Parshas Tetzaveh


1) We must understand why Parshas Terumah and Parshas Tetzaveh are two separate Parshios, since they both discuss the Mishkan. Why do we need two separate Parshios and what is the difference exactly between the two?

2) We find that the Menorah is mentioned in both Parshas Terumah and Parshas Tetzaveh, why is that so and what is the חידוש of the Menorah in Parshas Tetzaveh?

3) The pasuk ((כג' כא' says "יערך אתו אהרן ובניו מערב עד בקר" - that the Menorah was lit specifically from ערב until בקר. During the nighttime in the Beis Hamikdash nothing really was going on, but the Menorah specifically was lit right at the end of the day when there was no other Avodah taking place. What exactly was the purpose of this if nobody was around at night?

4) Rashi on the pasuk ("להעלות נר תמיד" (כז' כ' says "מדליק עד שתהא שלהבת עולה מאליה" - that they lit the Menorah until the flame goes up by itself. What is the meaning behind this that you shouldn’t leave the lighting until the flame goes up by itself?

5) One of the most interesting points in this week’s Parsha is the מזבח הקטורת which is brought at the end of the Parsha ((ל' א'.  Why is this מזבח brought in Parshas Tetzaveh and not in Parshas Terumah with the rest of the Keilim of the Mishkan? It seems that the מזבח הקטורת is the climax of the whole Mishkan, spoken about at the end of these Parshios, but what is so special about this מזבח and why is it not written together with the other Keilim?

6) We actually see a similarity between the Menorah and the Avodah of the Ketores. The pesukim ((ל', ז'-ח' say that "והקטיר עליו אהרן קטרת בבקר", during the time of "בהיטבו את הנרות". Also it says "ובעלות אהרן את הנרת בין הערבים יקטירנה". So the קטורת in the morning was by the הטבת הנרות, and the קטורת בין הערבים  was by the הדלקת הנרות. What exactly is the connection between the  קטורתand the Menorah, and why did both עבודות of the Menorah have to be together with both עבודות of the קטורת?

7) The Ba’al Haturim in the beginning of the Parsha brings down that Parshas Tetzaveh is the only Parsha since Moshe Rabbeinu was born that his name isn’t mentioned. The reason for this is because Moshe in Parshas Ki Sisa ((שמות לב', לב' says "מחני נא מספריך", by the חטא העגל, and if a חכם is מקלל even בחנם it’s מתקיים. This is difficult to understand because why was Parshas Tetzaveh specifically chosen to omit Moshe’s name, especially since it was before the sin of the Eigel? We must understand exactly what Moshe meant when he said "מחני נא מספרך" and then we’ll be able to understand why Parshas Tetzaveh was chosen.

8) In this week’s Parsha of Tetzaveh there’s an extra stress on Bnei Yisroel, as we notice the pesukim repeatedly mention these words. The first pasuk in the Parsha says "ואתה תצוה את בני ישראל", then the following pasuk says "חקת עולם לדורתם מאת בני ישראל", and then again the pasuk after that says "ואתה הקרב אליך את אהרן אחיך ואת בניו אתו מתוך בני ישראל". What is the big stress over here that Bnei Yisroel is written so many times?


The Yesod of Tefillin

The Gemara in Brachos brings that it says in the Tefillin which Hashem puts on"מי כעמך ישראל גוי אחד בארץ"- מעלות of Klal Yisroel, and in Klal Yisroel’s Tefillin it says "שמע ישראל ה' אלוקינו ה' אחד".

The whole ענין of Tefillin is connecting us and tying the עצמיות of Klal Yisroel together with הקב"ה. This is why there is an ענין of קשירה by Tefillin, as Tefillin has a lot of knots, and the ענין of Tefillin is "וקשרתם" - tying us together with Hashem. Klal Yisroel and Hashem both have the other one’s מעלות in their Tefillin and each one of them binds themselves together with the other’s מעלות.

These two Tefillin of Klal Yisroel and הקב"ה, one with the מעלה of Klal Yisroel and one with the מעלה of Hashem, are connected and represented by Parshas Terumah and Parshas Tetzaveh.

Parshas Terumah & Parshas Tetzaveh (Answer to Question #1)

Parshas Terumah represents the שבח and מעלה of הקב"ה. It says "ויקחו לי תרומה", and Rashi says "לי לשמה". Terumah, like we explained last week, is a Parsha full of בלתי ה' לבדו , where we build a Mishkan and connect to Hashem’s מעלות.

