Rabbi’s Torah Thoughts



Torah Thoughts Tetzaveh  

(Exodus 27:20 – 30:10)

Purim is on the Way

This week’s Torah portion, Tetzaveh, goes into elaborate detail about what the High Priest would wear when performing his duties in the tabernacle.  Aaron, and his sons, had a lot of bling – gold head plates, turquoise tunics, gold bells on the hem of their robes, and a glorious breastplate complete with different precious stones representing each of the twelve tribes.  This emphasis on clothing can only mean one thing – Purim is on the way.

This is, after all, Shabbat Zachor, the Shabbat of remembrance, where we read a section from the end of Deuteronomy about Amalek, our first nemesis in the wilderness, who attacked from behind before our people had a chance to recover from crossing over the Red Sea.  Haman is said to have been a descendant of this hated tribe, and the Torah reading sets us up for the battle we will have with him a few days later on Purim. 

Purim is the Halloween of Jewish holidays, as we come to synagogue dressed in costumes having fun telling and retelling the story of Esther in different guises.  Just in the last few years, we have transported you into Club 54 with Purim Night Fever, brought out Tevyeh and put on Hamantaschen on the Roof, and sung the story of Esther to the Frozen movie soundtrack.  This coming Wednesday night it’s off to the Wild West in our Noshville Megillah.  I get to bring out my sheriff’s badge, as our Purim players will serenade you with country hits, aiming to defeat Haman with a good ole’ fashioned hoe down.

While all in the spirit of fun, the aim of Purim is quite serious.  Every generation must battle its own version of Haman, a task that will take the ingenuity of Esther, the determination of Mordecai, and a sense of humor to not take anything, least of all Purim, that seriously.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Alex

Last updated: February 22, 2018 at 21:46 pm