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Parashat Hashavua - Parashat Tzav


The Parsha of Tzav details the various offerings mentioned in the previous chapters: Oleh- Elevation Offering; Mincha-Meal Offering; Chatos-Sin Offering; Osham-Guilt Offering and Shlomim-Peace Offering.

The concluding Chapter of the Parsha describes in detail the festive anoitment ceremony of Aharon and his sons to the sacred work in the Mishkan.

This Chapter is connected to the one at the end of Sefer Shmos (29) which match exactly to the instructions given to Moshe Rabeinu before the erection of the Mishkan.

The term 'Tzav' denotes "encouragement" in reference to the present and future generations. Rabbi Shimon said  "Especially must scripture encourage where there is a loss of money" (i.e. when the Kohein does not derive benefit) (Rashi - Sifri)

This advice refers specifically to the worst days of Golus, when Jews are denied nearly every opportunity to make a living and have no money of their own.  Such times comprise the most critical test of our loyalty to the Torah. The struggle for bare existence makes it difficult for us to observe the laws of Judaism. For this reason, we must make every effort to gather the strength to pass the test. (Sfas Emes)

  • According to Chazal (Kidushin 31) "He who receives a commandment and performs it is greater than one who receives no commandment and performs it"  It is much more difficult to obey a command than to perform an act of one's own free will, without having received an explicit command. Thus, the observance of a command must be given significant encouragement. (R' Menachem Mendel of Kotzk)
  • It is known that the Olah offering atones for sinful thoughts. If we study the organs of man that cause him to sin, we find that each and every organ has a "pocket" which can cover the organ and prevent sin. One can close his eyes and not see forbidden things.

             This is alluded to in the words of Rabbi Shimon in the Medrash Torah Kohanim: Especially must scripture encourage the fulfillment of a command in case of "pocket loss" (chisaron Kis).  The Torah must encourage and urge man in case of a missing "pocket" which can serve as a natural deterrent from sin.  Rabbi Shimon states that one must be extra cautious with the thoughts of the mind that they be pure and unblemished.  When man will have virtuous thoughts, his deeds will be the same. (Chidushei Harim) 

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