Parashat Tetzaveh

The Holy Art of Sacrifice

Balancing wisdom with passion is the key to achieving justice in the world.

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Passion & Compassion

Passion and compassion are essential to social change. They are the fuel that drives us to seek and strive for a better world. But passion needs a container; it needs boundaries and channeling. Wisdom can, like the breastplate, be the protector for passion--as long as passion is the garment that we wear beneath it.

Whether we are designated or self-appointed leaders, we do this work as acts of communal responsibility-- either because we have been invested with leadership from our community, or because we hope others will follow us and our vision.

As a religious leader, Aaron's role vis-a-vis the community and God was to offer sacrifices--to literally send smoke signals to God on the community's behalf. His messages were those of thanks, humility, and affirmation of belief.

Our work for social change should also be infused with these values: gratitude for the relative comfort and affluence that enable us to focus not only on our own survival, but also on the state of the world; humility in the face of not having all the answers but being willing to put our minds and hearts to the task; and affirmation of the belief that there is real potential for change, and in inspiration and support from above in repairing the world.

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Aliza Mazor

Aliza Mazor is an independent organizational consultant specializing in non-profit start-ups and the social change sector. She currently serves as Program Director for Bikkurim.