Parshas Tetzaveh, on the other hand, is a Parsha of the מעלה of Klal Yisroel. No matter what situation we may be in we’re always tied and connected to Hashem. Tetzaveh represents the Tefillin of Klal Yisroel which ties us together with the רבונו של עולם  and makes us inseparable from Him. The מעלה of a Yid is that no matter what situation he may be in he is tied and inseparable from Hashem. Even when Klal Yisroel is on their lowest מדרגה and they’re in their worst possible situation, and they’re breaking loose ח"ו from Hashem, so Parshas Tetzaveh reveals to us that there is no such thing as becoming loose or untied from Hashem. We are connected and tied to Hashem just like the Tefillin are tied to us and connecting us to הקב"ה.

So Parshas Terumah and Parshas Tetzaveh correspond to that עצמיות-dika connection and קשר between Klal Yisroel and the רבונו של עולם. Terumah is the רבונו של עולם and Tetzaveh is Klal Yisroel.

The Avodah of Sefer Shemos & the Mishkan

When Hashem promised Avraham Avinu by the ברית בין הבתרים[1] that he’ll have children and a son who will start a Klal Yisroel, Avraham asked Hashem "במה אדע כי ארשנה". So Hashem answered "קחה לי עגלה משולשת", בזכות הקרבנות.

The Maharal (in גבורת השם) explains Hashem’s answer as follows: A Korban is really the הבדלה and distinction between Klal Yisroel and the Goyim[2].  A goy can sink so low until he becomes a בהמה. We find in Yechezkel that the Mitzrim and the Goyim are called and compared to the lowest of the בהמות. They’re compared to סוסים ("זרמתם סוסים") and חמורים ("עם הדומה לחמור"), because when it comes to the Goyim the נפש הבהמית takes over in such an extreme way that they ממש become a בהמה.

The Yesod of a Korban & the Mishkan

A Yid however can never become a בהמה, even though his נפש הבהמית causes him to sin sometimes. The Yesod of a Korban is that we can burn our נפש הבהמית. Even though our נפש הבהמית can take over sometimes and cause us to sin, but when we take a בהמה and burn it on the מזבח we’re showing that בעצם it’s not our עצמיות, and a Yid is not a בהמה.

This is the Yesod of Korbanos and the meaning of the Tefilla we say beforehand. When we say "ומותר האדם מן הבהמה אין כי הכל הבל"- that’s a Goy. But "אבל אנחנו עמך" are different and we have a way to prove that it’s not possible for a Yid to be a בהמה, by bringing a Korban and showing that the חטא was never part of us.

The Gemara in the beginning of Meseches Avodah Zarah says that Hashem saw that the Goyim weren’t keeping the שבע מצוות בני נח so he took it away from them and said you don’t have to keep them anymore. The question arises though that why did Hashem act this way to them and why didn’t He punish them instead of just allowing them now to transgress them freely (see further on in Gemara there which also brings up this difficulty)?  One can explain this as follows: What Hashem was saying was that He’s taking away the שבע מצוות בני נח and now they became a בהמה, and an animal isn’t obligated in any Mitzvos. In other words they lost their מעלה altogether by transgressing their Mitzvos, so therefore Hashem permitted them and showed that now that they’ve lost their מעלה they’re basically a בהמה who has no more Mitzvos.

But when dealing with Klal Yisroel, if they ח"ו sin, Hashem will punish over and over giving us the message that “You are going to do the Mitzvos, and if not you’ll get punished.” This shows that Klal Yisroel are בצלם אלקים and "בנים אתם לה' אלקים" [3].

The Difference between the Yiddin & the Goyim

This is what Hashem was telling Avraham by the ברית בין הבתרים, when He said בזכות הקרבנות.  The Yesod of Korbanos is that Klal Yisroel is special and they can never become a בהמה.  Even though they have a נפש הבהמית, they can never become a בהמה and they can bring up Korbanos when they sin.  Korbanos aren’t שייך to Goyim[4].  By Goyim, once they are like a בהמה then they’re a בהמה, like we say "ומותר האדם מן הבהמה אין כי הכל הבל", and they’re not able to bring up a Korban to lose their בהמות side of them.  This is what Hashem was telling Avraham Avinu.

This is why the Goyim are compared to סוסים ("זרמתם סוסים") and חמורים ("עם הדומה לחמור"), because this really is their essence.  We even find that Goyim served animals (like we find in Mitzrayim that they served the sheep) because they felt the animals were their god because that’s as high as they go.  Even their Ruchniyus and who they serve are כולו בהמות.

We find that when the Yiddin were deeply engrossed in Mitzrayim in the מ"ט שערי טומאה, there was a טענה on the Yiddin that how were they different from the Goyim, "הללו עובד עבודה זרה והללו עובד עבודה זרה" - meaning both nations were like בהמות.  So Hashem told the Yiddin I’ll take you out of Mitzrayim בזכות  the Mitzvah of Korban Pesach.  This Mitvah showed that if they were מקריב that Korban then only the Goyim were בהמות and the Yiddin were an אדם.  This is why they had to put the blood on the doorposts and Hashem differentiated between the Yiddin and Goyim.  On the night of יציאת מצרים this differentiation between the Yiddin and the Goyim took place[5].

