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[Dvar Torah] Tetzaveh

This week's Parsha, Parshat Tetzaveh begins with the mitzvah of the Ner Tamid and the oil needed to light it. Among other things, the Parsha provides an in-depth description of the clothes worn by Aaron and his sons, explaining how Moses shall, “gird Aaron and his sons with sashes and bind caps on them. And the Priesthood shall be theirs by a statute forever.” Why does the Torah use the Cohanim's belts and hats as an opportunity to accentuate the continuity of the Priesthood?

Rabbi Hirsch comments on the fact that the belts and the hats given to the Cohanim and the Cohen Gadol were identical. Although the roles of both sets of priests were different, they all shared a common goal of serving G-d and to remind them that they shared these same qualities within their clothing.

In the story of Purim which is told in Megillat Esther, Haman approaches King Achashverosh in order to tell him that he would like to annihilate the Jewish people. When approaching King Achashverosh Haman tells him that, “There is a certain people scattered [abroad] and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your Kingdom; their laws are different from those of all other people, and they do not observe the King’s laws. Therefore it is not in the King’s interest to [tolerate them and] let them stay here.” 

Haman thought that due to the separation of the Jewish people and their lack of unity it would be easy for him to destroy them. However, Mordechai and Esther were able to reinstate this achdut within the Jewish people therefore leading to our survival.  The goal of Purim is to emphasize this togetherness and the importance of being as one. This is reflected in the four mitzvot of Purim where the main goal is giving and to enjoy our time together with friends and family.

Today we live in a world where a different opinion can cause harm. It is important to remember that regardless of who we are, what position we hold in life and what opinions we may have, we are all human beings. The lesson we can learn from Mordechai and Esther is that by focusing on what unites rather than what divides, a brighter future  for us and everyone around us awaits.

Shabbat Shalom.

Tamir, Grade 10