Parashat Tetzaveh / פרשת תצוה

Crop of Olive Grove by Vincent van Gogh

Summary

Parashat Tetzaveh is the 20th weekly reading in the annual Torah reading cycle, and the eighth reading of Shemot (“Exodus”). Tetzaveh (תְּצַוֶּה) is Hebrew for You Command and is the second word of the parashah, which begins with HaShem’s instruction to Moshe (Moses) to command Bnei Yisrael (the Children of Israel) to bring olive oil for the light of the Menorah. HaShem’s instructions further describe the location of the Menorah within Ohel Moed (the Tent of Meeting), the duties of Aharon (Aaron) and his sons with regard to the service of the Menorah, and the length of time this mitzvah (commandment/good deed) remains in effect.

The parashah continues with a detailed record of HaShem’s instructions to Moshe pertaining to the creation of the garments for Aharon, the Kohen HaGadol (the High Priest), and for his sons, the Kohanim (Priests). The details include the purpose of the garments and their various components, how they are to be made, when they are to be worn, and the length of time these mitzvot remain in effect.

Moshe proceeds with HaShem’s instructions pertaining to the sanctification of Aharon and his sons for their service to HaShem as Kohanim; their washing and clothing, and the length of time of their priesthood. The instructions for the offerings are then provided, as well as the instructions for the succession of the priesthood from generation to generation. The time required for the ordination is specified, together with the additional offerings that must be offered during these days for the atonement and sanctification of the Mizbeakh (Altar).

The parashah continues with HaShem’s instructions for the service of the daily Tamid (Continual) offering, including when it is to be offered, and with what it is to be offered, followed immediately by the wonderful purpose for which the service of the Mikdash (Sanctuary) is performed.

Parashat Tetzaveh concludes with HaShem’s instructions pertaining to the Altar of Incense; how it is to be made, where it is to be placed in Ohel Moed, how it is to be used, when, and for how long, and how atonement is to be made for it each year.

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Torah Portion: Exodus 27:20 – 30:10

1st Aliyah: Exodus 27:20-28:12 (14 verses)
2nd Aliyah: Exodus 28:13-30 (18 verses)
3rd Aliyah: Exodus 28:31-43 (13 verses)
4th Aliyah: Exodus 29:1-18 (18 verses)
5th Aliyah: Exodus 29:19-37 (19 verses)
6th Aliyah: Exodus 29:38-46 (9 verses)
7th Aliyah: Exodus 30:1-10 (10 verses)
MaftirExodus 30:8-10 (3 verses)

Special Maftir
Shabbat Zachor: Deuteronomy 25:17-19 (3 verses)

Reading from the Nevi’im (Prophets):
Ezekiel 43:10 – 43:27

When Parashat Tetzaveh coincides with a special Shabbat, a different Haftarah is traditionally read:

Shabbat Zachor: I Samuel 15:2 – 15:34


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