshe is to perform a ceremony for seven days to consecrate Aharon and his sons. This includes offering sacrifices, dressing Aharon and his sons in their res ective garments, and anointing Aharon with oil.

Hashem commands that every morning and afternoon a sheep be offered on the Altar in the Mishkan. This offering should be accompanied by a meal-offering and libations of wine and oil. Hashem commands that another Altar for incense be built from acacia wood and covered with gold. Aharon and his descendants should burn incense on this Altar each day.


An Amazing Hint

“…to kindle the light continually.” (27:20)

If you count all the lights lit over the eight days of Chanukah (without including the Shamash), the number is thirty-six. There is a dispute between Beit Hillel and Beit Shamai about how to light the candles. Beit Hillel says you start with one light on the first night and go forward up to eight on the last night, and Beit Shammai says you start with a blaze of glory with eight candles, and work your way back down to one.

“…to kindle the light continually”

If you count backwards thirty-six Torah portions from the beginning of the Torah, you will get to Parshat Tetzaveh, this week’s portion, in which the lamp is referred to in the singular, “lamp,” like Beit Shammai who says to go backwards down to one.

But, if you count forward from the beginning of the Torah thirty-six Torah portions, you will come to Parshat Behaalotecha, where it says,“When you kindle the lamps.” The word lamps is in the plural, like Beit Hillel who says to go forward to thirty-six candles by the end of Chanukah.

© 1995-2024 Ohr Somayach International - All rights reserved.

Articles may be distributed to another person intact without prior permission. We also encourage you to include this material in other publications, such as synagogue or school newsletters. Hardcopy or electronic. However, we ask that you contact us beforehand for permission in advance at [email protected] and credit for the source as Ohr Somayach Institutions

« Back to Torah Weekly

Ohr Somayach International is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation (letter on file) EIN 13-3503155 and your donation is tax deductable.