Parshas Tezaveh
Shemos 27:20 - 30:10

The Mystery Of The Tav ©

By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

This Gematria study is offered in the loving memory of Mr. T. J. and Mrs Olive Norman, may they rest in peace.

Parshas Tezaveh brings so much to our Shabbos table in the areas of wisdom, purity, perfection and holiness. Tzee Vawh {Command} is a very mystical word because it only occurs once in Ha Torah and just one additional time in all of Tenach. Yet the meaning of Tezavah, ‘command’, occurs many, many times in Ha Torah and Ha Tenach. One must ask, how is it that Tezaveh occurs only once in Ha Torah, yet the word command occurs many times?

The answer is found in the first letter of Tezaveh, the letter Tav. Here in parshas Tezaveh the letter Tav is added to the word Tzee Vawh {command}. Since this is the only time that the Tav is added to Tzee Vawh in all of Torah one must wonder, why? What is the purpose of this? To catch a glimpse of why the Tav is added to Tezaveh, one must first understand that the Tav represents truth and perfection. The Tav is the seal of Hashem. How the Tav represents truth and perfection is the issue here. We know that Hashem is ‘TRUTH’. We know that Hashem is ‘PERFECT’. Hashem is the foundation for all truth and perfection. That being the case, one would think that the Gematria direction would be from the right to the left with the direction beginning with Hashem. That is not the situation here. In fact the Tav is used to teach us {humankind} that we, being represented by the Vav, must move towards the direction of Hashem, towards the right, towards the Tav which represents Hashem’s attributes of ‘TRUTH and PERFECTION.’

This is one of the reasons that the Tav is placed in front of Tzee Vawh. The Tav is the last letter of the Aleph / Bet. We must pass by twenty-one letters and five final letters, a total of twenty-six letters, before reaching the Tav. The Gematria for Hashem’s Holy Name is twenty-six. The twenty-six letters which represent Hashem’s Name teach us that Hashem’s Torah which begins with a Tav, and which is composed of each of the letters of the Aleph Bet, is on each step of the path climbing the staircase to ‘Truth and Perfection.’ Ha Torah provides the steps toward truth and perfection!



Now, since the last letter of the Aleph Bet is a Tav, that indicates the climbing, the struggling, the effort to reach a true level of truth and perfection. The last letter of Emet stands above all the other letters of the staircase reaching from us to Hashem. The Tav represents the conclusion of the climb. In other words, the Tav represents our completion of life’s journey. When we reach the Tav it is after, G-d willing, many Torah studies, after many prayers, after much Shuvah and after much seasoning. It is then that G-d willing we with our pure white hair and for men our long pure white beards are given Hashem’s seal, the letter Tav, which is reserved for the truly righteous, which results from a life of careful observance....

Now we can draw the connection between the Tav and this week’s parsha. When Hashem commanded that B’nei Yisroel bring clear olive oil {made from olives that were} crushed for lighting, to keep the lamp burning constantly in the Tent of Meeting, one must carefully examine the nature of the olives used for this process.

The olives used to give oil for light in the Tent of Meeting were selected from ONLY the most seasoned, the ripest olives. These were the most mature olives. The slightest touch would produce pure oil. The mature olives did not require squeezing. In fact they were so ripe that they had to be handled with the utmost care until it was time for them to provide their precious contents.

Other olives required squeezing and grinding. The product from these olives had to be sifted through strainers and had to sit for a period of time to allow the sediment to settle on the bottom of the container. Then the oil could be separated from the sediment.

The Tav represents the lifelong process that some of us will reach. It represents the most mature olives. It represents the purity of the oil which is the enlightenment of the wisdom and study produced from those with white hair and long white beards. We also learn that only the very, very purest oil can enlighten the Testimony in the Mishkon. It is the oil that is very gently drawn from those olives that illuminates the Mishkon. The lives represented by the purest olives are the ones that enlighten the truth and powerfully expound Ha Torah.

The rest of us who are not as mature, who are not as seasoned and who are not as old must experience squeezing, crushing, grinding, filtering, etc. to reach a state of perfection that still will not be on the level of the most mature, ripe olives. That does not mean that we cannot contribute but it means our contribution cannot be in the Holiest place, in the place where Hashem dwells, in the place of the Testimony.

We see that our discussion of the steps to full maturity represented by the Gematria of Tav is also supported by the same Gematria values in others words requiring maturity:

So the Tav is a sign of holiness, of rulership, of harvest and of an accumulation of years... that we will reach at the end of life when eventually righteousness dominates and rules.

Wishing you the best,

Blessings and peace,

Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

Written 5760
Updated 5764

Weekly Studies

JewishPath is a sponsor of B'nai Noach Torah Institute. Because we are a sponsor
BNTI offers one FREE E-Mail course per individual on a limited basis from
BNTI'S INTRO. COURSES. B'nai Noach Torah Institute offers over 100 tuition
E - Mail courses in Judaism and the 7 Noaich Laws. Visit the
Courses page.