May 27, 2020 ~ SHABUOT. Maqam SIGAH/AJAM.

Shabbat Tessave - שבת תצוה

Maqam SIGAH

יביעון שפתי שירה נשמת
אור כשלמה שמחים

It Is Well Known

לכבוד ולתפארת - Regarding the first Aliya of Tessave, the Aleppo custom is to read the first 4 verses of the perasha; ending at Exodus 28:2 by the words "Lekhabod Ultifaret." This Aliya stop, which ends at the second verse of a new paragraph, is problematic as it violates the rule of not ending an Aliya less than 3 verses into a new paragraph. Upon asking this question to Mr Joey Mosseri, he said that "this is not something new, as the Hakhamim have already discussed it." Citing sources H Algazi's "Emet LeYaaqob" (page 31b), as well as the "Bet Obed" Siddur (page 205:23), Mr Mosseri explains that this specific Aliya stop is permitted, because "it is well known" that the first Aliya starts at the beginning of the perasha and not at the paragraph opening of Exodus 28:1. Since we are certain that no one suspects that less than 3 verses were read, stopping at 28:2 is acceptable. Despite all this, many authorities disagree and end the first Aliya at 28:5. Tiqqun Highlights, Beth Torah Bulletin, 2/16/19.

Uniforms

ועשית בגדי קדש לאהרן אחיך לכבוד ולתפארת - The prestige of the priests (כהנים) is best reflected by the clothing that they wore. The details of the uniforms, especially that of the High Priest, were specifically designed to show respect and splendor (לכבוד ולתפארת). With great honor, however, comes great responsibility. When the priests wear their uniforms, they are representing God. They are warned that corruption or abuse of power is a desecration of the uniform; an offense punishable by death (ולא ישאו עון ומתו). Both Nadab and Abihu (Aaron's children), as well as Hophni and Pinehas (Eli's children), suffered this fate. From this we see that God does not tolerate hypocrisy; being dressed one way and behaving in another. Those who decide to dress in religious or professional garbs must pay attention to how they present themselves in public and must always behave in respectable ways that are consistent with their uniforms (Beth Torah, 3/11/17).

At All Times

והיה על מצחו תמיד - The word Tamid (תמיד), defined as 'at all times,' describes the light placed in the Tabernacle (Exodus 27:20). During the Second Temple era, the historian, Josephus, writes that this light is literally eternal; "never to be extinguished by day or by night" (Against Apion, 1:22). Tamid is also used in Exodus 28:38 to instruct that the Frontlet (מצנפת) must be on the High Priest's "forehead at all times" (והיה על מצחו תמיד). This instruction, says Rashi (1040-1105), should not be taken literally, and only refers to "when the High Priest performs services." Despite this, one should note that the forehead is the part of the body that represents the mind. Therefore, one might suggest that Tamid refers to the High Priest's pure state of the mind. By stating that the Frontlet must stay on his head "at all times" means that the High Priest must always discipline his thoughts and conduct himself consistent with the office in which he represents. Beth Torah Bulletin, 2/24/18.

Warning Bells

וְנִשְׁמַ֣ע ק֠וֹלוֹ בְּבֹא֨וֹ אֶל־הַקֹּ֜דֶשׁ - Attached to the robe of the Kohen Hagadol are little gold bells. The purpose of these bells, according to Exodus 28:35, is to make ringing sounds whenever the Kohen Hagadol is near. The consequence of doing something inappropriate or disrespectful when the Kohen Hagadol is in your presence is death. For a similar reason, in the Syrian Sephardic Jewish tradition, the Sefer Torah also has little bells on its top portion (Rimonim); providing a warning for others to stand up when a Sefer Torah is about to be carried into a room. The 12th century biblical commentator Joseph ben Isaac of Orleans, also known as the Bekhor Shor, learns from this that one should not enter the home of his friend unannounced. Before entering, one should knock on the door in order not put the other person in the house in an embarrassing situation of them saying or doing something that they would only be doing in private. The same applies for entering a room in ones own home with fellow family members. Beth Torah Bulletin, March 7, 2020.

Maqam of the Week: SIGAH

For Shabbat Tessave (Exodus 27:20- 30:10), prayers are conducted in Maqam SIGAH according to all Aleppo sources. The perasha opens with the commandment to take olive oil and kindle the eternal light (Ner Tamid). There is a connection between the Torah and light; as it states in Proverbs 6:23, "Ki Ner Missvah VeTorah Ohr." SIGAH relates to the Torah, because it is the maqam applied for the melody of chanting the Torah. This year, Tessave is also Shabbat Zakhor, the Shabbat prior to Purim. To commemorate this time, a very unique Hazzanut list, below, is used for the Shabbat morning prayers. NISHMAT: Yebiun Sefatai Shira (SUHV, Red pizmonim book, page 472a) SHAVAT ANIYIM: El Ose Neqama (page 462) EL HAHODAOT: Or Gila (page 464) QADDISH: Adon Olam Yeshuati (not in Red Book) SEMEHIM: Abarekh Et Shem Hashem (page 459) MIMISRAYIM: Tam Venishlam (page 465) NAQDISHAKH: Eli Sur Yeshuati (page 460) PIZMON SEFER TORAH: Ya Eli Sur Misgabi (page 389) Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com.


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