This is also why right after Klal Yisroel left Mitzrayim they brought up the Korban Omer which is a Korban of שעורים (barley) which is מאכל בהמה.  By bringing this Korban we showed that we’re bringing the מאכל בהמה and the בהמות inside of us and we’re מקריב it on the מזבח to show we’re getting rid of these qualities inside of us.  From there we go one step after another until we reach Shavuos when we bring the שתי הלחם, which is מאכל אדם, and we climbed out of the נפש בהמיות and became an אדם.

Sefer Shemos - Bringing out the מעלה of Klal Yisroel

So the whole Sefer Shemos is מגלה the מעלה of Klal Yisroel.  When it comes to the Goyim we say "ומותר האדם מן הבהמה אין כי הכל הבל", but by the Yiddin we proudly state that we’re different and we say "אבל אנחנו עמך בני בריתך" [6]

Parshas Terumah and the Keilim of the Mishkan bring out and show this connection between Klal Yisroel and Hashem and how much they’re greater than the other nations of the world. 

Parshas Tetzaveh - Our Connection to Hashem (Answer to Question #8)

Parshas Tetzaveh brings out something else.  "תצוה" is מלשון צוותא, which means a connection, where we’re locked up and tied in with the רבונו של עולם and nothing can separate us or cause us to drop down because Hashem will always pull us up.  We are completely connected to the רבונו של עולם. 

Now we understand the stress why "בני ישראל" is mentioned so many times in the beginning of the Parsha.  This is to show that this is the Parsha of bringing out the great מעלה of every single Yid of "בני ישראל", our connection to Hashem.

The Menorah - Bringing out the מעלה of Klal Yisroel (Answer to Question #2)

Now we can begin to understand the different parts of the Mishkan and how they brought out the different מעלות of Klal Yisroel.  The beginning of the Parsha starts with the Menorah, and the מדרש רבה says that Klal Yisroel is compared to a זית because when you mix oil and another liquid together the oil always comes up at the top.  So too Klal Yisroel who are compared to oil (שמן זית) have this מעלה that they always come up at the top in Hashem’s eyes.

It also says by the oil "כתית למאור", and the Medrash says that sometimes Hashem has to squeeze and crush Klal Yisroel with punishments, like is done to the olives.  But what comes out?  This crushing brings out the שרשיות קדושה of the Yiddin.  Rashi says that only the טיפה ראשונה was used for the Menorah, and this is מרמז to Yaakov Avinu’s טיפה ראשונה (see footnote 5).  Yaakov Avinu’s טיפה ראשונה was while he was in the home of Lavan, being squeezed by Lavan and Eisav, and this brought out his טיפה ראשונה which was the beginning of the י"ב שבטי י-ה of Klal Yisroel and the שורש הקדושה of Klal Yisroel.

So the whole Avodah of the Menorah was to bring out this tremendous מעלה of Klal Yisroel, whether it’s when the oil (compared to the Yiddin) is on top or when the כתישה and crushing of the olives bring out the שמן זית זך and the purity of Klal Yisroel.  If you squeeze Klal Yisroel hard enough you show their purity, even if outwardly they might behave like their נפש בהמיות.  If you squeeze them a bit then all the שמן זית זך and all their purity will come out.  This was the whole Avodah of the Menorah - to bring out the מעלות of Klal Yisroel [7].

The מזבח הקטורת - Making every Yid Special (Answers to Questions #5 & #6)

So Parshas Tetzaveh, which is the Parsha of bringing out the מעלה of Klal Yisroel, begins with the Avodah of the Menorah which also connects to this theme.  Now we can understand the climax of all this at the end of the Parsha with the מזבח הקטורת. 

The קטורת was made up of 11 סמנים, spices.  One of the spices was חלבונה which had a terrible smell, and Rashi (שמות ל' לד') says the reason why it was combined with all the others was in order to be "מצטרף פושעי ישראל בתפילתם".  But why did we combine the חלבונה if it had a bad smell?  The answer to this is that really a Yid doesn’t have a ריח רע and really his פנימיות is כולו טוב [8].  Just sometimes he needs a bit of attention, and therefore if you’re מצטרף and combine him together with the תפילות ישראל then you’ll see he also has the tremendous מעלה of a Yid.

The main point of the מזבח הקטורת was brining out even the lowest parts of a Yid and making it smell nice.  It made every single Yid smell beautiful and it brought out the tremendous מעלה of every Yid.  This is the climax of what Parshas Tetzaveh is all about[9].

