Tetzave

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Rav Zilber in Russian
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HaShem tells Moshe to command the Jewish People to supply pure olive oil for the Menorah in the Mishkan (Tent of Meeting). He also tells Moshe to organize the making of the Bigdey Kehunah (priestly garments): a breastplate, an Ephod, a robe, a checkered tunic, a turban, a sash, a forehead-plate and linen trousers. Upon their completion, Moshe is to perform a ceremony for seven days to consecrate Aharon and his sons.

This includes offering sacrifices, dressing Aharon and his sons in their respective garments, and anointing Aharon with oil.

HaShem commands that every morning and afternoon a sheep be offered on the Altar in the Mishkan. This offering should be accompanied by a meal-offering, and libations of wine and oil. HaShem commands that an Altar for incense should be built from acacia wood and covered with gold. Aharon and his descendants should burn incense on this Altar every day. 

Oil for the Lamp

   You, [Moses], must command the Israelites to bring you clear illuminating oil, made from hand crushed olives, to keep the lamp constantly burning. Aaron and his sons shall arrange for [the lamps to burn] from evening until morning in God's presence, in the Communion Tent, outside the cloth partition that conceals the [Ark of] Testimony. It is a rule for all time that [this oil shall come] from the Israelites.

The Vestments

   [Separate] your brother Aaron and his sons from among the Israelites, [and] bring them close to you so that Aaron, and his sons, Nadav, Avihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, can become priests to Me.

   Make sacred vestments that are both dignified and beautiful for your brother Aaron.

   Speak to everyone who is naturally talented, to whom I have granted a spirit of wisdom, and let them make Aaron's vestments. These [vestments] will then be used to consecrate him and make him a priest to Me.

   These are the vestments that they shall make: a breastplate, an ephod, a robe, a knitted tunic, a turban, and a sash. Make them as sacred vestments for Aaron and his sons so that they will be able to be priests to Me.

    [The skilled workers] shall take the gold, the sky-blue, dark red and crimson wool, and, the linen.

The Ephod

    [These workers] shall make the ephod out of gold [thread], sky-blue, dark red and crimson wool, together with twined linen, in a patterned brocade. It shall have two attached shoulder pieces at its two corners, and [these] shall be sewn [to it]. The ephod's belt which is made in the same manner [as the ephod itself] shall be [woven] together with it out of gold [thread], sky-blue, dark red, and crimson wool, and twined linen.

   Take two sardonyx stones, and engrave on them the names of Israel's sons. There shall be six names on one stone, and the remaining six names on the second stone [inscribed] in the order of their birth.  The names of Israel's sons shall be engraved by a skilled jeweler, [and it shall appear] like the engraving on a signet ring.

   [These stones] shall then be placed in gold settings. Place the two stones on the two shoulder pieces of the ephod as remembrance stones for Israel's sons. Aaron shall carry their names on his two shoulders before God as a remembrance.

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The Settings

   Make gold settings. [Also] make matched cables of pure gold, braided like cords. The braided cables shall then be attached to the settings.

The Breastplate

   Make a decision breastplate. It shall be a patterned  brocade like the ephod. Make it out of gold [thread], sky-blue, dark red and crimson wool, and twined linen. When folded over, it shall be a span long and a span wide.

   Set it with four rows of mounted stones.

   The first of these rows shall contain a carnelian, an emerald and a topaz.

   The second row: carbuncle, sapphire, beryl.

   The third row: jacinth, agate amethyst.

   The fourth row: chrysolite, onyx, jasper.

   These stones shall be placed in gold settings.

   The stones shall contain the names of the twelve sons of Israel, one for each of the twelve [stones]. Each one's name shall be engraved as on a signet ring, to represent the twelve tribes.

 Make matched cables out of pure gold, braided like cords, for the breastplate. Make two gold rings for the breastplate, and attach them to the two [upper] corners of the breastplate. Attach the two gold braids to the two rings on the two corners of the breastplate. Attach the two braids on the two corners to the two settings and they shall [thus] be attached to the (two] shoulder pieces of the ephod, toward the front.

   Make two gold rings, and attach them to the two [lower] corners of the breastplate, on the edge that is toward the inside of the ephod. Make [another] two gold rings, and attach them to the bottoms of the two shoulder pieces, toward the front where they are sewn on, above the ephod's belt. Lace the [lower] rings of the breastplate to the [lower] rings of the ephod with a twist of sky-blue wool, so that [the breastplate] shall remain directly above the ephod's belt.

   Aaron will thus carry the names of Israel's sons on the decision breastplate over his heart when he comes into the sanctuary. It shall be a constant remembrance before God.

   Place the Urim and Thumim in the decision breastplate, and they shall be over Aaron's heart when he comes before God. Aaron will then carry the decision-making device for the Israelites before God at all times.

