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Parshat Tezaveh - Questions for Self Study

Questions for the Shabbat Table
Questions for Shiur Preparation
Questions on Parshanut

Part I - Questions for the 'Shabbat Table'

1. The opening pasuk of the Parsha describes the mitzvah to light the ner tamid [an 'everlasting' light] .
On what other "keilim" (vessels) in the Mishkan do we find an "avodah" (a ritual) which relates to the word tamid?
See if you can find an example for the "shulchan", "mizbach ha'olah", "mizbach ha'ktoret", and the "aron".
Which of these "keilim" does not have an "avodat tamid"? Can you explain why?
Relate the concept of "avodat tamid" to Ramban's explanation of the purpose of the Mishkan as a perpetuation of Har Sinai, as he explains at the beginning of Parshat Terumah.

2. Parshat Tezaveh discusses the appointment of the kohanim to work in the Mishkan, and hence the need for a special uniform. For future generations, what other responsibilities do the kohanim have in addition to working in the Temple?
[In your opinion, is there enough work in the Mikdash to keep all the Kohanim in Am Yisrael busy all year long?]
What are the Kohanim expected to do with the rest of their 'spare time'? How about the Leviim? [See Devarim 17:8-10, 33:10]
How are the Kohanim and Leviim supposed to make a living (who pays their salary and how is it collected etc.)?
[See Bamidbar 18:8-24, especially 18:12-14,21. See also Devarim 18:1-8, in relation to 17:8-11.]
See also Devarim 18:1-8, in relation to 17:8-11.]
How do these implied responsibilities relate to their primary responsibility to work in the Mikdash.
Relate once again to the first Ramban on Parshat Terumah.

3. This week's Parsha begins with a mitzvah concerning the 'lighting of the Menorah' (27:20-21). Does this mitzvah appear to be its 'logical' location, or should it have been mentioned earlier with the mitzvah to make the Menorah (see 25:31-40 - compare 25:21-22)? Explain.
The next set of mitzvot in the Parsha describe the "bigdei kehuna" (the special garments of the Kohanim). Why do you think the mitzvah for Aharon and his sons to light the Menorah is juxtaposed to these mitzvot?
See Bamidbar 8:1-4. Is this the same mitzvah or a different one?
Does this mitzvah to light the Menorah also appear to be out of place?
What topic follows in Bamidbar 8:5-22?
In what manner does the 'job' of the Kohanim and Leviim within Am Yisrael relate to the mitzvah of lighting the Menorah?
[Relate to your answer in question #2 above.]

4. Compare the Menorah to the Keruvim, and the Shulchan to the Aron. In what manner is each "kli" similar to the other?
How does the function of the Keruvim relate to the function of the Menorah (or at least what the Menorah represents)?
Attempt to correlate Moshe/Aron to Aharon/Menorah as far as the job of each leader in relation to the people!

5. In what manner is the Kohen Gadol similar to a King?
[Relate also to his special garments.]
In the ideal situation, is he supposed to be the king?
If yes, explain why.
If no, explain who is supposed to be the king, and what should be the 'balance of powers' between them.
Relate to Bamidbar 27:15-21, and Devarim 17:8-18:8!
See also I Shmuel 2:35!

6. If you have some 'spare time', see Rambam Sefer Avodah, Hilchot Klei HaMikdash chapters 3, 4 and 5. There he talks about the Leviim, Kohanim and Kohen Gadol.
See IV.20 in relation to question #4 above.
See also Rambam Sefer Shoftim, Hilchot M'lachim chapters 1-5, especially IV.10.
[If you live in chutz la'aretz, don't read V.9-12, "v'akmal".]

6. In the seven day "miluim" ceremony (chapter 29), both the Kohanim and the Mizbayach need "kapara."
First, verify this statement (from psukim).
In your opinion, what is the purpose of the ceremony, and why specifically do the Kohanim and Mizbayach require "kapara?"
What does "kapara" mean?
[See previous shiur on Yom Kippur (on the TSC Web site) in regard to its 'protective' nature.]
Could this "kapara" also relate to "chet ha'egel". Would explain why the kohanim must offer this korban? Would it explain why the mizbayach requires "kapara". [Compare the korbanot in chapter 29 to the korbanot that were offered on Yom ha'Shmini as detailed in Vayikra 9:1-6!]

Part II - Questions for Preparation (for weekly shiur)

1. Browse through Parshiot Terumah and Tezaveh (25:1-30:10), noting the main topic of each "parshia."
Then, make a list of these topics, one line for each topic.
[You should finish with about twenty lines.]
Now take your list, and transform it into an outline.
Determine the principle of the internal structure of this unit.

2. Once you have determined the general logic of the progression of these 'parshiot', note any parshiot that don't seem to be in their 'proper' place. If you find any, can you explain why they are 'out of place'?