It’s very interesting to note that the fire of the קטורת came from the מזבח החיצון.  The Gemara in Yuma says that on the מזבח החיצון there were many fires, one was the מערכה גדולה and another was the מערכה שניה של קטורת which was used to light the מזבח הפנים for the קטורת.  This מערכה שניה של קטורת was on the מזבח החיצון, which was the מזבח הבהמי where they brought up all the animals as Korbanos.  So why do we take the fire for the קטורת from the מזבח הבהמי, why don’t we light a new fire on the מזבח inside for the קטורת, rather taking the fire from outside?

Even more so, the pasuk says that the מזבח הקטורת must be placed directly facing the ארון, but why was this so?  The answer is that you can take a Yid who is full of בהמית"-dik" and you can bring him all the way until the ארון in the קדש הקדשים, and this is done through the Avodah of the קטורת.  The עבודת הקטורת starts off from the מזבח החיצון, the בהמית"-dika" מזבח, and the actual Avodah takes place ממש opposite the ארון, and then once a year, on Yom Kippur, the עבודת הקטורת took place even on the ארון [10].  It took place inside the קדש הקדשים, a place that showed our deepest connection with Hashem.  The קדש הקדשים and the Avodas הקטורת revealed the most inner Kedusha of Klal Yisroel which is forever קדוש וטהור [11]

So on Yom Kippur when the Kohen Gadol took קטורת inside the קדש הקדשים he was “tying” Klal Yisroel together with Hashem inside the קדש הקדשים which brought out the עצמיות"-dika" מעלה of Klal Yisroel which brought about our כפרה [12]

The Gemara in Shabbos says that Moshe Rabbeinu got the secret of the קטורת when he went up to get the Torah and the מלאך המות gave him the קטורת.  This shows that the סוד הקטורת is really שייך to the מלאכים and the higher worlds.  Moshe Rabbeinu revealed that the מעלה of Klal Yisroel is even higher than the מלאכים.  When the מלאכים told Hashem not to give the Torah to Klal Yisroel, Moshe held onto the כסא הכבוד and showed them that Klal Yisroel is much higher than the אומות העולם and he revealed to the מלאכים the deep connection of Klal Yisroel.  This was when the מלאך המות gave Moshe the סוד הקטורת [13]

This explains why the מזבח הקטורת is in Parshas Tetzaveh, the Parsha of our connection to Hashem, and how it took a person out from the מזבח הבהמית (the מזבח החיצון) right into the קדש הקדשים.

The Yesod of "מחני נא מספרך" (Answer to Question #7)

According to this explanation we can now understand what Moshe said "ואם אין מחני נא מספרך".  "אין" is the דרגה of כתר, as it says (in איוב) "חכמה מאין תמצא" - and חכמה comes from כתר.  The חטא העגל was such an extreme sin because the Yiddin served Avodah Zarah and were so close to becoming Goyim.  All of the great מעלות of Klal Yisroel, which the Menorah and קטורת represent, were about to be taken away after the עגל.

We see from the pesukim that Aharon HaKohen couldn’t be מלמד זכות and find a מעלה in the חטא העגל.  He tells Moshe that they didn’t give him a choice, and he’s sort of מקטרג on Klal Yisroel.  Aharon couldn’t find their מעלה here because he couldn’t reach that deep into Klal Yisroel, because his Avodah was that you push them a little and you bring out their מעלה.

In order to find the מעלה of Klal Yisroel by the עגל it was necessary to go all of the way up to the דרגה of אין, like Moshe said "ואם אין מחני נא".  The Sefarim say that Moshe by the חטא העגל had a כח to reveal a חלק of Klal Yisroel that even the עגל wasn’t פוגם.  He showed the רבונו של עולם that it’s impossible for a Yid to become a בהמה.  Even though they made an עגל, a golden בהמה, and they decorated this animal - they’re still not בהמות.

This is the קדש קדשים-dika דרגה which Moshe brought out about Klal Yisroel by the עגל: The deep עצמיות of Klal Yisroel, the דרגה of "אין" and of the קדש הקדשים.  Moshe showed the deep אהבה which Hashem has for Klal Yisroel, like the כרובים hugging each other even during חורבן בית המקדש.

