Two Minute Torah Podcast
Tetzaveh 5772 by Ilan Gordon
Shalom my name is Ilan Gordon, a KOACH National Intern at The George Washington University, in
Washington, DC. Welcome to KOACH's Two-Minute Torah; a project of the College Department of the
United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. This week's portion is Tetzaveh. In this week's portion there
are a couple significant things. First off this portion gives the direct instructions to the kohanim to make
special garments and ritualistic items. One of these is the chest plate, which was engraved with the
names of the 12 tribes of Israel as well as a couple precious stones to represent each one. It is one of
the most ornate ritual objects defined in the Torah, and was to be worn only in the presence of God.
The second important thing to notice is the omission of Moses' name from the entire parasha. This is
the only portion since his introduction into the Torah that doesn't make a mention of his name. Many
different scholars have speculated on the topic and many have come to the conclusion that this is a very
intentional thing. Moses' yahretzeit is the seventh of Adar and lines up with this portion. The absence
of his name ends up bringing focus back to Moses and draws attention back to him. It should also be
noted that many of the verses of this parsha begin with "v'atah" meaning "and you". Who is you? Well
Moses, of course! Moses is one of the most influential leaders in all of Jewish history, and it is important
to remember that this role was one he was given by God, since Moses was actually not very comfortable
in the role of a formal leader. While we must all do things in our day-to-day lives that may not have
been our first choice, the ability to step up to the plate and put forth our best efforts is all that we can
do. Moses led us through the desert to a promised land, showing that their truly is a light at the end of
the tunnel. The struggles of our daily lives must be looked past so we can all remember the Big Picture.
Wishing you a relaxing and peaceful Shabbat. Shabbat Shalom.