Jewish Community Center

Opening Doors to Spirituality, Social Consciousness, and Community A Friendly Egalitarian Conservative Congregation

Shabbat Tetzaveh

Exodus 27:20-30:10
Candle Lighting time 5:11 PM


Everybody knows the expression “Clothes make the man.” But do you know that the 16th-century Catholic theologian Desiderius Erasums first coined the expression “Vestis virum facit,” which translates as “Clothes make the man.” Not long afterwards, none other than William Shakespeare put these words into the mouth of the character Polonius in his famous play Hamlet: The apparel oft proclaims the man.”[1]


Certainly this was one of the ideas behind God commanding special clothing for the priests when they officiated first in the Mishkan, the portable tabernacle, and later in the Temple.  “Make sacral investments for your brother Aaron, for dignity and adornment.” (Exodus 28:2)  Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch commented, “Without these prescribed garments, the Kohen is merely an ordinary individual and his ritual act becomes a personal gesture.” (Etz Hayyim commentary below the line, page 504)


The same principle is true in our spiritual lives. Many moderns have misunderstood the concept “God’s chosen people.” Rabbis have always understood that being chosen doesn’t grant us special privileges, but rather confers upon us great responsibilities. Consequently, we should "clothe" ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, and a forgiving spirit. In other words, we should follow God’s example who is “ compassionate  and gracious … slow to anger,  abounding in lovingkindness and truth,  extending lovingkindness  to a thousand generations, forgiving iniquity rebellion and sin, and absolving (the guilty who repent)” (Exodus 34:6)


These “garments” that God provides—such as kindness, humility, and gentleness—allow us to meet hostility and criticism with patience, forgiveness, and love. They give us staying power in the storms of life. When we face adverse conditions at home, school, or work, this “clothing” will protects us and enables us to make a positive difference.

Dressing according to God’s guidelines will make us better human beings.


[1] I learned this from The Person in the Parasha by Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Weinreb


Shabbat Shalom,


Rabbi Greene


We need your help making a minyan this Friday night. Call us to let us know that you're coming.


Service Schedule

Friday night 7:00 p.m.
Shabbat 9:30 a.m.


Save the Date!


Tuesday, February 19, 10 AM join us for our regularly scheduled Adult Education classes. The first hour we study the weekly Torah portion and the second hour we discussed a Jewish short story. No Hebrew or previous experience is required.

Friday, March 8, 6 PM our next Friday night live service. Following the service the congregation is invited to another free Shabbat dinner. This dinner will feature Persian food in honor of the forthcoming perm holiday. RSVP at the synagogue office by February 5.



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