This is why Moshe Rabbeinu is not mentioned in Parshas Tetzaveh.  It wasn’t a punishment, but rather it was because Moshe entered into a place which was hidden[14].  He entered into this place in order to bring out and reveal the deep and עצמיות-dika connection which Klal Yisroel has with Hashem.  This דרגה is סתום and hidden, because it’s a קדש קדשים-dika דרגה[15].  So, since Parshas Tetzaveh reveals the מעלות of Klal Yisroel as far as we can get, "מחני נא"is fulfilled in this same Parsha.  It is this Parsha which shows how Klal Yisroel is inseparable from Hashem, and even a חטא העגל can’t separate us from Hashem[16].  Even when Klal Yisroel are like בהמות and they even make and decorate a golden animal, never the less, Klal Yisroel can never become a בהמה.  Like we say "אבל אנחנו עמך בני בריתך", and by Klal Yisroel it’s never שייך to be מתקיים what we say "ומותר האדם מן הבהמה אין כי הכל הבל".

So Moshe hid himself and went into the קדש הקדשים, into a place which was hidden in order to reveal and bring out this deep מעלה of Klal Yisroel [17].

Klal Yisroel can always be Recharged (Answers to Questions #3 & #4)

Now we can understand what Rashi says that the שלהבת עולה מאליה.  The deep meaning behind this is that Klal Yisroel can always be recharged, and when you recharge something then it’s עולה מאליה.  The Menorah must be lit until the flame goes up by itself.  This reveals to us that no matter how low Klal Yisroel is, there’s always a flame inside of them which just needs to be lit up again.  All that needs to be done is to re-light them and recharge them again. 

This is why the Menorah was lit specifically during the night where there was no Avodah.  This represents that even during the darkest times and the difficult situations, all a Yid needs to be lifted up again is to be relit and recharged and then "שלהבת עולה מאליה"- he’ll continue upwards by himself.  Specifically "מערב עד בקר", during the night and hard times, is when it’s needed to bring out the מעלה of Klal Yisroel with the lighting of the Menorah[18].  This is why the Menorah and Ketores are always together, because they are the two בחינות of the מעלות of Klal Yisroel.

The בגדי כהונה

Now we can understand why the בגדי כהונה are also in Parshas Tetzaveh.  The בגדי כהונה were clothing of כבוד and they had the שמות of the שבטים representing Klal Yisroel on them.  The אורים ותומים was מאיר the שמות השבטים, and the שבטים are the שורש of Klal Yisroel [19].

The Kohen wore in Parshas Tetzaveh, the Parsha of the מעלה of Klal Yisroel, the בגדי כהונה which brought out the כבוד and מעלה of Klal Yisroel.

The Yesod and בירור of Purim

We find that אחשורוש wore the בגדי כהונה by the seudah which he made.  He was trying to drag Klal Yisroel down to his low level to becoming בהמות, so that Hashem shouldn’t re-build the Beis Hamikdash.  The Beis Hamikdash dragged us out of our animal inclinations, as we brought up Korbanos on the מזבח, and אחשורוש wanted to prevent this.  When the Yiddin partook in this seudah and were נהנה מסעודת אחשורוש they lost their whole מעלה because they were attracted to the "בהמה-קייט" of the Goyim.

The whole מסירת נפש and בירור which took place on Purim was to bring out the מעלה of Klal Yisroel [20].  After the Yiddin succeeded and there was a "ונהפוך הוא", we find that even the Goyim wanted to become Yiddin, as it says "ורבים מעם הארץ מתיהדים כי נפל פחד יהודים עליהם".  The original sin was that they were נהנה מסעודת אחשורוש and they wanted to eat and be like בהמות.  But after the בירור and ונהפוך הוא the מעלה of Klal Yisroel shone through and even the Goyim wanted to be Yiddin. 

Yiddin are always בעצם up high

We find that Zeresh said "אם מזרע היהודים מרדכי... לא תוכל לו כי נפל תפול לפניו", and the Gemara in Megilah says that Klal Yisroel are compared to both stars and dust.  When they fall they go all the way down to the עפר, but when they rise they go all the way up to the stars.  The Tifferes Shlomo explains this Gemara beautifully.  He says that it’s not two separate events that when they fall it’s like this and when they rise it’s like this.  Rather the two are really connected to each other: the whole ירידה of Klal Yisroel is only in order to bring them up higher afterwards.  Klal Yisroel is always בעצם in a שורש of "במעלתם הגבוה", and are really higher than the rest of the world.  However, sometimes Klal Yisroel have a ירידה only in order to go all the way up afterwards to the כוכבים.

This is what Zeresh was saying to Haman: even though you found that the Yiddin are on a low, and that their מעלה wasn’t so recognized now, that’s going to turn around soon because their ירידה is only in order to lift them up afterwards.  She was saying that you’re seeing them in their fallen state, but that’s only just before they reach their tremendous מעלה and high status[21].

