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Weekly Announcements

Ahavat Yisrael of Wesley Hills Announcements

Tetzave

Feb 23 – Feb 29

14 Adar 1 – 20 Adar 1

 

Mazal Tov:

Erica & Menachem Kaimen on the bris of their new grandson Moshe Meir, son of Malka & Efraim Blau

Merys & Michael Mechlin on the bris of their new grandson Yosef, son of Amy & Achiezer Gabel

Sarah & Ary Luger on the marriage of Dina & Moshe Yosef Saperstein

 

 

SCHEDULE

 

FRIDAY PURIM KATAN (2/23)

Candle lighting/Mincha: 5:21 PM

 

SHABBOS (2/24)

Shacharis : 9:00 AM

Latest time for shma: 9:24 AM

Parsha Shiur: 4:30 PM

Mincha: 5:10 PM

Tehillim: 6:21 PM

Shabbos Ends: 6:25 PM

Maariv: 6:31 PM

 

SUNDAY (2/25)

Shacharis: 8:00 AM                                                                                                                                                           

Rabbi’s Gemara Shiur at shul and zoom: 8:45 AM  https://zoom.us/j/3812539596

Mincha/Maariv: 5:25 PM

 

MONDAY – THURSDAY (2/26-2/29)

Tehillim: 8:50 PM

Maariv: 9:00 PM

Wednesday: 8:00 PM Parsha Previews https://zoom.us/j/3812539596

 

 

 

Dvar Torah & Thoughts on Tetzaveh

Rabbi Asher Bush

Much of this second parsha that speaks of the preparations for the Mishkan deals with the בגדי כהונה, the special garments to be worn by a Cohen when he served in the Mishkan, and later in the Beis HaMikdash. This included four simple white garments for the regular Cohen, and eight elegant and elaborate ones for the Cohen Gadol. These are garments to be used exclusively when the Cohen is serving in the Mishkan (and not for personal use); if the Cohen would serve without wearing these sacred garments it could well invalidate the service. In the context of the Mishkan, itself a very ornate structure made with gold, silver and the finest fabrics, having appropriately dressed Cohanim certainly seems to be a good fit. But all of this splendor seems to only make the question loom larger, was it really all so necessary? After all, isn’t the service of God, whether in the Mishkan, Beis HaMikdash, Shul, or home, isn’t it all about the heart and soul? Should it really matter so much how a person looks or dresses?

When speaking of the two ways we honor Shabbos, Kavod and Oneg, the Vilna Gaon explains that Kavod refers to the ways that we prepare for Shabbos in advance, such as cleaning the house, preparing fine foods, setting the table, dressing for the day, while Oneg refers to the ways we enjoy the day once it comes, such as eating that fine food, enjoying the light of the candles, and enjoying the nice clothes. In a similar way, as important as it is for the Cohen to wear the official garments when on duty, more important is the fact that as he prepares to serve God he needs to change. Change does not just mean his outfit, but his entire essence needs to gain this focus on the service of God, something that is not to be taken for granted, and to be honest, not always so easy. So as the Cohen went to change, it was not just a time for new clothes, but time to reflect for a few minutes on the fact that he is about to engage in the service of God.

The Talmud tell us of some very devoted Jews who each day would spend an “hour” both before and after their prayers in preparation. There are several parts of this account that need to be addressed. Firstly, related to the Cohanim and their garments, this idea is one for all Jews looking to have a meaningful encounter with God. All too often we are “happy” just to be able to get to shul, or if davening at home, just to say the words, but it is often done without any real preparation. Whether it is through the use of special clothes, or just sitting down for a few moments thinking, reflecting, and preparing for this encounter with God, the more we prepare, the more meaningful and valuable the experience can be. Even to simply remind oneself that I am about to speak to my Creator, about to give thanks or make requests for myself, my family, or my people, is a moment very well spent as it can help direct us in the often very difficult task of prayer.

The second point is the more provocative one, namely, while hopefully we can see the need to prepare in advance for Tefilla, it is far harder to understand what were they doing after they had finished; isn’t it now time to get to work or whatever their days included? Here they offer us a most valuable piece of advice, that the time used to pray is not just a break in the day, be it morning, afternoon, or evening, it is a part of the day and a part of our lives. It is not just that we step away from the world and engage with God, it is that when we return to the world we are doing so as people who have just had a sacred encounter, people whose existence was just elevated, inspired and hopefully changed. It is in this vein that the Torah commands that the Mishkan be placed literally at the center of the Jewish community, that it and all that it stands for is the centerpiece of our lives, and not a sidebar.

So, while putting on fine clothes can often be a statement of “I care”, far more importantly is the fact that we do care, and that we think about it, even if for the briefest of moments. Like so many aspects of the Torah, special clothing can remain as little more than nice externalities, or we can make them part of our experience, so that they are transformative not just in terms of how we look but of who we are.  

 

 

 

 

Mon, February 26 2024 17 Adar I 5784