Parshat Tetzaveh

Parashat Tetsaveh

Parashat Tetsaveh is one of the four and half parshiot that discusses the Mishkan in great detail. It focuses on the job of the Kohen Gadol, the description of his garments, the seven-day ceremony that consecrates the Kohen into his service, and the vessel used to burn the daily incense offering (the Altar). We see that there are parallels creation of the universe and the description of the Mishkan and the Kohen’s job. There are prevalent common words between the two parshiot.

Berishit
And G-d made the sky”
And G-d made the two large lights”
“And G-d made the beasts of the earth” (All three quotes above 1: 7, 16, 25)
And sanctified it” (2:3)

Tetsaveh
“Thou shalt make an altar”(30:1)
“Thou shalt also make a laver of brass”(30:18)
“And thou shalt make it a holy anointing oil” (30:25), and “And thou shalt make of it incense” (30:25)
“Seven days thou shalt make atonement for the altar, and sanctify it (29:37)” and “And I will sanctify the tent of meeting (29:44).”

So we see the common words between the two parshiot are make and sanctify. In the other four and half parshiot discussing the Mishkan, there are other recurring words like bless, do, and see. Also, it’s a seven-day process to make atonement for the Mizbeach and sanctify, which is comparable to the fact that creation of the universe is completed in seven days. So my question is why does the description of the Mishkan take four and half parshiot while the creation of the universe only takes thirty-four pesukim. You’d think it would be the opposite because the universe is so large and complex and the Mishkan is a building with poles and drapes that is carried around and dismantled by Bnei Yisrael. Rabbi Sacks believes, “the Torah is not man’s book of G-d. It is G-d’s book of mankind. It is not difficult for an infinite, omnipotent creator to make a home for humanity. What is difficult is for human beings, in their finitude and vulnerability, to make a home for G-d.” This means to say that is quite easy for G-d to make a home for us. However, for us moral beings, it is difficult to make a home for G-d. We are only human, however if G-d feels that we are good enough to build home that his schina can rest in, well then we truly do have infinite potential. So as young, adolescent Jews studying for our year in Israel, we should take the time we have here and try to better ourselves with this amazing opportunity we were given. We should reach for the stars because if we can build G-d a home, then we can accomplish anything.