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The Robe

   Make the robe that is [worn under] the ephod completely out of sky- blue wool. It shall have an opening for the head in the middle, and this opening shall have a woven border all around it, like there is around the head opening of a coat of mail. [The neck] shall thus not be left open.

   On the bottom [of the robe], place pomegranates made of sky-blue, dark red, and crimson wool, all along its lower border. In between [these pomegranates] all around, there shall be gold bells. Thus, there shall be a gold bell and a pomegranate, a gold bell and a pomegranate, all around the lower edge of the robe.

   Aaron shall wear [this robe] when he performs the divine service. The sound [of the bells] shall be heard when he enters the sanctuary before God, and when he goes out, so that he not die.

The Other Vestments

   Make a forehead-plate of pure gold, and engrave on it in the same manner as a signet ring, [the words], "Holy to God."  Attach a twist of sky-blue wool to it, so that it can be [worn] next to the turban. It must be sky-blue [worn] right near the front of the turban.

   [This plate] shall be worn on Aaron's forehead. Aaron shall thus cam the device that expiates [errors] in the sacred offerings that the Israelites consecrate as holy gifts. It shall be on his forehead at all times to make [these offerings] acceptable for [the Israelites] before God.

   Knit the tunic out of linen.

  [Also] make the turban out of linen and an embroidered sash.

   For Aaron's sons, make tunics and sashes. Also make them hats that are both dignified and beautiful.

   Place these [vestments] on Aaron and his sons. Then anoint them, and install them, sanctifying them to be priests to Me.

   Also make linen pants to cover their nakedness, reaching from their waists to their thighs.

   [All these vestments] must be worn by Aaron and his sons whenever they enter the Communion Tent or offer sacrifice on the altar, performing the divine service in the sanctuary; otherwise they will have committed a sin and they will die. This shall be a law for [Aaron] and his descendants after him for all time.

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Consecration of the Priests

    This is what you, [Moses] must do to consecrate [Aaron and his sons] as priests to Me.

    Take a young bull, two unblemished rams, loaves of unleavened bread, unleavened loaves kneaded with olive oil, and flat matzahs brushed with olive oil. All [the cakes] must be made of fine wheat flour. Place [all the cakes] in a basket, and bring them in the basket along with the young bull and the two rams.

    Bring Aaron and his sons to the door of the Communion Tent, and immerse them in a mikvah.  

    Take the vestments and place the tunic, the ephod's robe, the ephod and the breastplate on Aaron. Bind him with the ephod's belt. Then place the turban on his head, and place the sacred plate [below] the turban.

   Take the anointing oil, pour [a little] on [Aaron's] head, and anoint him.

   Bring forth. [Aaron's] sons and dress them with the [linen] tunics. His sons shall wear belts, just like Aaron, and they shall also wear hats.

   You shall thus install Aaron and his sons [as priests, and this procedure] shall remain a law for all time.

   Bring the young bull before the Communion Tent, and have Aaron and his sons place their hands on the bull's head. Slaughter the bull before God, at the door of the Communion Tent. Take the bull's blood and place it on the altar's protrusions with your finger. Spill all the [remainir] blood on the altar's foundation.

   Take all the fat that covers the inner organs, as well as the lobe of the liver, and the two kidneys with the fat around them, and burn them on the altar.  You must burn the bull's flesh, along with its skin and the food in its intestines, outside the camp. It is a sin offering.

   Take the first ram and have Aaron and his sons place their hands on its head. When you then slaughter the ram, take its blood and sprinkle it on all sides of the altar. Cut the ram into pieces. Then wash off its intestines and legs, and place them together with the cut up pieces [of the ram] and its head. Burn the entire ram on the altar; it is a burnt offering to God. It shall thus be an appeasing fragrance, a fire-offering to God.
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   Take the second ram, and have Aaron and his sons place their hands on its head. When you then slaughter the ram, take its blood and place some of it on the right ear lobe of Aaron and his sons, as well as on their right thumbs and right big toes. Sprinkle the [remaining] blood on all sides of the altar.

   Collect the blood that is on the altar, and [together] with the anointing oil, sprinkle it on Aaron and his vestments, as well as on his sons and their vestments. This will consecrate [Aaron] and his vestments, as well as his sons and their vestments.

   Take the [intestinal] fat of the [second] ram, along with its broad tail, the fatty layer covering the stomachs, the lobe of the liver, the two kidneys together with their fat, and the right hind leg, since this ram is an installation [offering]. [Also take] one cake of [unleavened] bread, one loaf of oil bread, and one flat cake from the basket of unleavened bread that is before God.

   Place all [these items] onto the open hands of Aaron and his sons, and have them wave [these items] in the prescribed motions of a wave offering before God. Then take [these items] from their hands and burn them on the altar after the [first ram which is a] burnt offering. Let it be an appeasing fragrance before God, since it is a fire offering to God.

