"ואתה תצוה את בני ישראל"
“And you shall command the Children of Israel.” (27:20)

QUESTION: Why is the name of Moshe not mentioned in Parshat Tetzaveh?

ANSWER: Moshe died on the seventh day of Adar, which usually occurs during the week when Parshat Tetzaveh is read. Since his passing took place during the week of Tetazveh, his name is not mentioned. Even in a leap year, the Magen Avraham (580:8) says that those who fast on the seventh of Adar should fast in the first Adar because there are opinions that the year Moshe died was a leap year and that he died in the first Adar.

(מאור עינים)

According to Rabbi Chanina bar Papa, Moshe was born in a leap year in the first Adar (Sotah 13b). Thus, since his birth and death occurred on exactly the same day, we can conclude that he died in the first month of Adar.

(שאילת יעב"ץ - ועי' לקוטי שיחות חט"ז ע'324)

* * *

Alternatively, when Hashem considered annihilating the Jewish people for sinning with the golden calf, Moshe interceded and said, “Mecheini na misifrecha asher katavta” — “Erase me now from Your book that You have written” (32:32). Hashem replied, “Whoever has sinned against Me I shall erase from My book,” and thus there was no reason for Moshe to be erased. Nevertheless, a tzaddik must be extremely cautious with every word he utters (see Berachot 56a). When Moshe mentioned the concept of being erased from Hashem’s book, he used the extra word, “asher katavta” (shekatavta would be sufficient). Therefore, his name was erased from Parshat Tetzaveh because the words “asher” (אשר) and “Tetzaveh” (תצוה) each have the same numerical value of 501.

(משכנותיך ישראל)

* * *

Alternatively, when the Jews sinned with the eigel (golden calf), Hashem contemplated no longer accompanying the B’nei Yisrael and said to Moshe: “Hinei malachi yeileich lefanecha” — “My angel will go before you” (32:34). Hashem wanted the angel Michael to lead the Jewish people together with Moshe. (The word "מלאכי" — “My angel” — can be rearranged to read (".מיכאל" Moshe refused to accept the angel Michael and insisted that Hashem Himself accompany the Jewish people (Rashi 33:15).

In Parshat Tetzaveh, there are 101 pesukim and the siman (mnemonic) to remember this is the word מיכאל"," which has the numerical value of 101. The Parshah in which there is a remez (hint) for מיכאל does not mention the name of Moshe because Moshe refused to go together with Michael.

(חנוכת התורה)


"ואתה תצוה"
“And you shall command.” (27:20)

QUESTION: Why does Hashem use the word “tetzaveh” in preference to the more commonly used words “tomar” and “tedaber”?

ANSWER: The word “tetzaveh” is related to the word “tzava’ah” — “a will.” It is common for a parent to leave a will containing instructions for his children. Since Moshe was like a father to the Jewish people, thus, Hashem is telling him, “There will be a time when you will not be physically with B’nei Yisrael, therefore, ve’atah tetzaveh — you should leave the following instruction for future generations”:

“Veyikchu eilecha shemen zayit zach” — “They shall take for you pure olive oil.” Olive oil does not mix with any other liquid, but rather separates and rises to the top. This reminds the Jews that they are unique, and should not mix and assimilate with others.

“Katit lema’or” — “Crushed for illumination.” The “ma’or” represents the light of Torah: as stated in Proverbs (6:23), “Torah is or — light.” In order to truly succeed in Torah study, one needs to “crush” oneself, as our sages tell us, “Yagati umatzati ta’amin” — “If someone says, ‘I have toiled and I have succeeded’ believe him” (Megillah 6b).

“Leha’alot neir tamid” — “to kindle a lamp continually.” The “lamp” represents the soul of the Jew — “Neir Hashem nishmat adam — “The ‘lamp’ of Hashem is the soul of the person” (Proverbs 20:27). The purpose of the Jew in this world is “leha’alot neir tamid” — to continually elevate his soul.

(משכנותיך ישראל)


"ואתה תצוה...להעלת נר תמיד"
“And you shall command ... to kindle a lamp continually.” (27:20)

QUESTION: The verse should have said “ve’atah tzaveih” (צַוֵה). Why does it say “tetzaveh”?

ANSWER: Our parshah instructs us about the kindling of the menorah in the Mishkan and later in the Beit Hamikdash. When Hashem told Moshe to teach the instructions for building the Mishkan, He said: “Make for Me a Sanctuary veshachanti betocham” — “that I may dwell among them.” Grammatically, it should have said, “veshachanti betocho” — “I will dwell in it.” Hashem was hinting that He wants every Jew to make himself and his home a Sanctuary for Him.

