Raboyseyee and Raboyseyettes:
Of Parsha, Purim and Clothing:
This coming Sunday we’ll avada be joyously celebrating Purim and the fact that Queen Esther’s encounter with the King’s scepter, if you chap, resulted in the Yiddin being saved from that giferliche minuvil Homon. Nu, chapping the scepter, unless so done by the rebbe in a yeshiva setting, can at times lead to good things, if you chap. And how do Yiddin celebrate such a givaldige neys (miracle)? By davening with epes more kavono, by going to minyan, by resolving to be better people? A nechtiger tug (fuggedaboutit). Nu, believe it or not, we are told to eat, drink, be merry, give charity and exchange various food items with our close friends.
Clothing and costumes seem to play a special role on Purim as they do in this week’s heylige parsha of Tetzaveh and space permitting, the Oisvorfer will further explore how these two are epes intertwined. Ober ershtens, we must avada mention someone who gets no mention at all this week and zicher you should all know, though many of you layda (sadly) don’t, that we speak of Moishe Rabaynu who was mamish shut out of the parsha. What’s taka pshat and what terrible sin could Moishe have already committed?
Nu, here we are in Parshas Tetzaveh, kimat five months have passed since last shabbis when we read parshas Mishpotim. The Yiddin are busy hocking away building the Mishkon, the scavenger hunt is in full force ober it’s time for more instructions from the RBSO. This week the RBSO will, in great detail, lay out the collection and wardrobe of the kohanim and of course the special additional accoutrements worn by big kahuna (the koihen godol). Soon, we will endeavor to connect all the dots.
Let’s open one more window. Though this past week was the birthday and also the Yurtzeit of Moishe Rabaynu, both days that a person would typically be mentioned favorably by name. Oddly enough Moishe’s name as motioned above is nowhere to be found in the gantze parsha. Lommer lernin what happened to Moishe and why he went missing from the Parsha. Ershtens the facts:
Since we met Moishe at birth way back in Parshas Shemois and until the last parsha in the heylige Toirah, Parshas Tetzaveh is seemingly the only one where Moishe’s name is not found, and avada this bothered many commentators. Though you are too occupied with other shtusim (narishkeyt), let the Oisvorfer enlighten you as to what a few postulated could be the reason that the RBSO omitted his name. Says the Baal HaTurim azoy: following the Cheit HaEygel when the Yiddin, with the help of Aharoin, created and worshipped the golden calf, Moishe told the RBSO that if He doesn’t forgive the Yiddin for that dastardly act, that He, the RBSO, should erase Moishe’s name from the entire Sefer Toirah. Said Moishe “If you do not forgive their sin, I beg You, erase my name from Your Book,” Nu, the RBSO is not easily threatened and shoin Moishe was gone! Sounds plausible, no?
And as we’ll read next shabbis, after some cajoling from Moishe, savior of the Yiddin on many an occasion, the RBSO did forgive the Yiddin. So, why is Moishe’s name still missing from this week’s parsha? Seemingly, according to the Baal Haturim and others, the words of a tzaddik (righteous person) do not go unheeded and the RBSO took Moishe up on his dare. Chazal (our wise sages) tell us that the curse of a tzaddik, even if it’s contingent upon specific conditions, takes effect despite the fact that those conditions are not met. Warning: stay away from Tzadikim that may wish to curse you, especially those who are looking for some huge donation.
The bottom line: Moishe was left out of Parshas Tetzaveh. And vus epes (why specifically) Tetzaveh? Nu, says the Vilna Gaon azoy: it’s connected to Moishe’s birthday and yurtzeit as was mentioned above. We are taught that Moishe was born and died on the same day of the month which is zayin Adar (7th day of Adar) and since this particular day of the Hebrew calendar seems nearly always, but not always, to coincide with this week’s heylige parsha of Tetzaveh, the RBSO chose this week’s parsha for Moishe’s name to be omitted. Shoin! Since Moishe died and left us this week, he was left out: tit for tat!