   Take the breast of Aaron's installation ram, and wave it in the motions prescribed for a wave offering. This shall be your portion, [Moses].

   Sanctify the breast of the wave offering and the hind leg of the uplifted offering [for all time]. These are the parts of the installation ram of Aaron and his sons that were waved with the prescribed horizontal and vertical motions. It shall be a law for all times that this be an offering for Aaron and his sons from the Israelites, taken from their peace offerings as a priestly offering to God.

   Aaron's sacred vestments shall [also] be passed down to his descendants after him to give them special status and to install them. The descendant who takes [Aaron's] place to enter the Communion Tent and perform the divine service in the [inner] sanctuary must [first] put on [these vestments] for seven [consecutive] days.

   Take the [rest of the] installation ram and cook its flesh in a sanctified area. Aaron and his sons shall eat the ram's meat along with the bread in the basket near the entrance of the Communion Tent. They will gain atonement by eating [these offerings], and they will thus be installed to their consecrated rank.

   [These offerings] are sacred, and therefore may not be eaten by any outsider. If any meat of the installation offering or any of the bread is left over until morning, you must burn the leftovers in the fire. Since it is consecrated, it may not be eaten.

   Do exactly as I have instructed you for Aaron and his sons. Their installation shall take seven days.

   Sacrifice a young bull as a sin offering each day for atonement. By sprinkling [the blood of this offering] on the altar, you will atone for [any misdeed associated with making] it, and by anointing it you will sanctify it. For [all] seven days, you shall make such atonement for the altar and sanctify it, thus making the altar holy of holies. Anything that touches the altar will therefore become sanctified.

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Consecrating the Altar

   This is what you must do for the altar:                                                             

  [Offer] two yearling sheep each day consecutively. The first sheep shall be offered in the morning, and the second sheep in the afternoon.

   Offer 1/10 ephah fine flour mixed with 1/4 hin pressed olive oil, and a libation of 1/4 hin wine, with the first sheep. Offer the second sheep in the afternoon along with a meal offering and libation just like that of [the sheep] offered in the morning. It shall then be an appeasing fragrance to God.

   This shall also be the continual burnt offering for all generations. [It shall be offered] before God at the entrance of the Communion Tent, the place where I commune with [all the people] by speaking with you there.

   It is there that I will commune with the Israelites, and [the tabernacle] will thus be sanctified with My glory. I will sanctify the Communion Tent and the altar, and I will also sanctify Aaron and his sons to be priests to Me.

   I will make My presence felt among the Israelites, and I will be a God for them. They will realize that I, God their Lord, brought them out of Egypt to make My presence felt among them. I am God their Lord.

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The Incense Altar

   Make an altar to bum incense out of acacia wood. It shall be square, a cubit long and a cubit wide, and a cubits high, including its horns. Cover it with a layer of pure gold, on its top, its walls all around, and its horns. Make a gold rim all around it.

   Place two gold rings under [the altar's] rim on its two opposite sides as receptacles to hold the poles with which it is carried. Make the carrying poles out of acacia wood and cover them with a layer of gold.

   Place [this altar] in front of the cloth partition concealing the Testimony Ark - before the cloth partition concealing the testimony area where I commune with you.

   Aaron shall burn incense on [this altar] each morning when he cleans out the lamps. He shall [also] burn [incense] before evening when he lights the lamps. Thus, for all generations, there will be incense before God at all times.

   Do not burn any unauthorized incense on it. Furthermore, do not offer any animal sacrifice, meal offering, or libation on it.
 
  [Furthermore,] once each year Aaron shall make atonement on the horns of [this altar]. For all generations, he shall make atonement with the blood of the atonement sacrifice once each year.

[This altar] shall be a holy of holies to God.

 Б-г сказал Моше, чтобы он повелел евреям приносить к Шатру откровения чистое оливковое масло для светильника (меноры). Он также велел Моше позаботиться об изготовлении одежд для Аарона-первосвященника. Необходимо было сделать хошен (нагрудную пластину), эйфод, мантию, клетчатый хитон, тюрбан, пояс, перевязь, венец (налобную пластину) и льняные штаны. После изготовления священных одежд, Моше должен был совершить семидневный обряд посвящения Аарона и его сыновей. Этот обряд включал жертвоприношения, облачение Аарона и его сыновей в священные одежды и помазание маслом.

Б-г повелел, чтобы каждый день утром и после полудня на жертвеннике в святилище приносился в жертву ягненок. Эта жертва должна была сопровождаться хлебным даром и возлиянием вина. Б-г также повелел, чтобы жертвенник для воскурений был изготовлен из дерева акации и покрыт золотом. Аарон и его потомки должны были совершать на этом жертвеннике ежедневные воскурения.

 

 

Rav Yitzchak Zilber (in Russian) Rabbi Dovid Grossman (in English)