Points to Ponder
Moshe’s name – The Baal HaTurim points out that the name of Moshe does not appear in the Parsha in partial fulfillment of Moshe Rabbeinu’s statement that if you do not forgive Bnei Yisrael then wipe his name out of the Torah. Rav Menachem Genack Shlita explained that Parshas Tetzaveh was selected because that Parsha deals with the Bigdei Kehuna. Moshe, as a leader did not need Bigdei Kehuna (or Bigdei Malchus) for his ability to rule. His being was more important than the Bigadim.
And you will command (27:2) – Rav Yaakov Kamenetzsky ztl. explained that the word V’Ata appears almost superfluous based on the rules of Hebrew grammar. The only time the word V’Ata is utilized is when it is used to the exclusion of others. This is what is happening here too. While Parshas Terumah noted that Bnei Yisrael were supposed to share in the building of the Mishkan, Tetzaveh was a command to Moshe to the exclusion of Bnei Yisrael. The building of the Mishkan involved the Chomer while Tetzaveh highlights the attachment of Tzurah to the Chomer of Terumah.
From night to day (27:21) – Rashi says that you need to put in enough oil so that it will illuminate from night until dawn. Rav Nosson Gestetner ztl. explains that one needs to learn Torah in such a way – K’middasa – that it remains with him even in the darkness. The light refers to the light of Torah which needs to illuminate in the darkness which he describes as the world of business.
And you shall make holy garments for Aharon your brother for honor and glory (28:2) – Rav Wolbe ztl. noted that the concepts of Kavod and Tiferes are not synonymous. Kavod refers to revelation within nature while Tiferes refers to that which transcends nature – like a miracle. Both existed in the Mishkan. While on the one hand there was much that was miraculous and supernatural in the Mishkan it was also a place where the glory of Hashem permeated the daily functioning too – bringing the honor there.
Migbaas versus Mitznefes () – Are these 2 garments the same? So Tosafos in Yoma points out that since the Kohein Gadol had to wear the Tzitz and so it likely needed to be smaller. Rav Schachter shlita would point out to us that the bigger the Kohein, the smaller the hat. The fact is that the wearer needs to have the sensation of his Tefillin Shel Rosh – since the Kohein Gadol needed to place his shel rosh higher, his hat was smaller.
And this is what you shall offer on the altar - two yearling sheep, two a day, forever (29:38) – Why is this mentioned here in the context of the building of the Mishkan? Doesn’t it merely belong in the book of Vayikra or in Pinchas? Rav Aharon Lichtenstein Shlita explains that there are 2 aspects to the bringing of the Korban Tamid – one is in the fact that it is the raison D’Etra of the Mishkan. Without it, construction makes no sense. At the same time, it is a korban – with responsibilities to atone for specific sins. The dual nature explains why this korban appears in 2 places. Rav Lichtenstein explains that each aspect is being highlighted. He explains that the dual nature also explains why it is a klal gadol baTorah. When one lives the daily grind and sees that it is the daily grind that is the backbone of the toil in Avodas Hashem, that is the greatest Klal in the Torah.
And you will make a Mizbeiach for the Ketores (30:1) – Why is it that the command to make the Menorah, the Shulchan and the Aron appear before the building of the Mishkan while the other Keilim only appear after the building? Rav Moshe Feinstein ztl. suggested that when one builds a building he must know what the purpose of the building is. The Mishkan too, needed a purpose stated—in order to allow the Shechina to dwell in the new edifice. Thus, the Aron which refers to Torah and the Shulchan which is symbolic of Tzedaka and Gemillas Chessed were commissioned first. However, in order for the mission to be pure and on point, it needed illumination from Rabbonim to be sure that the Torah and Tzedaka would indeed be pure --- hence the Menorah too needed to be present before the project was begun.
Haftorah: In the same way women tasted your sword (Samuel I: 15:33) – It appears from the Possuk that Aggag’s mother was still alive. Why was she left alive? Rav Chaim Kanievski Shlita explains that clearly she was from a different nation and was not an Amalekite. Based on this, the Baalei Tosafos (Al HaTorah in Beshalach) explains that at the time that Shaul held Aggag in prison overnight, Aggag had relations with a donkey that turned out to be a woman who disguised herself using witchcraft. (See Rashi Shmuel I: 15:3) That woman had to be a non-amalekite. Since she was not an Amalekite she was not killed – she was the one who changed herself and helped perpetuate the Amalekite nation.