PARSHA ON PARADE IS DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY
OF MY DEAR FATHER AND REBBI:
HARAV HAGAON RAV YESHAYA SHIMANOWITZ Z'TZL ,
YESHIVAS RABAINU YAAKOV YOSEF
(RABBI JACOB JOSEPH YESHIVA - RJJ)
IN NYC FOR OVER 23 YEARS.
NIFTAR ON 20 ADAR 5758 - MARCH 18, 1998.
MAY HE BE A MAYLITZ YOSHER FOR ALL OF KLAL YISROEL.
MY DEAR MOTHER
You too can dedicate
a Parsha or any other section of Torah Tots in honor or in memory
of someone close to you.
REBITZEN BRACHA ETEL SHIMANOWITZ A'H
WHO DEVOTED HER ENTIRE LIFE TO MY FATHER AND HIS TORAH,
NIFTERA ON 21 TEVET 5770 - WED EVE. JANUARY 6, 2010.
MAY SHE BE A MAYLITZA YOSHER FOR ALL OF KLAL YISROEL .
Menachim Z. Shimanowitz
For further info, click here.
NUMBER OF MITZVOT: 7
4 MITZVOT ASEH (POSITIVE COMMANDMENT)
3 MITZVOT LO TAASEH (NEGATIVE COMMANDMENT - PROHIBITION)
NUMBER OF PESUKIM (SENTENCES):101
NUMBER OF WORDS: 1412
NUMBER OF LETTERS: 5430
HAFTORA:: (Additional portion, from Prophets, which is read after the Parsha)
Yechezkel / Ezekiel 43:10-27
In our last episode Hashem gave the Bnei Yisroel fiery plans for a traveling worship station, the Mishkan, which will be packed up every time the Bnei Yisroel move on to a different camping ground, until they settle in Eretz Yisroel and build a permanent dwelling, the Bait Hamikdosh, for Hashem's Shechina (divine presence) But we're not finished yet.
As our Parsha opens the Torah fast forwards five months. The Bnei Yisroel are working full force on the monumental tast of building the Mishkan. This Parsha takes a peek at the Kohanim, the Priests of the Mishkan, who basically run the entire operation.
| Moshe makes an appeal
for olive oil. But not just any olive oil. This oil will be used
to light the Menorah, so it must be pure. When an olive
is pressed to release its oil, the first few drops are the purest.
Only those first few drops can be used for the Menorah.
(The rest of the oil can be used for other things in the Mishkan
like Mincha flour offerings on the Mizbayach).
It turns out that only the Nesiyim (Princes) of the Shvatim
(tribes) have pure enough olive oil for the Menorah.
This oil burns so brightly that it is said that during the times
of the Bait Hamikdash the rays of the Menorah
lit all the alleyways of Yerushalayim.
Only a Kohain can light the Menorah. Another Kohain however, gets his two cents into this mitzvah (mostly with a bottle of windex and a duster!) Each morning a Kohain will walk up the stepping stool that is placed before the Menorah, clean out the ashes from the lamps that rest on the Menorah's branches. The old wicks get replaced with fresh ones. Then fresh olive oil is poured from a "half-log bottle" (a "log" equals about half a pint). Of course, the olive oil's got to be the purest - only the first drops from a squished green one makes it into the Menorah!|
One of the seven lamps of the Menorah, the middle light, called the Nair Ma'aravi (Western Light), which did not receive any more oil than the other lamps, would always be burning when a Kohain came to clean the Menorah in the morning. The Kohain who lit the Menorah in the evening would always use the fire from the still-burning Nair Ma'aravi. This Nes (miracle) was a sign that Hashem's Shechina was in the Mishkan.
| All of the details
about the Mishkan are terrific and Moshe figures he'll
be mighty busy balancing complaints, commandments and korbanot.
That's when Hashem drops the bombshell. Moshe will not
be the Kohain Gadol after all. And the winner is.. (drum
roll...)... Aharon! Yes, Aharon who was called upon to go with Moshe
to Pharoh and DID NOT HESITATE. While Moshe argued with Hashem
by the burning bush, claiming not to be leadership material; coming
up with every excuse in the book not to accept his role in Yetziat
Mitzrayim, Aharon understood that Hashem knows best.
Now that's Kohain Gadol material. And being Kohain
Gadol, Aharon's kids become Kohanim and the line of
the great Kehunah descends from Aharon. (Moshe is still
a Levi and they've got plenty to do in the Bait Hamikdash,
but everyone knows that a Levi is only a Kohain-wannabe.)
| The Kohain Gadol
and his troop of Kohanim are a special breed. They represent
the best of Klal Yisroel to Hashem and the holiness
of Hashem to Klal Yisroel. This double role demands
full attention and awesome respect from the nation. The Kohanim,
themselves, must also realize the great responsibility that they
have when doing the "Avodah" (service) in the Mishkan.
And that's why Hashem has them dress in special glorious
and distinctive Bigdei Kehunah (Kohain's clothing).
