Tetzaveh: Yidden and Yale



What can Yale University teach us about God?

Yale’s coat of arms consists of a blue shield featuring an open book, on each side of which one word is written in Hebrew letters: on the right page Urim; on the left, Ve’tumim. Beneath flies a banner with three Latin words: Lux Et Veritas.

Lux Et Veritas is a translation of the Hebrew Urim Ve’tumim. Urim in Hebrew, Lux in Latin, means “Light” in English. Ve’tumim in Hebrew, Et Veritas in Latin, means “And Truth.”

These words – Urim Ve’tumim – first appear in the Torah in this week’s reading, Parshat Tetzaveh.

What do these words mean? What is so important about them that Yale University has selected them for its motto?

And what is the practical, relevant lesson that they hold for us today?


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