Mordechai brought out the מעלה of Klal Yisroel

Mordechai was the only one who didn’t bow down to Haman.  He was showing Haman that Klal Yisroel still hasn’t lost their מעלה.  There was still one Yid who hadn’t bowed down to Haman, who hasn’t lost his מעלה, and that saved Klal Yisroel [22].

The Gemara says that Mordechai gathered all the children and taught them about the קרבן עומר.  Like we explained above, the עומר was a מאכל בהמה.  Mordechai was telling them that do you know why there’s a קטרוג on Klal Yisroel? Because you’re eating מאכל בהמה by eating from the seudah of אחשורוש.  Mordechai was teaching them that you must be מתרומם and you must realize and bring out the מעלה of Klal Yisroel.

This זכות of bringing out the מעלה of Klal Yisroel is what brought about the ונהפוך הוא of Purim.  This is why these Parshios are read specifically in the month of Adar, since both of these ענינים are about bringing out the מעלה of Klal Yisroel.

Being Proud and Thankful for being a Yid

There’s a story about R’ Yonason Eibshitz זצ"ל where he used to say the ברכה of "שלא עשני גוי" in the morning before he got to Shul.  When he arrived in Shul there were certain מתנגדים who accused him of not saying this ברכה.  They compared him to the Reform movement who also didn’t recite this ברכה because they felt that it wasn’t nice or fair to say the ברכה because the Goyim are also very good.

So they asked R’ Yonason why didn’t he say this ברכה of שלא עשני גוי.  He replied, “Do you really think I don’t say שלא עשני גוי?  The reason you don’t see me saying it is because I can’t wait until I get to Shul to say it.  The moment I wash נטילת ידים, and I get up like a Yid - I say the ברכה of שלא עשני גוי right then.”  The whole way Yiddin get up in the morning is so different than the way Goyim get up.  What does a Goy get up for, what does he have in life?  However, a Yid who wakes up with נטילת ידים and says ברכת התורה and קרית שמע, has a whole different and special life. That’s why R’ Yonason replied, “Do you think I can wait to say שלא עשני גוי until I get to Shul!”

Furthermore, the Kedushas Levi says that if a Yid would go over just that one ברכה of  "שלא עשני גוי, שלא עשני גוי" - then he wouldn’t stop dancing for the rest of his life.  Hashem made us a Yid, and we have the privilege to be Yiddin!

We have to thank Hashem so much for this, and we have to try as much as we can in these months to keep away from Goyish-keit.  We should always say Divrei Torah by the table, and it shouldn’t be a table of a בהמה, but rather a table that is a מזבח.  We should try to be מעורר and elevate the נפש בהמית inside of us to become part of a Yiddisha גוף [23]

Those who distance themselves from Goyish-keit and are דבוק to הקב"ה, like the קטורת is מלשון "ויקשור" - to be connected to Hashem, will appreciate what it means to be a Yid.  Even when one goes through a ירידה or a difficult period, a person should always say to himself that “I’m connected and tied and locked in with Hashem.” By Tefillin is the לשון of קשירה- "וקשרתם", meaning that we’re locked and connected to Hashem, and even though we have ירידות and the יצר הרע makes us בהמה-dik, we must tell ourselves “We will never let go of that  bond we have with הקב"ה.  We know that אבל אנחנו עמך בני בריתך, and for us it’ll never be מקוים that we can be a בהמה.  Not with an עגל, not with מ"ט שערי טומאה, and not with being נהנה מסעודתן של אחשורוש - nothing can ever make a Yid into a בהמה ממש.”

With this זכות  of realizing how precious it is to be a Yid, we should be זוכה to the period where "רבים מעם הארץ מתיהדים", to the period of משיח צדקינו where all the Goyim will come and want to be Yiddin, and then will be revealed the real מעלה of Klal Yisroel and we’ll be זוכה to the גילוי to see אדם השלם with the תיקון of the חטא of אדם הראשון, and all the Yiddin אי"ה will be זוכה to the  בנין בית המקדש במהרה בימינו אמן .


[1] בראשית טו' ח'

[2] We say in davening before Korbanos "מה אנו, מה חיינו...ומותר האדם מן הבהמה אין כי הכל הבל"- there is no advantage of an אדם over a בהמה because they are both הבל. A person and a בהמה are considered the same. But then we say: "אבל אנחנו עמך בני בריתך"- that Klal Yisroel and a Yid are different, and a Yid can never become a בהמה, ח"ו.

