Shabbat Tzovot

High Priestess at DoorwayThere are four tradtional “special” Shabbats during the year:  Shabbat Shekalim, Shabbat Zachor, Shabbat Parah, and Shabbat haChodesh.  All of these occur during or near the month of Adar.  There is another special Shabbat that the women of Kohenet have identified and are figuring out ways to honor: Shabbat Tzovot.

The traditional special Shabbats are when an extra Torah portion is read on a non-festival day.  In this case there is no extra Torah portion, but rather a special section of a Torah portion that we choose to honor in a unique way.  In this way it is more like Shabbat Shirah, when the “Song of the Sea” is read as part of the Torah portion, or one of several other notable named Shabbats.   I actually like that it would be the the sixth named Shabbats that do not have an extra Torah portion.  That means there is one for each point on the Magen David.  [note: this section of the post was added after the discussion in the comments from 2009]

The Tzovah (singular form of Tzovot)  is one of the Netivot, or paths, of Shekhinah that we study at Kohenet. She is the priestess at the doorway; the sacred serving woman, the “temple keeper.”  The Tzovot is mentioned by name in the Torah and it is the Shabbat where this portion is read that we are identifying as Shabbat Tzovot.  The Tzovot is mentioned during the reading of Vayakhel (Ex 38:8).  The Tzovot are the ones who give over their sacred mirrors to create the wash basins for the priests.

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