This Week’s Torah Portion Is Tetzaveh (Exodus 27:20-30:10)

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I discuss the weekly Torah portion with Rabbi Rabbs every Monday at 7pm PST on my live cam and YouTube.

This week’s Torah portion is Parashat Tetzaveh (Exodus 27:20-30:10).

* Do you find some Torah portions more interesting than others? These sanctuary details are hard to get through.

* Being natural is not a Torah ideal (Dennis Prager). Clothing is civilization. I had a friend who was an Orthodox nudist, the only one I’ve known.

* Purity, separation, distinction are major themes of this week’s parsha and all of Torah. What you wear matters. Some things in life, such as the altar, are more holy than others.

* This week’s Torah portion introduces the office of priest. Do we need such holy men? Do you like Roman Catholic priests and nuns in their habits?

* There are no benefits to being a priest or a rabbi in Judaism. There are only obligations.

* Priests are to be obsessed with life and to have nothing to do with the dead.

* Priests have to wash their feet and hands before going into service.

* A physically blemished priest can not serve in the sanctuary.

* Priests can’t marry hookers or divorcees. Widows are fine, except for the high priest.

* Divination forbidden. Substitute Urim/Thummim, but it could only be used by the national leader on national questions. It’s use died out with King David.

* Does Judaism care about art? There’s verse after verse about artistic details for the sanctuary. After the destruction of the temple, is art unnecessary?

* The Jews used artistic beauty to come to God. Is secular art dangerous?

* In Judaism, you can’t live a religious life alone.

* We have more “spiritual” people than ever before. People want to build their own tabernacles to God.

* This new Jewish religion burns rams and bulls, gods in Egypt. It would be like burning the Academy Awards (Dennis Prager).

* You can’t perpetuate values without rituals.

* Why is Africa such a wasteland?

* Ex. 29:46: And they shall know I am God. If Jews do not do the Torah, the world won’t know God.

* If you wear holy garb and you’re a jerk, that’s terrible!

* Always ask yourself if what you are doing is bringing you closer to God.

* Judaism uses all five senses. The Sabbath, for example, has distinctive smells. Passover has particular tastes.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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