[3] R’Motti Berger שליט"א once told over a story that there was once someone who was driving in the sreet and a child jumped suddenly into the street just missing being hit by the car. So the driver opened his window and quietly reprimanded the child and then they continued on their ways. The same incident happened a couple more times to other children also almost being hit.  The last time it happened, the driver got out of his car furiously angry at the child and the driver gave the child a beating. What was the difference between this last child and all the other children? This last child was his own son. When it came to his own son the driver wanted to make sure that he’ll never do it again. Regarding the other children the driver didn’t care as much and he didn’t feel responsible so much for them. But his own child he didn’t let him get away with it. The same is true regarding Klal Yisroel and the Goyim. Hashem lets the Goyim get away with not keeping the שבע מצוות בני נח, because they’re not Hashem’s children at all but they’re basically like בהמות. But Klal Yisroel, "בני בכורי ישראל", are Hashem’s precious children and Hashem isn’t going to let them get away with not keeping the Mitzvos.

[4] They can also bring Korbanos as נדרים and נדבות because of דרכי שלום.

[5] It also took place right by מכת בכורות, where Hashem told the Yiddin: "כה אמר ה' בני בכורי ישראל".  The שורש of Klal Yisroel being a בכור is when Yaakov Avinu said at ראובן’s birth "ראשית אוני" – and Chazal say that ראובן was born from the טיפה ראשונה of Yaakov Avinu.  Meaning the שורש of Klal Yisroel is a complete שורש of קדושה וטהרה.  The בכור of Klal Yisroel, ראובן, was from the טיפה ראשונה, meaning he was קדוש משרשם.  So מכת בכורות was מגלה the קדושה שרשית ועצמיות of Klal Yisroel.  The Goyim’s שורש are that they’re ממש like בהמות, but Klal Yisroel are called "בני בכורי ישראל", and they come from Yaakov Avinu’s טיפה ראשונה which represented the קדושה וטהרה of Klal Yisroel.  This is why on that night of מכת בכורות they were also מקריב the Korban Pesach and they showed that they can become בני אדם – and because of this Hashem took them out of Mitzrayim.

[6] According to this we can understand why Matan Torah is in Parshas Yisro, because Yisro saw the מעלה of Klal Yisroel.  Yisro was one of the highest priests in the Goyish world, but when he heard about Yetzias Mitzrayim and the מעלה of Klal Yisroel he realized he was still low and like an animal.  Even though a lion is the king of the animals, it would definitely trade places to be a person, because the highest animal is still an animal.  Yisro realized this and the מעלה of the Yiddin, and this was the הקדמה to Matan Torah to show the מעלה of the Yiddin over the Goyim. This is why Parshas Mishpatim immediately follows Matan Torah.  In Parshas Va’eschanan it says "ואמרו כל הגוים...ומי גוי גדול אשר לו חוקים ומשפטים צדיקים ככל התורה הזאת", when the Goyim see all our Mishpatim they say "ומי גוי גדול".  Parshas Mishpatim reveals the מעלה of Klal Yisroel that even the Goyim see.

[7] Aharon Hakohen was the one who did the Avodah of lighting the Menorah, and Aharon was also an "אוהב שלום ורודף שלום".  Chazal say the way he brought שלום and peace to a fight was that he used to go to each side and say “The other one is really not angry at you”. He used to bring the מעלה of each one of them and he made them afterwards love each other.  This Avodah of Shalom was the same Avodah of the Menorah.  The deep meaning behind the Menorah was to bring out the deep מעלה of Klal Yisroel.  So too, once Aharon HaKohen explained to each other their deep מעלה then they came to שלום and כאיש אחד בלב אחד.

[8] We find that מרדכי הצדיק’s name was from a לשון of "מור דרור", which was one of the spices of the שמן המשחה.  Esther was also called "הדסה", from a לשון of "הדסים", which has a pleasant smell.  These רמזים were to show that a Yid only has a ריח טוב and there’s no such thing as a ריח רע by a Yid. 

[9] The first time we find the word קטורת mentioned in the Torah is by the story of Yehuda and Tamar.  The pasuk (בראשית לח' כח') says "ותקשור על ידו שני...", and the תרגום אונקלוס says on the word ותקשור – "וקטרת".  The Sefarim learn out from here that this first time that קטורת is mentioned is the שורש of the קטורת.  That Parsha is speaking about when Yehuda had a ירידה (as the pasuk (שם לח' א') says "וירד יהודה") and there was a terribly uncomfortable story of the זנות of Tamar, etc…   But what came out from the story?  The מעשה of קטורת is mentioned the first time.  This was to show that the פנימי of this story was כולו טוב.  Even when it looked externally not proper, but internally it’s really building big things.  This was exactly what the קטורת represented: even though externally the חלבונה had a bad smell, when you combine it with the others it comes out great.  This also teaches us that a Yid’s real and deep will is only to do Hashem’s will.