Our sages state that, in the absence of the Beit Hamikdash, the table in the Jewish home is compared to the altar (see Chagigah 27a). Following this line of thought, the Shabbat candles parallel the menorah. It is customary in all Jewish homes for mothers and daughters to light Shabbat candles. A “remez” (hint) for this in Torah is the word “tetzaveh” (תצוה). The extra "ת" has the numerical value of 400 — which is the same numerical value as the word “nashim” (נשים) — “women.” Thus, the word "תצוה"can be read as two words (צוה, נשים = ת), and the message is "ואתה" — “and you” — "נשים צוה" — “the women command” — leha’alot neir tamid — to always maintain the mitzvah of lighting Shabbat candles.

(בעל הטורים)


"ויקחו אליך שמן זית זך"
“They shall take for you pure olive oil.” (27:20)

QUESTION: Why does the Torah use the word “zayit” (olive) in the singular, rather than “zeitim” (plural)?

ANSWER: When food the size of an egg or larger becomes tamei (defiled), it can transmit defilement to other liquids. In smaller amounts, it can become tamei, but cannot transmit its tumah (defilement).

The oil in the olive is considered as though it is enclosed in a casing within the olive. Consequently, even when an olive becomes tamei, the oil in it retains its purity.

Although the oil is considered a separate entity within the olive, it is measured together with the olive for purposes of transmitting tumah. Thus, if the size of the tamei olive is bigger than an egg, the first drop of oil pressed becomes tamei as soon as it touches the outside skin (see Pesachim 33b).

When Moshe instructed the Jews to contribute olives in order to make pure oil for the menorah, a problem arose. The olives in their possession were brought with them from Egypt. They were unsure about their purity and in doubt whether they could be used for the Mishkan.

Moshe therefore advised them to use average-sized olives, normally equal to half an egg. He also told them not to squeeze more than one olive at a time. Consequently, even if the olive was defiled, it would not be large enough to transmit tumah to the oil that came out.

(פנים יפות)


"שמן זית זך כתית למאור"
“Pure olive oil, crushed for illumination.” (27:20)

QUESTION: Rashi explains that the first drop of oil pressed is the finest, and such oil was used to kindle the menorah. The remaining oil of the olive (which was not as pure) was used for menachot (meal offerings).

Normally, one uses the best oil for baking and cheaper oil for burning or lighting. Why in the Mishkan was it the reverse?

ANSWER: The menorah is the prototype of spirituality. It represents Torah and mitzvot, as King Shlomo states, “Neir mitzvah veTorah or” — “A candle is a mitzvah and Torah is light” (Proverbs 6:23). A Karban Minchah is eaten and represents the material and physical needs of a person.

Unfortunately, there are people who plead poverty when they have to spend money for Torah and mitzvot, but have plenty of money when it comes to personal matters. From the way things were done in the Mishkan, we can learn true priorities. For Torah and mitzvot one should spend money and use the best and purest. For personal pleasure, a Jew should practice restraint and learn to suffice with less.

(כלי יקר)


"שמן זית זך כתית למאור"
“Pure olive oil, crushed for illumination.” (27:20)

QUESTION: The Gemara (Menachot 86a) says that the olives were divided into three grades, superior, intermediate and inferior. The oil of each grade was divided into three quality levels. The first level of the superior grade was supreme, and it was used for the kindling of the menorah. The second oil of the superior grade and the first oil of the intermediate grade were of equally acceptable for menachot — meal-offerings — but only the first oil of the intermediate grade could be used for the menorah, and not the second oil of the superior grade. The third oil of the superior grade and the second oil of the intermediate grade and the first oil of the inferior grade were all equal for menachot, but only the first oil of the inferior grade could be used for the menorah.

Why should the first oil of the inferior grade have priority for the kindling of the menorah over the second and third oil of the superior grade?

ANSWER: Not all men are alike. Some have better faculties and some poorer. King Shlomo says, “Neir Hashem nishmat adam” — “A man’s soul is the candle of G‑d” (Proverbs 20:27) — and all the details connected with the menorah contain teachings which apply to man’s life. The teaching of the different levels of oil is that Hashem does not expect one person to be like another person, but He does expect him to achieve his utmost. Therefore, if one is capable of being on the highest level, one may not settle for being second. On the other hand, if one is only capable of the second level and one excels in that, his achievement equals that of the one who is uppermost in the first level.

