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Tehillim on the Parsha: Tetzaveh: Matters & Words

“This is the ‘Davar,’ the matter, that you shall do for them to sanctify them to minister for Me.” (Exodus 29:1) We must look to two other verses in order to understand this idea of the ‘Davar.’ or matters: the first verse is, “Take words with you and return to God.” (Hosea 14:3)  The second verse is, “I wash my hands in purity and circle around Your altar, God. To proclaim Thanksgiving in a loud voice and to recount all of Your wondrous deeds.” (Psalms 26:6-7) We may assume that we approach the altar to make offerings of animals as an expression of thanks, but the verse insists that our real reason for approaching is not the animal but to approach God with the intention, “To proclaim Thanksgiving in a loud voice.” We focus on ‘Davar,” words, words of thanksgiving; ‘Davar,’ words, not actions. In is to teach us that even when we do not have an altar on which to bring offerings, we still can achieve atonement with our words, words of thanksgiving and praise..(Shemot Rabbah 38:4)

It is the one who fully appreciates the power of words will be able to achieve atonement.

It is the one who appreciates the power of words who can, “Return to God.”

The appreciation of the power of words begins, not with words of praise of God, but with how we use our mouths in speech.

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