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Weekly Parsha

Parshat Tetzaveh

The word “Tetzaveh” literally means “command,” as the opening verse of our Parsha reads, “And you should command the children of Israel that they should bring to you pure olive oil….”

However, “Tetzaveh” is also a derivative of the word “tzavsa,” meaning “connection.”  According to this translation, the verse would read, “And you should connect the Jewish people…”  This hints to the fact that Moshe connects the Jewish people with G-d.

When he succeeds in this task, Moshe becomes spiritually strengthened.  For, as a true Jewish leader, his entire essence and being is bound up with the people, so that when the people increase their connection with G-d, it makes Moshe stronger.  This is hinted to at the end of the verse, “They should bring to you pure olive oil,” i.e. when Moshe connects the Jewish people to G-d, Moshe’s own spiritual light grows stronger.

The verse continues: “Crushed for lighting,” i.e. when the Jewish people are “crushed” in exile, there is always a Jewish leader of the calibre of Moshe to be found, referred to in the Zohar as “the extension of Moshe in every generation.”  This leader can take a people who are spiritually crushed and transform them to be ready, “for lighting,” – spiritually awake and illuminated.

Then, the Jewish people can reach the level indicated by the end of the verse “to ignite the lamp until it burns continually,” i.e. that they become spiritually self-sufficient, to the extent that they no longer rely on their leader, and that they can “burn continually” without his direct input.