Ober says Horav Elchonoin Sorotzkin azoy: Moishe’s love for his people was so overwhelming that he mamish gave the RBSO an ultimatum despite the consequences. Is there any greater tribute to Moishe, than to leave his name out of the parsha that falls on his yurtzeit? In this manner, everyone will acknowledge the greatness of his deed.
Ober says the Gaon azoy: Moishe’s name, while not appearing is still alluded to in the Parsha ober the Oisvorfer will not bore you with some backward gematria. We see from here, says the Vilna Gaon, that even after the gashmiyos of Moshe (his exterior body) was taken from us, nevertheless his ruchniyos (Neshama/soul) is still with us. Gishmak!
Says the Oisvorfer azoy: it’s all quite simple and the bottom line is this: The RBSO wrote the heylige Toirah and if He didn’t want Moishe’s name mentioned, it’s none of our business why. Who are we to question the RBSO’s actions or motives? Do you want Him asking you questions, you giferliche chazir? Avada nisht! Your job is to believe and love the RBSO.
Let’s instead take a close look at his elterer brider (older brother) Aharoin who, together with his sons, is the subject of the Parsha. Ober before we do, efsher we can klerr that the RBSO had a plan when He decided to leave Moishe’s name out of the Parsha? Grada (so happens) that everyone talks about this factoid but few, in fact, kimat no one, talks about the fact that Aharoin’s name is also missing from a Parsha. Nu, before you lose interest, let me tell you that his name does not make an appearance in Parshas Vayikra. And given that Vayikra is all about korbanois, and, as Koihen Gadol, korbanois were Aharoin’s gig, it seems strange that he does not feature. What’s taka pshat? Says the peirush HaRosh (6:2) citing the Medrish (Vayikra Rabbah 7:1), who mistama heard it from someone else who mistama made it up, that this was because Aharoin was still on the outs with the RBSO – ‘temporarily rejected,’ due to his role in the chayt ha’egel (golden calf). And if you’re wondering how it was that the RBSO had already forgiven the rest of the Yiddin while poor Aharoin who was the only person not interested in making the eygel, was still in the proverbial doghouse, avada there’s an answer. Says the RambaN quoted by the Kli Yokor (Vayikra 4:20 and Ibn Ezra Bereishis 32:9) that the RBSO punishes tzadikim (the righteous) more harshly than He does other people. And taka why? Nu, depends who you ask but some say the reason is partly because the greater one is, the more the RBSO expects. Others say it’s because the RBSO wants to cleanse every trace of sin from the tzadik in this world so that he can get to enjoy the next world, ver veyst. In either event, most of you are in the clear. And how many times have I told you that you’re better off not being a tzadik: no good can come of it, at least not in this world. Seemingly, most of the Oisvorfer’s readership is on safe ground. Gishmak!
Earlier we learned that this week’s parsha is primarily devoted to a description of the Bigdei Kehunah (priestly garments) worn by Aharoin and his sons. Mamish 43 pisukim (verses) consist of the RBSO’s detailed and colorful instructions to Moishe (without referring to him by name) regarding the making of the Bigdei Kehunah (the priestly garments) for Aharoin, and his kinderlach (sons), who will perform the Avoida (service) in the Sanctuary. In fact, a great majority of the parsha is about the creation of the Garment and Jewelry industries where tens of thousands of Yiddin have and still make a parnoso (living) ad hayoim haze (until today). What’s also mamish indisputable is that over three thousand years ago, the RBSO created Haute Couture.
Says the heylige Toirah: These are the clothes which they shall make ”and you shall make holy garments for Aharoin your brother, for dignity and for beauty.” Seemingly, the line had to be functional, dignified and also beautiful: the birth of a new industry. Efsher you’re klerring (wondering) why designer and custom made clothing was so vichtig (important) to the RBSO? Let’s not forget that the BNY are in the midbar- who’s going to see these nice outfits, or underneath them? Ver veyst! And what goes well with nice clothing? A few nice pieces of jewelry, and a bit later in the Parsha, we’ll also learn a few pisukim that describe the jewels that adorned the wardrobes.
