Parshas Titzaveh/Zachor: Be proud of your Yiddeshkeit! (pdf included)

Click here to download: Rabbi Aplebaum_ Parshas Titzaveh_zachor – Be proud of your Yiddeshkeit!


וְעָשִׂ֥יתָ בִגְדֵי־קֹ֖דֶשׁ לְאַֽהֲרֹ֣ן אָחִ֑יךָ לְכָב֖וֹד וּלְתִפְאָֽרֶת – שמות כח, ב


ועל דרך האמת, לכבוד ולתפארת יאמר שיעשו בגדי קדש לאהרן לשרת בהם לכבוד השם השוכן בתוכם ולתפארת עזם – רמב”ן שם


The Kohanim wore special clothing in the Mishkan called the bigdei kehuna. Their purpose was to be לְכָבוֹד וּלְתִפְאָרֶת, for honor and glory. The Ramban explains, besides the honor and glory they brought to the Kohanim, they brought honor and glory to Hkb”h.


The Gemara in Shabbos 113b says that Rabbi Yochanan would call his clothing his honorers. This can mean that a person’s clothing represent and display his uniqueness or distinction. This fits well with the Ramban’s explanation that the bigdei kehuna honored and glorified Hkb”h. The special garments that the Kohein wears while doing the avodah, signifies that he has a unique and important role in serving Hashem. This can be why people have special garments for tefillah, to show how important their tefillah to Hashem is. This honores Hashem, and it enhances our tefilla.


This is an important lesson for every Yid, that his clothes have to represent his chashivus as a Yid. This applies not only during tefilla, but everywhere he goes people have to look at him and realize that he’s part of a מַמְלֶכֶת כֹּהֲנִים וְגוֹי קָדוֹשׁ, a holy nation.


This can answer a puzzling statement in the Gemara Megillah 12a. The gemara says that the Jews in the times of the Purim story deserved to be wiped out because they ate from the feast of Achashverosh. But this is hard to understand, what was their sin? The gemara explains the pasuk in the Megillah לַעֲשׂוֹת כִּרְצוֹן אִישׁ וָאִישׁ to mean that Mordechai and Haman were the sar hamshkims (butlers) at the party. So if Mordechai was in charge of the drinks at the party, certainly he only served the Yidden kosher food! So what was so bad about them attending the party?


The answer could be, as the gemara Megillah 11b states, Achashverosh erred in his calculation of when the Yidden would be redeemed. When that time passed, he took out the Keilim from the Beis Hamikdash, and he put on the bigdei kehuna. The Yidden were busy feasting at his party while he was parading around wearing the bigdei kehuna. It was the greatest disgrace to Hashem’s honor! The bigdei kehuna were meant only to honor and glorify Hashem, and he was using it to mock and disgrace Hashem.  How then could they be eating and enjoying themselves, while he’s publicly desecrating the honor of Hashem? That’s why it was such a terrible sin.


With this idea we can understand why Parshas Zachor falls out on Parshas Titzaveh. The whole goal of Amalek is to take away any reverence and value that Klal Yisroel had for their avodas Hashem. They don’t want us to think that serving Hashem is unique and special. That’s why we’re commanded to wipe them out, because the kisei of Hashem is not complete as long as the’re trying to eliminate kvod shomayim in this world. The whole reason why Hashem created man in this world was to serve him, and honor him, as is written in the first Mishna Berura 1:1, כי לכך נברא האדם, כמו .שאמר הכתוב: כל הנקרא בשמי ולכבודי בראתיו


Many times people don’t feel their uniqueness and worth as a Yid. They go through life proud of their material wealth and possessions, but not of their spiritual wealth. But a person has to be proud of his spirituality. He has to be proud of his avodas Hashem! We must come to davening dressed properly, befitting the honor and glory which davening should have. The power of Amalek is to cheapen the value and greatness of serving Hashem. We have to fight that by being proud of our avodas Hashem in every aspect. Just like people are proud of and beautify their physical possessions, all the more so must we glorify and be mehader in mitzvos. If we show that we value serving Hashem, this in turn will affect us inwardly and will raise up our reverence for serving Hashem.


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