This Week’s Torah Portion: Tetzaveh


Name: Tetzaveh

Reading: Exodus 27:20 – 30:10

Haftarah: Samuel 1 15:2 – 15:34

Parsha Summary – Tetzaveh

God Instructs Moses Regarding the Mishkan

Instructions regarding the travelling Temple, also called the mishkan, continue:

Use pure olive oil in the lamp and never let it go out.

The Priests’ Clothing

Aaron and his family will be priests. Make them holy, beautiful garments: a breastplate, an ephod, a robe, a tunic, a cap, and a belt. Make them from gold, from blue, purple, and scarlet fine linen.

Precise details regarding the making of each item are issued. Two onyx stones should each be engraved with the names of six of the tribes and placed into the shoulder pieces of the ephod in setting of gold. A breastplate of linen should be set with four rows of stones, one to represent each tribe, so that the High Priest carries them upon his heart. The cap should include a gold plate which is inscribed with the words, “Holy for the Lord”.

Consecrating the Priests

Make linen tunics with girdles and turbans for Aaron’s sons, the priests. The priests are to be sanctified through sacrifice: dress the priests, then offer a bullock and anoint the altar with its blood. Burn the organs and smoke them on the altar; use the flesh as a sin offering. Slaughter a ram and spread its blood around the altar; cut it into pieces and smoke it on the altar. Slay another lamb and dab its blood on Aaron and his sons’ ears, hands, and toes. Take bread, oiled bread, and a wafer from the basket with the ram and they shall wave it as a wave offering. They shall eat of the offerings and purify the altar.

Serve near the people so that they will know that I am their God who brought them from Egypt.

Make an altar of acacia wood and plate it with gold, and place it before the ark and its covers.