During most years, the seventh of Adar — the day of Moshe Rabbeinu’s demise — occurs in close proximity to the reading of Tetzaveh. Our Sages note1 that there is an allusion to Moshe’s demise in Tetzaveh , in that this is the only Torah portion (from the time of Moshe’s birth until the Book of Devarim2), in which he is not mentioned by name.

This must be understood. Only Moshe’s name is not mentioned in this portion; there are, however, a multitude of passages that relate to him, beginning with the first verse of the portion:3 “And you [i.e., Moshe] shall command….”

Moreover, not mentioning the name of a dying tzaddik seems to nullify the very meaning of his demise; the passing of a tzaddik in no way affects his good name and deeds — they live on forever — only the body passes from this world.

How, then, can we say that Moshe’s demise is alluded to in a portion that does not mention his name?

In addition, the commands directed to Moshe in Tetzaveh are given directly — “And you shall command,” “And you shall do,” “And you shall take” — whereas in many other Torah portions Moshe is referred to only elliptically: “And to Moshe He said…,”4 etc., as if Moshe were not present!

The Zohar states5 that “A tzaddik that has passed on is found in all worlds [including this physical world] to an [infinitely] greater degree than when he was alive.”6

The Alter Rebbe explains7 that the reason why a dead tzaddik is found in all worlds to an infinitely greater degree than a living one is twofold: While the tzaddik was alive his life-force was clothed in a physical body, so only a glimmer could be perceived. However, after his demise this limitation ends and it is possible to receive from his essence.

In addition, the demise of a tzaddik involves the elevation of his spirit and soul to its First Root and Source; this elevation is then reflected in all worlds, including this physical plane.8

The reason why Moshe’s demise is alluded to by not mentioning his name in the Torah portion Tetzaveh will be understood accordingly:

A person’s name has little to do with his essence; a name is needed only so that other people can call on him; a person as he exists for himself needs no name.9

The pronoun “you,” however, relates to the essence of a person — when one turns to another and says “you,” one is referring to the entire individual.

So too with regard to Moshe. The name “Moshe” was given to him quite some time after his birth; until then he had gotten by quite well without a name. Moreover, this name was not even given to him by his parents, but by Pharaoh’s daughter, “For I drew him — mashe — from the water.”10

Herein lies the allusion to Moshe’s demise. At the time of Moshe’s passing he ascended to a level far loftier than can be encompassed by a name. Thus at the time of his demise, he is not referred to by name.

Nevertheless, he continued to lead with his entire essence even at the moment of death. Moshe is therefore indeed to be found in the portion Tetzaveh , and moreover, he is addressed there in a manner that relates to his essence,11 for his demise caused that essence to permeate all worlds to an even greater degree than when he was alive.

Based on Likkutei Sichos Vol. XXVI, pp. 204-206.