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    Spiritual illumination – T’tzavveh

    Last week Parashat T’rumah informed us about the construction of the sanctuary. This week’s reading deals with the personnel who carried out the rituals of the sanctuary.

    Because this is a new section and it has its own name, T’tzavveh, “command the people”, it is a new, independent section of the Torah, despite the fact that it comes inside an existing chapter of Sh’mot.

    What is the main task it tells the kohanim to perform? The care of the sanctuary lights. In every age the spiritual leaders have a similar duty, to concern themselves with the lights – not just physical lamps but spiritual illumination.

    Modern communities expect the clergy to conduct the services but it’s equally important for them to shed a Jewish light on people’s lives and activities. Rabbis and chazzanim should not limit themselves to the melodies, but present the content and meaning of the poems and prayers.

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