Parshat ha Shavuah Verses – Tzav – צַו

This an extremely hard to comment on parshah.

צַו Means “command”

ו  אֵשׁ, תָּמִיד תּוּקַד עַל-הַמִּזְבֵּחַ–לֹא תִכְבֶּה.

6 Fire shall be kept burning upon the altar continually; it shall not go out.

Listen to the Voice of your Lord!

Don’t stroll to the right or to the left!

This is not a game, your life is at stake

Here, and even there


“The Korban Olah is completely burnt up, completely dedicated to God and its ashes are left on the mizbeach, the altar, all night until the morning. In a time of sparse resources, the idea of giving an entire animal to God, without any human benefit teaches us that this Korban is one of real sacrifice and complete devotion. It demands intense commitment on the part of the giver. ” Yaffa Epstein

ט  וְהַנּוֹתֶרֶת מִמֶּנָּה, יֹאכְלוּ אַהֲרֹן וּבָנָיו; מַצּוֹת תֵּאָכֵל בְּמָקוֹם קָדֹשׁ, בַּחֲצַר אֹהֶל-מוֹעֵד יֹאכְלוּהָ.

9 And that which is left thereof shall Aaron and his sons eat; it shall be eaten without leaven in a holy place; in the court of the tent of meeting they shall eat it.

י  לֹא תֵאָפֶה חָמֵץ, חֶלְקָם נָתַתִּי אֹתָהּ מֵאִשָּׁי; קֹדֶשׁ קָדָשִׁים הִוא, כַּחַטָּאת וְכָאָשָׁם.

10 It shall not be baked with leaven. I have given it as their portion of My offerings made by fire; it is most holy, as the sin-offering, and as the guilt-offering.

כָּל-זָכָר Every male

ו  וַיַּקְרֵב מֹשֶׁה, אֶת-אַהֲרֹן וְאֶת-בָּנָיו; וַיִּרְחַץ אֹתָם, בַּמָּיִם.

6 And Moses brought Aaron and his sons, and washed them with water.

ז  וַיִּתֵּן עָלָיו אֶת-הַכֻּתֹּנֶת, וַיַּחְגֹּר אֹתוֹ בָּאַבְנֵט, וַיַּלְבֵּשׁ אֹתוֹ אֶת-הַמְּעִיל, וַיִּתֵּן עָלָיו אֶת-הָאֵפֹד; וַיַּחְגֹּר אֹתוֹ, בְּחֵשֶׁב הָאֵפֹד, וַיֶּאְפֹּד לוֹ, בּוֹ.

7 And he put upon him the tunic, and girded him with the girdle, and clothed him with the robe, and put the ephod upon him, and he girded him with the skilfully woven band of the ephod, and bound it unto him therewith.

ח  וַיָּשֶׂם עָלָיו, אֶת-הַחֹשֶׁן; וַיִּתֵּן, אֶל-הַחֹשֶׁן, אֶת-הָאוּרִים, וְאֶת-הַתֻּמִּים.

8 And he placed the breastplate upon him; and in the breastplate he put the Urim and the Thummim.

ט  וַיָּשֶׂם אֶת-הַמִּצְנֶפֶת, עַל-רֹאשׁוֹ; וַיָּשֶׂם עַל-הַמִּצְנֶפֶת אֶל-מוּל פָּנָיו, אֵת צִיץ הַזָּהָב נֵזֶר הַקֹּדֶשׁ, כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה יְהוָה, אֶת-מֹשֶׁה.

9 And he set the mitre upon his head; and upon the mitre, in front, did he set the golden plate, the holy crown; as the LORD commanded Moses.

י  וַיִּקַּח מֹשֶׁה אֶת-שֶׁמֶן הַמִּשְׁחָה, וַיִּמְשַׁח אֶת-הַמִּשְׁכָּן וְאֶת-כָּל-אֲשֶׁר-בּוֹ; וַיְקַדֵּשׁ, אֹתָם.

