Parashat Tezaveh – Where did Moshe go?

  • “And now permit me to allow my anger to burn against them, and I will consume them, and I will make you (Moses) into a great nation.” [Exodus 32:10]

After the sin of the Golden Calf, God was prepared to start over with only Moshe.  Fortunately, for the sake of the Jewish People, Moshe chose to go in another direction.

  • “And now, if You would forgive their sin; and if not, erase me from the book which you have written.” [Exodus 32:32]

Though somewhat chutzpadik Moshe was able to save the lives of the Jewish People.The Zohar, looking at these verses, writes:

  • God overlooked Moses’ offer (to be erased from the book). Nonetheless Moses was removed from one section of the Torah, the commandments regarding the Mishkan. Which section is this? V’atah T’tzaveh, which should have contained Moses’ name in each and every word, and in each and every commandment. But his name was taken out of the entire section, which has no mention of him. This is an example of the curse of a sage (being fulfilled) even when it is conditional. [Midrash Ne’elam Shiur haShirim Maamar 4]

This passage from the Zohar assumes that the Sin of the Golden calf followed the commandment to build the mishkan. (See Rashi 31:18)

  1. If the Tabernacle was commanded as a result of the Sin of the Golden Calf, what does this tell us about the function and ultimate goal (telos) of the mishkan? 
  2. Does this also reflect on the Beit ha-Mikdash as well?
  3. When and where are you personally most likely to experience a moment of transcedance – home, shul, davening, learning, with the children, in nature?

Parashat Tezaveh always  falls within a week of the 7th of Adar, the yahrtzeit of Moshe. 

  1. Why remove Moshe from this particular parashah?
  2. We often say that Moshe’s name does not appear in the hagadah.  Is that really true and why might that be a good idea (even if it not 100% correct)?
  3. Where do you find Moshe at seder?  (hint: think of the symbolism of the three maztoth!)

 

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4 Responses to Parashat Tezaveh – Where did Moshe go?

  1. Evenewra says:

    I’ve always loved the interplay between Hashem and Moshe in which one week Moshe is sick of the people and Hashem has to talk him back into accepting them, and then they switch roles. It’s interesting that Moshe is hidden during Pesach and that Hashem is hidden during Purim.

    Also a little scary since we don’t want to equate Hashem too much with Moshe.

  2. Moshe appears in two places in the Hagaddah. His name does come up after the listing of the ten plagues. Some additions don\’t have this part, so we tend to say that he is absent in order so that we learn that it wasGod and not Moshe who took us out.

    There is another place that the symbol of Moshe appears. The three Matzoth (for those who use three!) are often said to symbolize Kohen, Levi & Yisrael. Who was the most famoush Levi? Moshe. Think about what we do with the second of middle Matzah. Of what doe that remind you? (hint: think afikoman.)

  3. Evenewra says:

    All I can think of with that middle afikomen is that we break it and hide it. Do we break Moshe? Or do we just hide him?

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