Parshas Tezaveh is the only parsha in the last 4 booksof Chumash the birth of in which Moshe's name isnot mentioned. Chazal say this was a fulfillment of Moshe's plea to be "wiped out of the Book that Youwrote" [Shmos 32:32], which he uttered whenpleading for forgiveness on behalf of the Jewishpeople for the sin of the Golden Calf. The curse of arighteous person comes true, even if it was onlyuttered conditionally. Thus, Moshe's words, althoughuttered conditionally (if You do not forgive thepeople), did not go totally unfulfilled, even thoughthe Jewish people were in fact forgiven. In this smallway, Moshe's name WAS erased from G-d's Book, inthat his name does not appear in Parshas Tezaveh.Rav Ovadya Yosef asks: Why of all Parshios in theTorah, did the fulfillment of this "Curse" come tofruition in Parshas Tezaveh? Rav Ovadya Yosef answers that the statement "Erase me from YOURBOOK (Sifrecha)" can be broken down to read"Erase me from Sefer Chaf" [Book #20]. SinceParshas Tezaveh is the 20th parsha in the Torah, it isthe appropriate parsha in which to have Moshe'sname omitted.This cute insight only begs the question. Why didMoshe pick the 20th parsha, Parshas Tezaveh, as theone to have his name removed from?I saw in a sefer the following explanation: Manytimes when a person is being removed from thepicture, he feels a need to remind people "You shouldknow that I could have had this job".There was a famous incident involving Rav ChaimShmuelevitz. There are usually 3 jobs in connectionwith a garbage truck - the driver and the two fellows
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who empty the garbage cans into the back of thegarbage truck. The driver has the comfort of drivingaround in an air-conditioned truck. He does notneed to smell or handle the garbage. It is arelatively decent job. The guys in the back need to jump on and off the truck, and handle and smell thegarbage, etc. Ra v Chaim Shmuelevitz commentedthat he was once walking in Yerushalayim and hesaw a garbage truck. After one of the fellows on theback of the truck did his job with the garbage cans,he noticed Rav Shmuelevitz. The man went over tothe Rav and told him in Yiddish, "I could have beenthe driver, but I'm not looking for honor."This precious story tells us much. We learn thatthere are hierarchies of honor in all aspects of life.It also demonstrates this need for people who werepassed over or who even voluntarily passed over acertain privileged position to let other people know"I could have done that".Chazal say that Moshe Rabbeinu was offered to bethe Kohen Gadol [High Priest]. However, Moshedeclined the job, preferring that it go to his olderbrother. Parshas Tezaveh is the parsha of thePriestly Garments. This is the parsha describing theglory of the Kohen Gadol. When Moshe Rabbeinureached Parshas Tezaveh, he may be thinking tohimself "the Torah could be talking about me overhere; this could have been my uniform; I couldhave been the Kohen Gadol." In his extrememodesty, however, Moshe says that this is preciselythe parsha where he does not even want to have hisname mentioned. "This is Aaron's parsha. I want totake a back seat and not even be mentioned in thewhole parsha."This is a classic example of someone who "fleeshonor". Furthermore, as we said at the outset, this isthe goal of every teacher. This is an example of what Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch means - that theflame should arise on its own. The teacher shouldnot always hover over the student and tell him"Remember I was the guy who put you there" or "Itaught you everything you know." The teacher mustbe prepared to stand back, take himself out of thepicture, and let the student and disciple go forthtotally by himself. The flame of the light of theMenorah should arise on its own.
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Dale Polakoff, RabbiIan Lichter, Assistant RabbiDr. Ephraim Wolf ,z”l, Rabbi EmeritusMichael Bleicher, Daniel Schwechter, Rabbinic InternsZeev Kron, CantorEleazer Schulman, z”l, Cantor EmeritusMark Twersky, Executive DirectorJoseph Hecht, PresidentHarold Domnitch, Chairman of the Board