Friday, March 10, 2017

Mussar Drosha: Tetzaveh

Mussar Drosha: Tetzaveh:

The Gemara (Masechta Shabbos Daf 31) tells a story of a Roman who was passing behind a Study Hall and heard a Scribe saying the verse in this Parsha ‘And these are the Garments which they shall make; a Breastplate and an Ephod….’

The Roman asked; “These, for who are they?” He was answered that they were for the Kohen Gadol.  The Roman said to himself that he would convert in order that they would install him as the Kohen Gadol.

So he came before Shammai z”l and told him to convert him on condition that he be appointed as Kohen Gadol.  Shammai z”l basically just chased him out - he was talking nonsense!  The Roman came before Hillel z”l and he converted him.  

Hillel z”l basically told him that before anyone can become king, they must learn the royal arts; “Go and learn the arts of the king” he said - i.e. learn the Torah.

The Roman went and read and when he came to the verse (Bamidbar 1:51) ‘And the stranger that draws close shall die’ - speaking of the fact that only the Leviim could handle the Holy Vessels of the Mishkan - he asked Hillel z”l who this applied to.  And he answered that it applies to even king Dovid himself.

Now the Roman reasoned to himself a Kal VaChomer (a fortiori - essentially, if something is this, then all the more so such-and-such……):  If the Jewish People (aside from the Leviim) - called the Children of Hashem - are not allowed to touch the Holy vessels, he, who was a convert who had come without merit, all the more so the rule would apply to him!  

He came back before Shammai z”l and essentially asked him why he hadn’t explained to him that his notion of becoming Kohen Gadol was nonsense.  

Then he returned to Hillel z”l and said to him: “Hillel, the patient, may blessings rest upon your head, for you brought me under the wings of the Divine Presence.”

It would seem from this beautiful story that this non-Jew really wanted to become the Kohen Gadol and wear such special clothing - but then Hillel z”l helped him to realize how great and special it is to “just” be a Jew……

Our Gedolim tell us that all Jews are like Kohanim (in a sense).  We all have the special Service of Hashem to do.  

All of us are all extremely important and needed and we are all servants of Hashem and have special missions we must carry out.  Not only this, but we all have a special connection to Hashem!

And, based upon this concept, we can perhaps answer the question of why Moshe Rabbeinu’s name isn’t mentioned in this entire Parsha:  The Sforno and the Ramban, both zt”l note that the reference to Moshe Rabbeinu the three times at the start of this Parsha as ‘you’ implies that instead of having to instruct others to do certain things, he had to personally involve himself in these three tasks:  The tasks being the designation of the pure olive oil; the designation of the Kohanim; and the selection of the wise men to make the Holy Garments and the Mishkan.  

Moshe Rabbeinu was extremely essential and important here (of course he was in every Parsha he is in) - even though his name isn’t mentioned!

And so, perhaps the lack of mention of his name is a lesson to us all that even if your name isn’t talked about all over the place - i.e. you aren’t like world renowned - you still are extremely important and still have a special job in this world.

And these things actually connect beautifully to Purim and Parshas Zachor:  For they are both about beating Amalek YM”S.  Haman was from Amalek and he ended up defeated (Baruch Hashem!) - and Parshas Zachor is about remembering what Amalek did and blotting them out.  But how does all this connect to what we have been saying?

So, HaRav Yosef Tzvi Salant zt”l (in Be’er Yosef Al HaTorah) explains on the beginning of Parshas Yisro that one of the things that Amalek tried to do was to make it like the Jewish People has nothing special about it, Chas V’Shalom.  

But we must defeat that power of Amalek (a.k.a. the Yetzer Hara) - a big part of Purim and Parshas Zachor - and realize how special and important it is to just be a Jew; and not only this, but how special to Hashem we all are.  

May HaKadosh Baruch Hu help everyone to realize these wonderful things, Amein Vi’Amein, so may it be His Will……

No comments:

Post a Comment