Shabbat Tetzaveh: For Want of a Tent Peg

Our parashat hashavua is Tetzaveh, from the same root as mitzvah, that is, obligation. The parashah’s name is generic: every week we are presented with mitzvot, which we are to carry out. No matter what the occasion or occurrence, there’s always a mitzvah to fulfill; this is the framework that structures Jewish life.  The mitzvotContinue reading “Shabbat Tetzaveh: For Want of a Tent Peg”

Shabbat Tetzaveh: Values Are Not Expendable

Our parashat hashauva for this week is Tetzaveh, which can literally be translated “tell them what to do.” One reason for the Torah’s powerful presence in our people’s lives over several millennia is the sure sense, explicitly offered, that someone is telling us the right thing to do. If only we had such a plumbContinue reading “Shabbat Tetzaveh: Values Are Not Expendable”

Shabbat Zakhor: What Commands You to Remember?

This Shabbat is not only named Tetzaveh, “you shall command” for the Torah reading assigned to it, but also Zakhor, for the imperative “remember!” which denotes the special Torah reading added to the regular weekly parashah. This is the second of four special Shabbatot that mark the days we count down (or, more appropriately, up) to Pesakh,Continue reading “Shabbat Zakhor: What Commands You to Remember?”

Shabbat Tetzaveh: It’ll Cost You

Our parashat hashavua (the parashah, “reading” or “portion” for this shavua, “week”; notice that the h changes to a t when parashah is modified by the specific week’s reading) is Tetzaveh, “[you shall] command”. The parashah begins with a grammatical anomaly noted by the famous Torah teacher Nehama Lebowitz. Usually a parashah begins with the familiar phrase SpeakContinue reading “Shabbat Tetzaveh: It’ll Cost You”