* * *

The famous tzaddik Rabbi Zusha of Anipoli once said, “When I come before the Heavenly tribunal, I am not afraid they will demand of me, ‘Why wasn’t Zusha like the patriarch Avraham?’ But I am afraid lest they ask me, ‘Why wasn’t Zusha as Zusha could have been?’ ”

(שמעתי מדיין יצחק דוב שי' בערגער מלאנדאן, אנגלי')


"ויקחו אליך שמן זית זך כתית למאור להעלת נר תמיד"
“They should take for you pure olive oil, crushed for illumination, to kindle a lamp continually.” (27:20)

QUESTION: Would it not have been sufficient to just say, “They should take for you pure olive oil for the light.” Why are the words “katit” — crushed — and “leha’alot neir tamid” — to kindle a lamp continually needed?

ANSWER: The first Beit Hamikdash existed for 410 years, and the second lasted 420 years. During the entire 830 years the menorah was kindled every day. We all hope to merit speedily the third Beit Hamikdash, which will last forever. The elaboration in the pasuk is a remez — hint — to this.

The word “katit” (כתית) — “crushed” — has in it the letters "כ" and "ת", whose numerical value is 420, and the letters "י" and "ת", which has a numerical value of 410. The oil should be "כתית" — for 830 years of lighting the menorah. Afterwards, will be “leha’alot neir tamid” — the third Beit Hamikdash — in which the candles will be lit forever.

(בעל הטורים - תולדות יצחק)


"להעלת נר תמיד"
“To kindle [bring up] a lamp continually.” (27:20)

QUESTION: Rashi explains that the word “leha’alot” means, to kindle until the flame rises up by itself. In the beginning of Parshat Beha’alotcha, Rashi writes that the word, “beha’alotecha” teaches us that there were steps in front of the menorah upon which the Kohen would stand and prepare the candles. Why doesn’t Rashi in our parshah say that the word, “leha’alot” teaches us that there was a step?

ANSWER: In our parshah, Hashem instructs Moshe that the Jews should bring him oil in order to kindle the menorah. When the Mishkan was erected, for the first seven days Moshe served as the Kohen Gadol and performed the service in the Mishkan. The Gemara (Berachot 54b) says that Moshe was ten amot tall (approximately 16 feet). Thus, when he kindled the menorah he did not need any step to stand on, for he was much taller than the menorah. Therefore, Rashi explains that the word “leha’alot” teaches us a rule about how to kindle the menorah itself.

However, Parshat Beha’alotecha discusses the kindling of the menorah by Aharon and his descendants throughout the generations. Since many Kohanim were not very tall and it is forbidden for a Kohen Gadol to raise his hands above the tzitz (forehead plate), Rashi writes that the Kohen would stand on a step while kindling the menorah.

(פון אונזער אלטען אוצר)


"ואלה הבגדים אשר יעשו חשן ואפוד"
“These are the garments they shall make a Choshen and an Eifod.” (28:4)

QUESTION: Rashi writes: “I have not heard nor have I found in a Bereita an explanation of its design, but my heart tells me that it is similar to the apron worn by princesses when they go horseback riding” (28:4).

How did Rashi get this idea?

ANSWER: Rashi was a great tzaddik and carefully observed Torah in all details. It is immodest for women to go horseback riding, and a tzaddik would definitely not want to see women doing something improper.

One day, while Rashi was walking in the street, a princess rode past him on a horse and he noticed her clothes. He began to contemplate why Hashem caused him to witness such a scene. When he was writing his commentary and came to the eifod, he was unable to find a way to describe it. Suddenly, he reminded himself of the princess that he had seen ride past him and said: “My heart now tells me that Hashem showed me the princess horseback riding to suggest a way to describe the eifod.”

(אוצר החסידות - ר' יחיאל מאיר מגוסטינין זצ"ל)


"ועשית חשן משפט"
“You shall make a breastplate of judgment.” (28:15)

QUESTION: Why was the descriptive word “judgment” added to the name “choshen” — “breastplate”?

ANSWER: Jewry eagerly awaits the ultimate redemption through Mashiach.

The prophet Isaiah says in the name of Hashem: “Keep justice and do righteousness, for soon my deliverance will come” (56:1). Midrash Rabbah (Devarim 5:7) states: “G‑d says, ‘if you will observe these two (charity and justice), I will redeem you immediately.’ ” The word “choshen” (חשן) has the numerical value of 358, which is also the numerical value of “Mashiach” (משיח).

