Shabbat Parashat Tetzaveh| 5767
Tetzaveh | | 1/1/2006
I have no idea (and no interest) when the latest set of new fashions for the spring will be displayed in Paris. But, l’havdil elef havdalot, this week we will be reading a lot about some very special clothes. We start off with the parasha’sdescription of the intricate and beautiful clothes that were produced for the kohanim and, especially, the kohen gadol. Later on in the week, we will read about the royal clothes that Mordechai wore as one who found favor in the eyes of the king. The Torah refers to the kohanim’s garments as l’chavod u’l’tifaret (for honor and grandeur) (Shemot 28:2).
Case: The plaintiff (=pl) worked in the defendant’s (=def) store. Def ended pl’s employment during an angry phone conversation, and pl is now demanding severance pay. Although pl worked under a contract, there was tension regarding the issue of raising the salary, which was pending arbitration. Pl was entitled to buy items sold in the store at a 20% discount. He admits taking, at times, merchandise without paying but claims that this was done with permission from def’s wife and with an intention to pay later. Pl claims that def had not yet demanded him to pay until their financial disputes were settled. Def claims that he only recently found out that the items had been taken. Pl also would not infrequently show up to work late. Def feels that pl was rightfully let go because of his thievery and erratic work ethic and, thus, does not deserve severance pay.
“Also every illness and every blow that is not written in this scroll of the Torah”- this refers to the death of tzaddikim (Otzar Hamidrashim, pg. 439). Why, in fact, was this not spelled out explicitly? There is a written Torah and an Oral Torah, and the two were given in an inter-connected manner. Hashem did not throw the tablets from the Heavens. Rather, “Two tablets he [Moshe] brought down in his hand.” This is because the Oral Torah is that which gives life to the Written Torah. “And now, Israel, what does Hashem, your G-d, ask of you, just to fear Hashem, your G-d, to go in all of his paths, and to love …” (Devarim 10:12). The gemara (Berachot 33b) asks whether fear of Hashem is really such a small thing. It answers that it was a small thing in regard to Moshe.
A weekly divrei Torah leaflet: A Glimpse at the Parasha, Ask the Rabbi, From the writings of Harav Avraham Yitzchak Hakohen Kook, zt”l, Pninat Mishpat (Jewish Monetary Law).