Tetzaveh – Sh’vi’i

The Golden Altar

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

The altar on which animals were to be burned was to be made of copper, but G-d also instructed Moshe to construct an incense altar of acacia covered in gold. This smaller altar was to have gold rings and gold-covered carrying poles. It was to be positioned in front of the Holy of Holies. (The golden altar was east of the Shulchan and the Menorah, so it was farther from the Holy of Holies, which was in the west. However, it was in a straight line from the Paroches – the partition – as opposed to the Shulchan, which was more north, and the Menorah, which was more south.)

Aharon was to burn incense on this altar each day, while cleaning out the Menorah, as well as each evening when lighting it. Nothing else was to burned on this altar, not animals, not flour or wine, not even other incense. On Yom Kippur, the High Priest would put some blood from the sacrifice on it, and that’s all!

Download Audio File