Thus the words choshen mishpat suggest that the way to merit Mashiach (חשן) is through mishpat — true and honest judgment.

(בית יעקב - חיד"א)


"והטור הרביעי תרשיש ושהם וישפה"
“The fourth row of stones [in the breastplate] was chrysolite, onyx, and jasper.” (28:20)

QUESTION: The Jerusalem Talmud (Pei’ah 1:1) says we can learn a lesson in kibud av — honoring one’s father — from a non-Jew by the name of Dama ben Netina. Once, the yashpeih (jasper) stone of the breastplate got lost, and Dama ben Netina happened to have one. When the Jews came to him, he refused to sell it, even at a very large profit, because the key to his safe was under the pillow upon which his father was sleeping.

Why was a lesson in kibud av — honoring one’s father conveyed specifically through the stone yashpeih?

ANSWER: On each of the 12 stones of the breastplate was written the name of one of the 12 tribes. The stone yashpeih had on it the name “Binyamin.” The numerical value of “yashpeih” (ישפה), counting the word itself as one, is 396, which is the same numerical value as בנימין בן יעקב.

By plotting against Yosef and selling him, the brothers caused much grief to Yaakov. Thus, their performance of the mitzvah of kibud av was lacking. Binyamin was the only one who had absolutely no part in his brothers’ thoughts or activities against Yosef. Consequently, he surpassed his brothers in the observance of the mitzvah of kibud av, and it is therefore most appropriate that a lesson in kibud av should be learned from the stone which bore his name.

(מעינה של תורה)


"ולא יזח החשן מעל האפוד"
“And the breastplate will not be loosened from upon the eifod.” (28:28)

QUESTION: What is so terrible if the choshen becomes loosened from the eifod?

ANSWER: Aharon wore the breastplate “al libo” — “on his heart” (28:29). The word “eifod” (אפד) has the numerical value of 85, which is the same as the numerical value of “peh” (פה) — “mouth.” Torah is suggesting that the mouth and the heart should be in harmony. Being echad bepeh ve’echad beleiv” — saying things that we do not really mean — is contrary to Torah.

(דגל מחנה אפרים)


"ונתת אל חשן המשפט את האורים ואת התמים"
“And you shall place in the breastplate the Urim and the Tumim.” (28:30)

QUESTION: What were the Urim and the Tumim, and how did they function?

ANSWER: The Urim and the Tumim were two inscriptions of the Divine Name. When Moshe was in heaven studying the Torah, Hashem revealed to him the secret of how he should make the Urim and the Tumim. Only Moshe, to whom the secret was revealed, was able to make them, and he placed them into the fold of the breastplate. Therefore, it is not written anywhere that anyone should contribute to the making of the Urim and the Tumim nor were there any instruction to the workers about how to make it.

* * *

On the 12 stones of the breastplate were written the names of the twelve tribes, the names of the patriarchs, Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov, and also the words "שבטי ישרון" (Yoma 73b). On each stone were six letters, including the name of the tribe, and thus there were 72 letters in total.

When a question was brought before the Kohen Gadol, he would meditate on His Holy name of the Urim. This would cause the letters on the stones of the breastplate to light up or protrude. These letters spelled the answer to the question. However, since they were not in any special order, the Kohen Gadol would have to meditate on the Holy name of the Tumim and, then he would be given Ruach Hakodesh — Divine inspiration — (a level of prophecy lower than the one called “nevuah,”) to arrange the letters properly and convey the correct answer.

(רש"י ורמב"ן)

* * *

In the second Beit Hamikdash, although they had the breastplate, they did not seek instructions from it, either because the power of Ruach Hakodesh was lacking or because they lacked the Urim and the Tumim. During this period they relied on a bat kol, a voice which emanated from Heaven, a level of prophecy lower than Ruach Hakodesh.

(עי' רמב"ם, בית הבחירה פ"ד הל"א וספר קול צופיך)

* * *

Chana, the mother of the prophet Shmuel, came to the Beit Hamikdash every year to pray to Hashem for a child. The Kohen Gadol at that time was Eli. Seeing the woman’s lips moving and not being able to hear her voice, “Vayachsheveha Eli leshikorah” — “Eli thought that she was intoxicated” (I Samuel 1:13).

Eli knew Chana for many years as a righteous woman who yearned bitterly for a child. Why did he suddenly suspect her?

