A Gematria from the Ba’al HaTurim by Aryeh Krischer


The Ba’al HaTurim points to the first Pasuk in Tetzaveh as referring to women lighting candles on Friday night. He points to three phrases: Tetzaveh, Neir Tamid, and VeAtah. These three phrases share Gematrias with ‘Nashim Tzaveh,’ women are commanded, ‘BeShabbat,’ on Shabbat, and ‘Bayit,’ house, respectively. The commandment addressed to women to be fulfilled on Shabbat at home is clearly the lighting of candles on Friday evening. But what has this got to do with the Menorah (the actual subject of the Pasuk), or the Mishkan?

Rebbe Shaul Yedidya Elazar Taub, in his Sefer Imrei Shaul explains that the Mezbei’ach (altar), Shulchan (table), and Aron (ark) represent the three Avot and their defining traits. Thus, the Mizbei’ach is associated with Avraham and kindness, the Shulchan with Yitzchak and work, and the Aron with Ya’akov and Torah. The Menorah is associated with wisdom and women, as Chazal tell us, “a woman is with wisdom.” So why does this Pasuk hint to lighting candles on Shabbat? The Mishkan is like a house. Just as the Mishkan needs all four Keilim to function, so, too, a household needs kindness, work, Torah, and wisdom to function. It is the wife who is the chief provider of the wisdom symbolized by the Menorah, as Chazal (Bava Batra 25b) tell us, “He who seeks wisdom should look to the south [where the Menorah was located].”

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