Parshs Tetzaveh is the only parsha in the Torah since Moshe Rabbenu’s passing that he isn’t mentioned by name.

The most common reason given is that of the Baal HaTurim, who says that it was a result of Moshe’s dialogue with HaShem in Parsha Ki Tisa, when he asked ‘to be erased from this book You have written’. The Baal HaTurim notes that Moshe when sticking up for his people used the unnecessary word of asher, whose gematria is 501 the same as Tetzaveh hence why this weeks parsha was chosen.

There are a number of other not so common reasons given; Rebbe Nacham of Breslov states that Moshe asked to be removed to help him achieve the level of humility needed to daven for Klal Yisroel after the sin of the Het HaEgel. Sefer Chanukas HaTorah states that it was due to an argument Moshe had regarding the angle Michol whose gematria is 101 corresponding to the 101 pasukim in Tetzaveh. Many of the Chassidish commentaries actually points to a positive reason for the omission. The Kedushas Levi for example based on a Zohar says that it was a compliment. The Lubavitcher Rebbe states simply that Moshe had not been named yet as he was only born a few days before. Finally the Meir Ainiyim says that his name was left off as it was the week of his yarhzeit and therefore Moshe’s very being is tied into Parsha Tetzaveh.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe over the course of 2 farbrengens on 7th Adar 5745 (1985) and 9th Adar 5745 extends Meir Ainiyim’s pshat linking it also to Purim and Shabbos Zachor which would have fallen this week if wasn’t a leap year.

Before starting the Sicha the Rebbe explains how Zachor and Purim are opposites in nature. Zachor is the remembrance of the past, something that has occurred and therefore fixed, whereas Purim or lots is the unfixed result of something that will happen in the future. This concept of Zachor being passed and fixed and Purim being future and unfixed is the foundation upon which the Lubavitcher Rebbe ties Zachor, Purim & Moshe Rabbenu together to our Parsha.

Rashi on a Gemara in Megilah states that we place the eradication of Haman with the eradication of Amalek and therefore Shabbos Zachor is always the Shabbos preceding Purim. Additionally the Gemara tells us that Haman specifically picked the week of Moshe’s passing as he saw it as an unlucky time for Klal Yisroel. It therefore follows that Shabbos Zachor and Purim will always fall close to the Yarhzeit of Moshe Rabbenu. Therefore using the Pshat of the Meir Ainiyim we see that a link occurs between Moshe, Tetzaveh, Zachor and Purim.
The Lubavitcher Rebbe points out, what Haman didn’t realise is that it was also the week of Moshe’s birth not just his death. We see from here that even in the run up to Purim things are already being turned on their head, Haman thought this week was connected to death and so unlucky when in reality it is really connected to life. Haman wanted to rely on lots which are unfixed future events whereas HaShem already at the time of Moshe had set for us a Zachor which would be a fixed remembrance of these events.

Whilst Moshe’s name does not appear he is still very much involved, this time on a more deeper level beyond what his name could express, as the Baal HaTurim explained, because Moshe was prepared to forgo his honour for Klal Yisroel he merited a presence beyond his name representing a deeper connection to his soul. The Ohr HaChaim says that Tetzaveh, whilst meaning to command, also means to connect or to bond. Parsha Tetzaveh creates that bond between Moshe’s name and its absence, between Zachor and Purim, between chance and fixed, between past and present and ultimately between good and evil.

(Based on 2 Sichos of the Lubavitcher Rebbe 5745.)

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