Eli was suspicious because he saw the letters “shikora” (ש,כ,ר,ה) — intoxicated — begin to light up on the breastplate. Chana told him that obviously he lacked the Ruach Hakodesh which is given to the Kohen to interpret and decipher the message (see Berachot 31b). The letters which lit up should be read to spell the word “kesheirah” (כשרה), which means a good respectable Jewish woman. She explained, “No, my master, I am a deeply grieved woman, I have drunk no wine or strong drink, but I have poured out my soul before Hashem” (I Samuel 1:15).

(קול אליהו - עי' רמב"ן שמות כ"ח ל')


"פעמן זהב ורמון...על שולי המעיל סביב: ונשמע קולו בבאו אל הקדש לפני ה' ובצאתו ולא ימות"
“A golden bell and a pomegranate...upon the hem of the robe round about. And his sound shall be heard when he enters the holy place before G‑d and when he goes out so that he not die.” (28:34-35)

QUESTION: Why was it necessary to sound bells when the Kohen Gadol went into the Sanctuary to do the service?

ANSWER: There is a popular misconception that this applies to the service of the Kohen Gadol on Yom Kippur in the Kodesh Hakadashim — inner Sanctuary. This is incorrect: in the inner Sanctuary he only wore four white linen garments, and the robe was not among them.

In Chumash Vayikra, Chapter 16, there is a detailed description of the services the Kohen Gadol performed on Yom Kippur. The Torah writes, “Vechol adam lo yihyeh be’Ohel Mo’eid bevo’o lechapeir bakodesh ad tzeito” — “No man shall be in the Ohel Mo’eid — communion tent — for the entire time that he enters the inner Sanctuary until he leaves” (16:17). According to the Jerusalem Talmud (Yoma 1:5), even angels were prohibited from being there.

Likewise, when the incense was offered by the Kohen on the golden altar in the Ohel Mo’eid, no one was permitted to be present, including angels (Rambam, Temidim U’musafim 3:3).

On Yom Kippur, the entire service of the day was done by the Kohen Gadol himself. Thus, even the incense offering of the morning, which was done daily in the Ohel Mo’eid, was done by the Kohen Gadol.

When the Kohen Gadol would enter the Ohel Mo’eid on Yom Kippur morning, or if he wished to offer the incense on any other morning, the bells would announce his entry. This was a signal for every person and also the angels to leave. Should he have entered suddenly without warning the angels, there was a possibility they would kill him. When he concluded the offering and was walking out, the sounding of the bells was a signal to the angels that they could return to the Ohel Mo’eid.

The law of ‘no one being present’ applies whether the Kohen Gadol or an ordinary Kohen offers the incense. However, due to the eminence of the Kohen Gadol, he was always subject to intense scrutiny and, as a precautionary measure, a special announcement was made when he enters.

* * *

Alternatively, the bells served as a request for permission to enter. When one wants to enter a King’s palace, it is proper to knock on the door and ask permission to enter. For sudden entry without permission, one may be put to death. (As Queen Esther told Mordechai regarding AchashveiroshEsther 4:11).

(רמב"ן כ"ח, מ"ג, הדרש והעיון)


"ופתחת עליו פתוחי חתם קדש לה'"
“And engrave upon it engraved like a signet ring, ‘Holy to G‑d.’” (28:36)

QUESTION: The words “pituchei chotam” — “engraved like a signet ring” — seem to be superfluous. What are they teaching us?

ANSWER: The Gemara (Ta’anit 2a) states that Hashem entrusts the tzaddikim with keys to all His treasures. He appoints them as His messengers and gives them the power to use them as they see fit. An exception to this are the keys to three treasures: 1) The power enabling birth (חיה), 2) the power to resurrect (תחית המתים), and 3) the power to make rain (מטר). The keys to these treasures are reserved and controlled only by Him.

The word “pituchei” (פתוחי) can be interpreted to mean “keys” (in Hebrew, “maftei’ach” is a key). The word “chotam” (חתם) is an acronym for חיה, תחית המתים, מטר. Thus, the Torah is implying that “pituchei” — the keys [to the treasures of] “chotam” are “kodesh laHashem” — uniquely reserved and sanctified, to be used only by Hashem Himself.

(קול אליהו)


"ועשית ציץ זהב טהור ופתחת עליו פתוחי חתם קדש לה'"
“You shall make a head-plate of pure gold, and you shall engrave upon it, engraved like a signet ring, ‘Holy to G‑d.’” (28:36)

QUESTION: Why were the words, “Holy to G‑d,” engraved on the head-plate?