There are four garments worn by the Kohen Hedyot (ordinary
The Kohain Gadol also wears the shirt, belt and pants plus
five more garments.
- KUTONET - This woven white
linen garment of a checkered design is a long shirt that stretches
from shoulder to the ground.
- AVNAIT - This is a 64 foot bathrobe style multi
colored belt is wrapped around the kohen's waist over the Kutonet.
- MICHNASAYIM - This is a pair of white linen boxer
shorts worn under the KUTONET.
- MIGBA'AT - This long
linen strip is wound around the kohen's head, shaped into a
- MITZNEFET - Instead of
the pointed hat look, the Kohain Gadol wraps his long
linen strap of cloth into a turban.
- AIFOD - The Kohain Gadol
wears an apron on his back that is tied around his shoulders
and waist with a belt which was part of the aifod.
Each shoulder strap contains a shoham stone, a precious
gemstone that is engraved with the names of six tribes. These
two straps are attached to the chains from which the Choshen
- CHOSHEN MISHPAT - The Choshen
Mishpat (breast plate), is the holiest of the Bigdei
Kehunah. It is a square piece of material that has been
folded over to make a pocket. In this pocket Moshe will place
the "Urim Vetumim," a parchment enscribed with the
72-letter holy name of Hashem. Twelve precious stones
are set against the woven square, each representing a different
To see the order of the names, Click here.
- ME'IL - A full-length coat
of blue dyed wool is worn by the Kohain Gadol. Hanging
from the hemline are 72 golden bells that jingle with every
step. Between the bells hang 72 woolen ornamental pomegranates.
The Kohain Gadol made a lot of noise when he walked.
- TZITZ - The Kohain Gadol
wore a golden plate on his forehead, on which is engraved, the
letters Kodesh LaHashem, spelling out the Divine Four-Letter
Name. It is fastened by three blue ribbons, one ribbon was fastened
to a hole in the middle of the tzitz while the other
two ribbons were fastened through holes at each side of the
tzitz. The two side ribbons met and tied with the top
ribbon at the back of the Kohain Gadol's head.
| Once the Mishkan is
finished, the Avodah will begin. This includes sprinkling
blood from Korbanot (sacrifices) against the walls of the
Mizbayach, burning parts of the Korban in the
Mizbayach's fire, and eating the rest of the animal; Like
we said before, a Kohain cleans the Menorah and
a Kohain lights it; there are three kinds of korbanot
to bring and rituals to perform. But before any of this can begin,
the Mishkan must be dedicated and the Kohanim
must be prepared to take on "the great Kehunah." Moshe
will be the one to teach the Kohanim all the laws and rituals
of sacrifice and working the Mishkan. For the Shiv'at
Yemay Hamilu'im (the seven Inauguration days) of the Mishkan,
Moshe will wear the clothing of the Kohain and teach the
Kohanim the laws of the Avodah, offer three types
of sacrifices to show Aharon and his sons the way it's done. During
those seven days of dedication, Moshe, Aharon and his sons will
immerse themselves in the Mikveh. Moshe annoints the Kohanim
with oil on their foreheads and they will wear the vestments of
the Kehunah. By the time that seven days are up, Aharon
and his sons will absorb the details of the Avodah.
As you already know, there are two Altars in the Mishkan.
In our last Parsha, Hashem revealed the plans for the Mizbayach
used for animal sacrifices, called the Mizbayach Hanechoshet
(Copper Altar) or Mizbayach Hachitzon (Outer Altar). This
Mizbayach will be placed in the courtyard of the Mishkan.
Its ramp, used to lead animals up to the top, will stretch across
most of the width of the courtyard. Now, Hashem reveals
the details of another Mizbayach, called the Mizbayach
Haketoret (incense Altar) or the Mizbayach Hazahav,
(gold Altar) or Mizbayach Hapnimi (inner Altar).This Mizbayach
will be placed in the Ohel Moed near the Menorah
and the Shulchan. The Mizbayach Haketoret will
be made of shittim wood that is coated with gold. Around its top,
is to be a golden rim. For travelling purposes two rings are attached
to each side of the Mizbayach. Gold-plated wooden poles
are placed through the rings on each side of the Mizbayach
so that the Leviyim can carry the Mizbayach.
Twice a day, once in the morning, then again in the afternoon, the Kohain will burn ketoret (incense) on this Mizbayach. The Mizbayach Haketoret is a sign of love between Hashem and the Bnei Yisroel. When the ketoret is burned the smoke rises straight up to Shamayim and Hashem forgives the sins of the Bnei Yisroel. Although there will only be a thin layer of gold covering the wood body of this altar, the fire that burns over it will never scorch the wood.
But even as Hashem reveals the antidote on the summit,
a big sin is lurking down below. Will the Bnei Yisroel
rise to the occasion on will Moshe drop the ball? (OOPS, I mean
the tablets). It's going be a real headache next week, so do like
Moshe and take two tablets before the next exciting episode of:
the Midrash Mavin on Tetzaveh
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