The pisukim describe in very vivid and precise detail- down to the gatchkis (underwear) and with nothing left to the imagination, what garments the Koihanim, including the Koihain Godol, had to wear. Nu, is it a wonder that we’ve become shopping obsessed? Aren’t we but emulating the ways of the RBSO? So says the eishes chayil monthly when the AMEX bill arrives! Was all this necessary in the Midbar, ver veyst? Where and how were they able to procure all the items necessary to make all, some, or even any of these items? Ober- let’s not forget that if the RBSO said to go get it, He also mistama made sure it was somewhere to be found. We’re back in the scavenger hunt.
Why is the RBSO involved in the garment gisheft (business)? Ver veyst but He’s the RBSO and mistama He wanted his Koihanim who would serve in the Beis Hamikdash to look and dress nicely. Veyter. On the other hand: this wasn’t the first time the RBSO got involved with dressing His people and dressing the Koihanim seems only logical. The RBSO was a clothing designer? Nu, mistama you forgot that way back in the beginning of time, we learned that before the slithering snake seduced Chava (into eating the forbidden fruit- you chazir) and she her husband, they were prancing around Gan Eden nakitteheyt (totally naked) and were mamish not embarrassed. Ober (but) as soon they ate and became enlightened, they mamish discovered their nakedness. Why? Because the Yetzer Horah (evil inclination) entered their souls and caused them to be embarrassed. Grada this is shver (difficult) to chap because more typically, when the Yetzer Horah enters, we lose our embarrassment; whatever. In any event, the RBSO made them clothing to cover their privates. Thus, the word begged which is related to both clothing and sin, reminds us of the sin of man and why we need clothing.
Interestingly enough, the Koihanim weren’t the only ones to be so splendidly adorned. Avada you all know that Jewish kings also wore special clothing, yet not only does the heylige Toirah not tell us how they shall be made, there is no mention of such clothing- gornisht! What’s taka pshat and where else do we find clothing described in such splendid detail? Nu, it’s good you asked because Purim and the Megillah, which we will read and hear twice in the next few days, is replete with colorful descriptions of the king’s clothing and even more so when describing what our hero Mordecahi wore at different times. Moreover, a significant portion of the Purim miracle occurred when Homon, the minuvil was required to dress Mordechai in the Kings clothing. Lommer lernin:
As it turns out, the very joyous holiday of Purim often coincides with this week’s parsha. Coincidence? Avada nisht because the RBSO firt de velt (runs the world) as avada you all should know by now. And since everything in the heylige Toirah is also avada bashert (Divine Providence), there must be zicher a connection between the story of Purim (when we dress in costumes) and this week’s parsha where we read about the costumes of the kohanim. Gishamk mamish. Lemmer chazerin a few colorful passages from the Migillah.
Ershtens, the costume of tshuva (repentance): Queen Esther (Esther 4:4), discovers that her uncle, Mordechai, is sitting at the gates of the king’s palace wearing sackcloth and ashes, the costume of repentance. Upon hearing this news, Esther sent messengers with fresh garments to clothe Mordechai, and to take away his sackcloth from him; but he would not accept them.”
The royal costume: When Esther took on royal garb, so did Mordechai. First, he was dressed in imperial robes by Homon on the king’s orders. And then, after the Yiddin were saved, the Migillah concludes with this gishmak description of clothing fit for royalty mamish. Says the last sentence and climactic posik of the Megillah (Esther 8:15 ) which is read aloud by both the congregation and the reader: “Mordechai went out before the King dressed in majestic clothing…..”. The Megillah continues with a colorful description: “royal apparel of blue and white with a large gold crown and a robe of fine linen and purple”.and the city of Shushan rejoiced and was glad. For the Yiddin there was light, and gladness, and joy, and honor.” Let the good times roll.
A gittin shabbis and a freylichin Purim!
Purim Toirah coming tomorrow.
The Oisvorfer Ruv