ANSWER: The Gemara (Zevachim 88b) states that the garments of the Kohen Gadol were a source of forgiveness for various iniquities and transgressions committed by the Jewish people. The head-plate forgave the sin of azut panim — shamelessness or boldness. On the other hand, Yehudah ben Teima says, “Be bold(az) as a leopard when fulfilling the will of your Father in heaven” (Pirkei Avot 5:20).

The words, “Holy to G‑d,” engraved on the head-plate indicated that azut panim should be consecrated — used only for the purpose of serving Hashem.

(כתב סופר)


"וזה אשר תעשה על המזבח כבשים בני שנה שנים ליום תמיד"
“This is what you should offer upon the altar, two sheep within their first year, every day, continually.” (29:38)

QUESTION: The word “tamid” — “continually” — seems superfluous?

ANSWER: The Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim discusses the proper daily behavior of a Jew, and begins by quoting the pasuk “Shiviti Hashem lenegdi tamid” — “I have placed G‑d before me continually” (Psalms 16:8). At the end of the Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim, there is a discussion about eating a festive meal on Purim Katan (14th day, Adar I), concluding with the pasuk “Vetov leiv mishteh tamid” — “And to the goodhearted, life is a continuous feast” (Proverbs 15:15).

The Torah is suggesting that on a daily basis, a person should constantly observe the two “tamid”s — fear G‑d and worship Him with joy. (In a leap year, Purim Katan takes place in the week of Parshat Tetzaveh, and the above may be a remez — hint — to Purim Katan in the parshah.)

(לקוטי בתר לקוטי מהדו"ת)


"את הכבש האחד תעשה בבוקר ואת הכבש השני תעשה בין הערבים"
“You shall offer one lamb in the morning and the second lamb in the afternoon.” (29:39)

QUESTION: According to Yalkut Shimoni (Bereishit 99), when Avraham bound Yitzchak for a sacrifice, Hashem instituted the offering of two lambs daily, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. What is the connection between the Karban Tamid and the Akeidah?

ANSWER: When man is young, he is full of zest, and pursues his aspirations of wealth and success. Scaled to the day, this stage of life is the shacharit — the morning period. Many times, unfortunately, he claims that this preoccupation does not allow time for Torah study and service of Hashem.

When man passes the mid-years of his life, which corresponds to “bein ha’arbayim” — afternoon — he claims that he lacks the strength to study Torah due to physical weakening.

At the Akeidah, Avraham was an old man of 137 years and Yitzchak was a young man of 37. Regardless of their respective ages, the two of them dedicated themselves entirely to the service of Hashem. At that time, Hashem instituted the two daily sacrifices, to teach man that, regardless of his age, he must serve Hashem every day.

(הדרש והעיון)


"ושכנתי בתוך בני ישראל והייתי להם לאלקים"
“And I will dwell amidst the Children of Israel, and I will be their G‑d.” (29:45)

QUESTION: It should have said “veshachanti betocham,” — “I will dwell among them.” What special meaning is conveyed by the words “betoch” — “amidst” — B’nei Yisrael?

ANSWER: Hashem’s holy name, the Tetragrammaton, consists of four letters and was only pronounced in the Beit Hamikdash. In our times, it is common practice, in lieu of the four letters to print two “Yudden” (י-י).

An explanation for this practice may be this pasuk, in which Hashem says, “I will dwell in the midst of B’nei Yisrael.” The letters in the middle of the words "בני ישראל" are two “Yudden.”

(נחלת חמשה)

* * *

Hashem’s name is written with two “Yudden” alongside each other and not one above the other. The reason is that Hashem desires to see His beloved children united and coexisting. When one Yid wants to be on “top” of the other, the vowel of sh’va (:) is formed, which is the equivalent of naught. Hashem distances himself from the Jew who arrogantly perceives himself to be “above” another Jew. However, when one Yid stands beside another Yid and helps him, He is delighted to be among them.

(ר' נפתלי מראפשיץ זצ"ל)


"ועשית מזבח מקטר קטרת"
“You should make an altar on which to burn incense.” (30:1)

QUESTION: Why isn’t the golden altar discussed in Parshat Terumah, together with all the other vessels of the Mishkan?

ANSWER: Without an altar, it would be impossible to bring sacrifices. Without the Ark, there would be no place to store the Tablets. Without a menorah, it would be impossible to kindle candles on a daily basis. Without a table, there would not be a place to put the show-bread.

The golden altar was used only to burn the daily offering of ketoret — incense. Even without an altar, incense could be offered on the place where the altar stood (Zevachim 59a). Therefore, this altar is not recorded together with all the other items, since the Mishkan could function without it.

(משך חכמה)