adapted from Meta Parshiot by R David Wolfe-Blank and Living Torah by R Aryeh Kaplan


T’tzaveh, gives descriptions of ritual objects used in the Mishkon. It is beyond exciting to consider the earliest spiritual technology designated for cultivating Sh’khinah‘s Presence by God Who is Was and Will be.

First, olive oil is called for. It was needed to keep the menorah flame continuously burning. So too, ritual garments for Aharon and his sons to use in the Mishkon for ceremony are described – tunics, gowns, and linen pants; a gold headband with the words for “Holy to Havayah” engraved on it; and an incense alter. The most interesting of these items is the Urim v’Tumim. It is shrouded in mystery. We will consider it further below. This Torah portion ends with a description of the ritual to initiate the the Kohanim into their priestly assignment.


We live in a world filled with potent space. Just like fish do not know they live immersed in water, land beings tend to be unaware of the rich and potent space in which we dwell.

Let’s consider the many aspects impact in the local cosmos. Earth rotates on her axis once every day creating the Earth day, she orbits Sun once a year creating what we call the solar year. Not only that, Moon orbits Earth every month, creating the Earth month. Moon’s gravitational field pulls on large bodies of water creating waves, initiating movement. Additionally, the planets in our solar system each have energetic impact on Earth. as well as the constellations of the Zodiac. The gravity of each of the moving celestial bodies creates a “cosmic glue” that keeps the pattern sustainable. Astrologers have been contemplating these movements for millennia.


Torah describes Urim V’Tumim as with twelve precious colored gemstones stones each set in gold. Each of the twelve stones is associated with one of the twelve tribes.

Sefer Yetzirah reveals relationships related to the number twelve. The number Twelve represents a complete set, a like a dozen eggs; months in a year, tribes of Yisrael, constellations of the Zodiac, simple letters, and more. The secret of 12 can help guide.

Below is a list of associations based on the Secret of twelve from Sefer Yetzirah and its commentaries. We are currently in the month of Adar. This chart shows that kuf is the simple letter ruling this month, Pisces is the constellation, a focus on digestion, and an emphasis of sleep. The YHVH permutations come from two schools of thought. (You know what they say, two Jews, three opinions. )

12 faculties are according to writing attributed to Rivaad

Urim v’Tumim – The Divining Tool

“And you shall place the Urim V’tummim in the breastplate of judgment, and they shall be over Aharon’s heart when he comes before Havayah always.” 

(Exodus 28:30)

The Urim V’Tumim are the oracle aspect of the high priest’s breastplate. When used, it lay on top of Aharon’s heart to provide a direct communication link with the God Who Is, Was, and Will be. The heart center is key for connection. This is a reminder that a balanced heart is necessary for holy service.

Here is a link to an interesting article showing a variety of views in what the Urim v’Tumim are and how they were used. The Urim VTumim – TheTorah.com.

Sefer Yetzirah, takes the aspect of twelve tribes to another level by means of associating each of the twelve tribes with a sign of the Zodiac.


adapted from Lorelai Kude’s blog http://astrolojew.blogspot.com/

The great sage Abraham Ibn Ezra (1092/93 – 1167) calls on astrology for his commentary on the Urim b’Tumim. The quote below details some of the astral-magical workings of the ephod and the breastplate. 

“There is a very deep secret behind the ephod and the breastplate. I will allude only to a part of this secret. Perhaps one who knows the mind of the Most High will understand it. The following are the keys to the secret of the ephod. The two wreathen chains on the two rings represent the head of Aries [taleh] and Libra [moznaim]. The band of the ephod represents the celestial equator…”

Abraham ben Meir Ibn Ezra, commentary on the Pentateuch, ed. and trans. H. Norman Strickman and Arthur M Silver (New York: Menorah 1988, 596-597

This shows that that Ibn Ezra saw the ephod as an astrological instrument which corresponded to the arrangement of the heavens. This means the Urim v’Tumim drew power from on high and, when properly used, was able to predict the future.

For more on this and Jewish astrology read Lorelai Kude’s full article at this link: http://astrolojew.blogspot.com/


Yesod, the 9th S’firah in the image above left, brings a mature development into alignment with the need for relationship (Yesod). The spiritual technology for the Mishkon’s ritual objects are described providing skillful means for being in close contact (Yesod) with the Holy One. This means that ritual items are ready to be birthed (Yesod) into the Mishkon and world. The focus of the Torah portion has shifted from building tents and furniture to crafting ritual vestments and investing in the priests. The result brings the people closer to balance (Tiferet) that comes with Presence provided by the the Mishkon.

Tmimah Audrey ickovits

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