Telephone Torah Study: God the Ultimate Fashionista
In this week’s torah portion,T’tzaveh (Ex. 27:20-30:10), God instructs Moses how to dress the soon to be ordained Chief Priest Aaron and his sons. Join in on the conference call for this Thursday’s Telephone Torah Study from 4-5pm. Please dial 702-851-4044, when prompted punch in 2, then our pass code 22252#.
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Lisa Grant Ph.D. discusses the parallels of this week’s Torah portion with Purim in ‘Confronting an Absence’: Both Parashat Tetzaveh and the Book of Esther are missing some central characters.
Most years, this Torah portion is read during the week precedingPurim. The connection between the parashah and Purim is not immediately apparent. Tetzaveh is filled with exacting details about the assembly of the priestly garments and the ritual role Aaron and his sons are to perform as anointed priests. The book of Esther is a melodramatic tale of threat, intrigue, and ultimate redemption through plot twists and the reluctant heroism of a beautiful queen.
While the plots and purposes of these texts are vastly different, each in its own way, asks us to confront an absence. Tetzaveh is the only parashah from the beginning of the book of Exodus until the end of Deuteronomy where the name of Moses does not appear. And Esther is one of only two books of the Bible where the name of God does not appear. These absences are cause for abundant commentary in each individual case, but the relationship between the two texts seems to receive only passing mention. What insight can this parallel presence of absence convey?
1. “Next you shall instruct all who are skillful, whom I have endowed with the gift of skill, to make Aaron’s vestments, for consecrating him to serve Me as priest.”(Ex. 28:3)
2. “Inside the breastpiece of decision you shall place the Urim and Thummim, so that they are over Aaron’s heart when he comes before Adonai. Thus Aaron shall carry the instrument of decision for the Israelites over his heart before Adonai at all times.”(Ex. 28:30)
3. “I will abide among the Israelites, and I will be their God.” (Ex.29:45)