3. Review the second to last 'parshia' of this unit - 29:38-46. In your opinion, what is the primary topic of this 'parshia'? How does this topic relate to the entire unit?
In your opinion, does its location (i.e. towards the end of this unit) makes sense? [How does the daily "korban Tamid" relate to the seven day miluim ceremony described in 29:1-37?] 4. Carefully note the textual and thematic parallel between 29:42-46 and 25:8-9. Can you explain their significance?
In what manner could you consider 29:43-44 as a summary the entire unit? [Relate to your outline.]
In what way do 25:8 & 29:45 enclose this unit? If so, then what would be the thematic importance of 29:46?

5. Based on your outline and your answer to the above question, what is especially strange about the location of the mizbach ha'ktoret (i.e. 30:1-10) at the very end of this unit?
According to your outline, does this "parshia" belong somewhere else? If so, where?
Can you explain why it is 'out of place'? [See Chizkuni and Seforno on 30:1, where they deal with this question.]

6. Compare 29:42 to 30:6. What is similar, both textually and thematically? Can you explain why?
What, in your opinion, is the function of the mizbach ha'ktoret?
Why does specifically this vessel require special "kapara" once a year (i.e. on Yom Kippur/ see 30:10)?

7. In your opinion, what is the focal point of the Mishkan, the aron & keruvim and/or the mitzbach ha'olah", or both?
How does the mizbach haktoret relate to each of these 'focal points'?

8. Recall how Ramban (on 25:1) explained how the Mishkan serves as a perpetuation (and 'model') of Har Sinai. Recall also the that the Ktoret, when offered, creates an anan (a cloud/ See Vayikra 16:13, compare with 19:9, 24:15-16).
Based on the Ramban's 'model', what in your opinion, would be the function of the Mizbach ha'Ktoret in the Mishkan?
Would this help explain why 30:1-10 is 'out of place'.
[Be sure to see Ramban's pirush to 30:1, noting how he may be relating to this point.]

9. Next, note the next set of parshiot that follow this unit, i.e. 30:11-38. In your opinion, should (at least some) of these mitzvot been included in Parshiot Terumah/Tezaveh as well?,br> If so, which mitzvot, and where should they have been recorded?
Can you suggest a reason why they may have been 'left out'? Relate once again to your answer concerning why the Mizbach Ktoret was 'left out'.

10. Finally, make a list of these 'extra' topics in chapter 30, beginning with the mizbach ktoret. Can you find a parallel between this list and your outline of Terumah/Tezaveh (that you made to answer question #1.
Can you find a parallel? If so, can you suggest why it may be significant?

Now that you've prepared, go to the shiur.

Part III - Parshanut

1. In the above questions, we noted how the Mizbach HaK'toret appears to be 'out of place.'
See the various commentators on 30:1, and note how they deal with this problem.

Note Rashi (on 30:1).
Does Rashi deal with this problem or does his pirush deal with another question?
If so, what is that question?

See Rashbam.
What question is does Rashbam deal with?
[To help you answer this question, relate to what the word mizbayach is derived from, i.e. shoresh z.v.ch. What is a "zevach" normally brought from? See Breishit 31:54, and Vayikra 3:1 and 7:11!]

Now see Chizkuni.
How does Chizkuni answer the preparation questions concerning the Mizbach HaK'toret?
In this case, is his approach thematic or textual?

Next see Sforno.
How does Sforno answer these questions?
Is his answer based on thematic or textual considerations?

Finally, see Ramban.
Note how Ramban deals with many of the questions (raised in the preparation section).
How does Ramban answer these questions?
As above, is Rabman's approach (here) based primarily on thematic or textual considerations?

2. Read 29:45-46.
How did you understand the phrase "l'shochni b'tocham?"
First see Rashi.
How does he explain and why?

Next see Ibn Ezra.
Is Ibn Ezra's approach the same or different than Rashi's?
Why does he refer back to 3:12?

[See also Rashbam and Chizkuni!]

Finally, see Ramban!
Why does he disagree with Rashi?
Would he disagree as well with Ibn Ezra and Rashbam?
How is Ramban's explanation of this pasuk fundamentally different than all the other parshanim?
What is its philosophical significance?

3. Note Rashi's explanation on 29:1 that the par that Aharon must bring during the seven day Miluim ceremony is to atone for his sin at "chet ha'egel".
Relate this to Rashi's approach concerning when the mitzvah of the Mishkan was first given. [See last week's shiur.]
Then, see Rashi on the opening psukim of Parshat Shmini [i.e. Vayikra 9:1-2]. Carefully note Rashi's explanation why Aharon must bring specifically an egel for a chatat on this day. Compare his pirush to Chizkuni's (on 9:2).
Is this the same pirush or different? Read carefully! According to Rashi is the egel that Aharon must bring to atone for chet ha'egel or to 'make a public statement'? Explain.