[10] The עצמיות"-dika" קשר which Klal Yisroel had with Hashem was represented by the כרובים in the קדש הקדשים.  Chazal say that during the חורבן בית המקדש they saw that the Keruvim were hugging each other.  This is a bit strange that during  a time of חורבן they were hugging each other?  The answer is that this is what the Keruvim were representing – our עצמיות"-dika" connection with Hashem which can never be separated no matter what the situation may be.

[11] Like we say "אלקי נשמה אשר נתת בי טהורה היא" – our נשמות are forever טהור!

[12] The pasuk says "לטהר אתכם מכל חטאתיכם לפני ה' תטהרו", and the Chassidisha Sefarim learn that "לפני ה'" means higher than the בחינה of "י-ה-ו-ה".  This means to say that inside the קדש הקדשים there was such a high level of טהרה and connection with Hashem.

[13] This is why the story of Korach was with the קטורת.  Korach said "כל עדה כולם קדושים" and he suspected Moshe and Aharon of having their own elite and not being part of Klal Yisroel.  So the קטורת came and was מברר that Moshe’s whole Avodah was an Avodah to care for Klal Yisroel.

[14] We actually even find that Moshe is hinted to many times in the Parsha.  For example, the pasuk says "אבני שהם", which is the letters of משה.

[15] Even when Aharon HaKohen went into the קדש הקדשים it was only מכח משה רבינו.  Moshe wore בגדי לבן when the Mishkan was first established, and on Yom Kippur Aharon wore these בגדי לבן, continuing the Avodah started off with Moshe’s כח.  To bring out the deep כפרה for Klal Yisroel on Yom Kippur, Aharon had to be מתלבש into Moshe’s כח which was to show Klal Yisroel’s עצמיות-dika connection with Hashem.

[16] Tetzaveh, תצוה, is from a לשון of צוותא, meaning connection.  This Parsha shows our חיבור and connection with Hashem no matter what the situation may be.

[17] Even though Parshas Ki Sisa is the Parsha of the עגל, but Moshe brought out this מעלה in Parshas Tetzaveh, (like the sefarim say that Moshe was "מקדים רפואה למכה") because this is the Parsha of the מעלה of Klal Yisroel unlike Parshas Ki Sisa.

[18] Like we also find by the Menorah and נר חנוכה that it’s brought into the רשות הרבים, when it’s dark, and it’s lower than 10 טפחים – the deepest of the קליפות.  Even in these low and hard times we can light and bring out the אור and מעלה of Klal Yisroel.

[19] Sefer Shemos starts off "ואלה שמות בני ישראל הבאים מצרימה" and it lists all the שבטים to teach us that we should know in the beginning of Shemos before we go down into the בהמה-dika country of Mitzrayim, that even if we fall down to the מ"ט שערי טומאה – we should always remember "אבל אנחנו עמך בני...", and we should remember Who we are sons from.  We should remember "אלו שמות הבאים...ראובן, שמעון, לוי, יהודה..." – that we’re form the "י"ב שבטי י-ה", from that טיפה ראשונה of ראובן.

[20] Like we mentioned that מרדכי is "מור דרור" – the בשמים and the מעלה of Klal Yisroel, and אסתר is also "הדסה" – representing the מעלה of Klal Yisroel.

[21] The Tifferes Shlomo gives over an interesting דרך by the story of אליעזר עבד אברהם.  When Eliezer was invited to eat with Lavan, Lavan said first to eat and then tell us about  yourself.  So Eliezer answered back, "לא אוכל עד אשר אומר דברי", and he said "עבד אברהם אנכי".  The Medrash says that they tried to poison Eliezer’s food, but in the meantime a מלאך came and passed it to בתואל.  The Tifferes Shlomo explains this in a different way.  He says that really there was never any real poison over there.  Rather, Eliezer was used to eating by Avraham Avinu’s table, by a table of a Tzadik.  So when he had to eat with Lavan it was like poison for him.  It was a seudah without דברי תורה, a seudah like סעודת אחשורוש, and this was poison for him.  So Eliezer was saying: “I can’t eat, this is like poison for me, and let me first hear some דברי תורה.”  He said "עבד אברהם אנכי", and he was first מתקשר to a Tzadik, and only then could he eat.  So too Mordechai couldn’t understand how the Yiddin ate with אחשורוש, it was like poison and like eating with the animals.  

[22] Mordechai also went into the שרשיות חלק of Klal Yisroel, like Moshe did (as explained above), bringing out their מעלה.  על פי קבלה, Mordechai and Moshe have the same בחינות.

[23] R’ Mottel Zilber שליט"א once said over from the זרע קודש, the Rupshitzer Rebba זצ"ל, that a Goy could never understand what a Geshmaka piece of Kugel on Shabbos is about.  A Goy has a Goyisha גוף, unlike a Yid whose body is even totally different – it’s a Yiddisha גוף.