10 And Moses took the anointing oil, and anointed the tabernacle and all that was therein, and sanctified them.

יא  וַיַּז מִמֶּנּוּ עַל-הַמִּזְבֵּחַ, שֶׁבַע פְּעָמִים; וַיִּמְשַׁח אֶת-הַמִּזְבֵּחַ וְאֶת-כָּל-כֵּלָיו, וְאֶת-הַכִּיֹּר וְאֶת-כַּנּוֹ–לְקַדְּשָׁם.

11 And he sprinkled thereof upon the altar seven times, and anointed the altar and all its vessels, and the laver and its base, to sanctify them.

יב  וַיִּצֹק מִשֶּׁמֶן הַמִּשְׁחָה, עַל רֹאשׁ אַהֲרֹן; וַיִּמְשַׁח אֹתוֹ, לְקַדְּשׁוֹ.

12 And he poured of the anointing oil upon Aaron’s head, and anointed him, to sanctify him.

יג  וַיַּקְרֵב מֹשֶׁה אֶת-בְּנֵי אַהֲרֹן, וַיַּלְבִּשֵׁם כֻּתֳּנֹת וַיַּחְגֹּר אֹתָם אַבְנֵט, וַיַּחֲבֹשׁ לָהֶם, מִגְבָּעוֹת–כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה יְהוָה, אֶת-מֹשֶׁה.

13 And Moses brought Aaron’s sons, and clothed them with tunics, and girded them with girdles, and bound head-tires upon them; as the LORD commanded Moses.

Every little detail moves the worlds you don’t know about

Every sound or smell means a lot – not to me – to yourselves

Learn to curb your desires and obey Gd!

לו  וַיַּעַשׂ אַהֲרֹן, וּבָנָיו–אֵת, כָּל-הַדְּבָרִים, אֲשֶׁר-צִוָּה יְהוָה, בְּיַד-מֹשֶׁה.

36 And Aaron and his sons did all the things which the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses.

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks contends Leviticus is a manual for recalibrating the relationship between God and the Israelite people.  If God is too close, the people retreat in fear (Ex. 20:16) If God is too far, they resort to idol worship (Ex. 32:1).

Since I am not putting much of my own, I am reverting to Partners-in-Torah‘s explanation. I will never be able to say it better:


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Reblogged this on Noshing Across the Nation and commented:

    Re-bloging this just because I won’t be able to say it better nyway. And – adding this d’var from Dr. Ackerman:

    “Gather the entire assembly to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting.” (Leviticus 8:3)

    Parashat Tzav describes the rituals for performing each of the sacrifices listed in last week’s parasha (portion): the olah (burnt offering), mincha (meal offering), chatat (sin offering), asham (guilt offering), and zevach sh’lamim(peace offering). But Tzav is more than just The Priest’s Guide to Jewish Barbecue. The sacrifices are expressions of personal responsibility: you bring one to atone for sin or to acknowledge (undeserved) good fortune. Now, personal responsibility is culturally determined: its form depends on when, where, and who is expressing it. The sacrificial cult recognizes people make mistakes and no one, not even the kohen gadol, the high priest, is exempt from atoning (e.g., taking responsibility) when that happens. Taking responsibility is a cultural norm.

    The rabbis are clear: cultural norms emerge out of individuals’ behaviors. They determine there are three sins requiring immediate atonement (rather than waiting for Yom Kippur): walking next to a shaky wall, arrogance in prayer, and calling God’s judgement on someone else (Babylonian Talmud Rosh Hashana 16b). Those three behaviors are driven by a self-righteous narcissism: I am so blame free of course the wall won’t fall on me, of course God will respond to my prayer, and of course I can judge others.

    The rabbis’ message (Don’t think you’re such a tsaddik, or righteous person) is a helpful corrective to today’s litigious, finger-pointing, it’s-their-fault world. It is a reminder no one, regardless of station or office, is perfect and everyone makes mistakes. Imagine how much better the world could be if we each exercised a little more humility, rejected any sense of entitlement, acknowledged our errors, and atoned for them immediately.

    Liked by 1 person

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