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February 19, 2013 / conservadox

Dvar Torah- Tetzaveh

This week’s portion continues to discuss the Mishkan (Tabernacle) and then moves on to discuss the appropriate clothing of the High Priest.   Although it is pretty dry stuff I found one thing that kept my attention.  In the very first verse, the portion tells the Hebrews “to bring you clear oil of beaten olives for lighting [of the Mishkan].” (Exodus 27:20).  Why “clear”?

Sarna notes that “clear” means refined (i.e. without sediment).   Grinding such clear oil, says Sarna, creates a “clear, refined grade that yields a far brighter light and produces a minimum of smoke … Bahya points out that this is contrar to everyday practice in which the clear olive oil of this grade was reserved for culinary purposes, while the cruder type was used as fuel for lamps.”

In other words, if you are going to have a holy place it should be really well lit- .  Makes sense to me!

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