Be’Ohel Haneviyim: Parshas Tezaveh

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This week’s Haftorah is from Yechezkel. It was chosen because it discusses the Bayis Shlishi and particularly the Chanukas hamizbeiach (inauguration of the Altar) in the Third Temple. This mirrors the end of the Parsha, which discusses the Chanukas hamizbeiach in the Mishkan.

In the Haftorah (like in most of Sefer Yechezkel) Yechezkel is referred to as אדם בן – human. The first time the Navi does this is in the second Perek. The Meforshim (see Rashi and Metzudas Dovid) comment that since Yechezkel had such awesome Nevuos, the references to him as “human” are there so that the Prophet shouldn’t view himself as being more than human.

In our Parsha, the Torah discusses one of the greatest channels of communication between Man and Hashem, the Urim veTumim. The Kohen Gadol could ask the Urim veTumim a question and receive in code form an answer from Hashem. The coded answer had to be uncoded and as such left room for a margin of error. This too is seemingly a reminder that no matter how much a human may understand of Hashem and His ways a human is mortal and imperfect.

The whole concept of Mishkan and Mikdash is that of בתוכם ושכנתי, that Hashem will dwell amongst us. While we are in the middle of being instructed to build a sanctuary in our midst for Hashem, we are simultaneously being reminded that we must put everything back into perspective and overstep a bit our boundaries.

Essentially, we are being told that while we must recognize our mortality we must continue to strive and build the eventual Ultimate Sanctuary, the Bayis Shlishis foretold by Yechezkel.

May we build it soon in our days.

A very warm Good Shabbos, Rabbi Y. Dov Krakowski