Parshah Columnists - Tetzaveh

Guest Columnists
Inner Moses
Life Lessons From the Parshah - Tetzaveh
I Am More Than My Name
In this week's portion, Moses is not mentioned. This teaches us that a person’s name is not one’s essential identity.
It's OK Not to Be Inspired (Right Now)
Are you to abandon G‑d until you next have the time and are actually in the mood of plugging into your spiritual side?
The Enemy of Your Enemy
Is it really that simple? What if you don’t have a common enemy?
Clothes Do Make the Man: Why Your Mother Was Right
There is a saying that our life is a gift from G‑d, but that what we do with that life is our gift back to G‑d. In order to make that remotely meaningful, we have to understand the exalted essence of a human being.
High Fashion
Why the need to engrave the names twice on the High Priest's garments? And why the change in from one tribe on each of twelve stones to six tribes on two stones?
Baggage Restrictions
First it was taking off your shoes to go through security, and then it was your belt.
Grading Oil
When Golda Meir famously joked that the Jewish people had managed, after forty years of wandering, to end up in the only country in the Middle East with no oil, she was only partially right...
The Altar
The unique law of the altars not receiving impurity gives insight into the soul of every Jew…
Just Do It
Feelings don’t come automatically. We cannot just turn the happiness switch on, or suddenly feel love. So what do we do when we don’t feel happiness and empathy?
Light, Clothing and Incense
A Lesson in Authenticity
We must be authentic in the way we present ourselves—not only holy and pure on the outside, but on the inside as well.
The Inner Meaning of the Breastplate
The urim denotes its brilliant awareness of its Divine source and its fiery yearning to dissolve in it. The tumim denotes its wholehearted sincerity and thorough devotion to fulfill the commandments.
Down to the Details
An Essay on Parshat Tetzaveh
"In Parshat Tetzaveh we see that there are functions that are indispensable for the Tabernacle’s overall structure to work and achieve its purpose; without them, it simply does not respond"
7 Thoughts About Reflecting Light
As corrective lenses are for the eyes, the Torah is for the soul; it maximizes the soul’s inner vision.
Torah Insights
The Kabbalah of Fashion
The very purpose of a garment is to conceal the inner core and portray an external facade.
Weekly Sermonette
The Missing Moses
What do we imagine to be Moses’ finest hour? Receiving the Torah? Leading the Jews to the Exodus? Splitting the sea? Would you be shocked if I told you it is none of the above?
Jews and Oil
How do we strike a balance between retaining our Jewish identity on the one hand, while at the same time being citizens of the world?
Don’t Fade Before You Finish
The secret to success goes beyond the initial enthusiasm. It requires persistence, commitment, and consistency.
Life's Passages
Can Being an "Absent Parent" Ever Be Positive?
There are times when our restraint says so much more than our actions.
How to Avoid Becoming Grumpy in the Golden Years
Goals, pressures, and even some crushing responsibilities can help us discover our strength and creativity.
Parshah Musings
Yom Kippur in February
We pray every day and then do it all over again the next day. It’s all so humdrum and predictable. Only on the red-letter days such as Yom Kippur do we stop to contemplate the mysteries of the Divine and the uniqueness of the day.
Initiation Rituals
Our prayers are not just slogans, our tunes and chants are credos of our belief, and our festivals and holidays are a reflection of our history. Every ritual and ceremony is packed full of purpose.
A Priestly Class?
For Friday Night
The Task of Leadership
The Temple is in the past, but it will also be in the future. Hence it teaches us about the present
The Private Dimension
Each mitzvah is a personal link with G-d
A Thought for the Week
A Call to the Priest
Parshah Messages
The Menorah's Dual Message
One menorah. Two symbolisms. Torah and unity. The connection?
Living through the Parshah
The Oil of the Soul
Moses’ task of nurturing his flock’s faith expresses itself in its fullest at those times when we are “crushed.” For it is then that the essential faith kicks into highest gear and activates incredible luminescent displays of commitment to G-d.
The Wisdom of Modesty
Last week I carried out a social experiment...
Reflections on the Parshah
Mitzvot are for Us
The light of the Menorah wasn't for G-d's benefit; it was for us. Same is true for all the commandments.
Transcendence through Prayer
Leadership and prayer: the two share a common theme.
Inner Stream
The Jew and the Olive
Olives are a metaphor for the Jewish people. In the words of our sages, just as oil is extracted when the olive is compressed, so does the Jew. Oil refers to the inner resolve of our neshama (soul) that emerges in times of challenge...
Sound and Silence
Beyond life spans a vast stillness. But as long as we live and strive, sound denotes activity, activity denotes movement, and movement denotes a discrepancy between where we are and where we want to be . . .
Constructive Shame
As soon as the Tabernacle was erected, G‑d instructed that seven lights be kindled on the candelabra every day. Surprised, Moses asked, "Dear G‑d, You are the Master of light, do You require light from us?"
Tough Love
Woe to parents who discipline out of anger and, in their rage, forget their love.
What Do You Think?
The Benefits of Anonymity
Moses learned the Torah from G-d Himself. He wanted to be part of it with all his heart. But he was willing to give it all up for something dearer to him than the Torah—the Jewish people...
What the Rebbe Taught Me
Make Some Noise!
How do we reconcile the importance of publicizing good deeds with the Jewish value of modesty?
Weekly Torah
Look Beyond the Label
A person's name does not reflect that person's essential self. A name, or a descriptive word applied to a person, is used by others to refer to that person
The Removable Self
Man is the only truly clothed creature—a creature who attires him- or herself not only for warmth and protection, but to alter, enhance, even transform, his very identity.
A Long Pole
By law, the menorah stood in a chamber into which only kohanim (priests) were permitted entry. But the law also states that an ordinary person may light the menorah. What is the point—and lesson—of this legal paradox?
Moses Disappears
When a Jew abandons Torah, does he or she lose their connection with G-d? Or is it the Torah that loses its connection with G-d?
Parshah Recovery
Experience, Strength and Hope
When sharing the hopelessness of our condition, our goal should never be to depress or intimidate our prospect. To the contrary, our true message is the testimony of how G‑d ultimately transformed our own chaotic existence into a more meaningful life...
Covenant & Conversation
Brothers: A Drama in Five Acts
For once Moses, the hero, the leader, the liberator, the lawgiver, is off-stage.
Who is Honored?
For once, Moses, the hero, the leader, the liberator, the lawgiver, is offstage. Instead our focus is on his elder brother Aaron who, elsewhere, is often in the background.
Inspiration and Perspiration
The people who change the world, whether in small or epic ways, are those who turn peak experiences into daily routines, who know that the details matter, and who have developed the discipline of hard work, sustained over time.
Prophet and Priest
This is the only Torah portion from the beginning of Shemot to the end of Bamidbar that does not contain the name of Moses. Why?
The Ethic of Holiness
For the first time in our parsha we encounter the idea of a hereditary elite within the Jewish people, Aaron and his male descendants, whose task was to minister in the sanctuary.
Beyond Speech
When Life Gives You Olives... Make Oil
I could teach, lecture, sing, dance and play guitar, and I was strong and handy. I watched that all slip away.
The High Priest Needs You!
Pomegranates represent those who are at the lowest possible level of observance.
I Am, Therefore I Believe
Will I revert to how I was before ALS, or will I remain the man I have become due to the crushing years that I have endured?
Our Temple - The Third Temple
All this will come with the third Temple, which G-d is building in heaven
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