Parashas Tetzaveh

This week’s parashah deals with the process of inducting Aharon as Kohen Gadol and his sons as Kohanim, including a description of their priestly vestments and of the induction ceremony. Hashem tells Moshe (Shemos 28:1): “Now, you bring near to you Aharon your brother and his sons … to minister to Me.” The Midrash reports that Moshe was disturbed at not having merited to be the one to serve as Kohen Gadol, but Hashem told him that there was no reason to be upset. The Midrash relates (Shemos Rabbah 37:4, slightly paraphrased, and following the annotations of the Radal):
It is like a king who took his close one as his wife, and over ten years of marriage she did not give birth. He said to her: “Find for me an additional wife.” He then continued: “I could take another wife without your consent, but I want her to be subservient to you.” Thus said the Holy One Blessed Be He to Moshe: “I could make your brother Kohen Gadol without your consent, but I want to make you his superior.”
The Maggid explains this Midrash in the following way. In general, when Hashem decides to grant someone material or spiritual blessing, He usually conveys the blessing through intermediaries. Hashem could quite easily convey the blessing directly, but He routes the blessing through intermediaries for their benefit. Hashem’s method is to convey so much blessing that the intermediaries are filled to the brim first, and then pass on the designated recipient. The result is that the intermediaries are elevated above the ultimate recipient.
Moshe knew that the Kohen Gadol would be the conduit through which Hashem would bring blessing to the Jewish People. And Moshe wanted to be the one to serve as this conduit. Hashem told him that He was instead placing him in an even higher position. Aharon would be granted the measure of blessing needed to fill him up and then allow him to shower blessing upon the entire Jewish People. Moshe, for his part, would be first in line to receive Hashem’s blessing – and would receive his fill first, before passing on the measure of blessing designated for Aharon. Moshe was thus elevated above Aharon.
The same idea, the Maggid says, applies to Jerusalem. The city of Jerusalem is the conduit through which blessing flows from heaven to earth. Hence Jerusalem has a greater measure of blessing than any other place on earth. As Dovid HaMelech writes (Tehillim 147:12-14):
Praise Hashem, O Jerusalem; laud your God, O Zion. For He has strengthened the bars of your gates; He has blessed your children in your midst. It is He Who sets peace within your borders; He sates you with the cream of the wheat.
At present, Jerusalem’s glory is hidden – may we see it come out into the open speedily and soon.
David Zucker, Site Administrator

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