• Daily Aliya for Tzav, Rishon (1st Aliya)

    General Overview: This week’s Torah reading, Tzav, continues describing the various sacrifices offered in the Tabernacle and Temple — a topic started in last week’s reading. This is followed by an account of the seven-day inaugural of the Tabernacle.

    Aliya Summary: The Torah describes the mandatory daily removal of ashes from the altar. This was the first order of the day in the Temple service. The Torah then repeats the laws of the meal offerings described in last week’s reading, adding several important details.

  • Daily Aliya for Tzav, Revi’i (4th Aliya)

    From Chabad.org: We now read about the induction of the priests and the inauguration of the Tabernacle. In the presence of all the Jews, Moshe dressed Aaron and his sons in the priestly vestments and anointed them, along with the Tabernacle and its vessels, with the holy anointing oil.

     I find it fascinating that the Jews were invited to see not only the inauguration of the Tabernacle, but how the priests got ready to serve. They bathed (modestly, no doubt), dressed with the proper garb, received the oils (on their heads). I think it continues the important theme that being ready and performing Mitzvot (good deeds) is so much more than just executing them. Preparing for them, and being in a position to perform them, is of equal importance. That’s the beauty of living in a Jewish community. It allows for more opportunities to help others, contribute to the community as a whole receive and host new members, and that’s besides the advantage of feeling like we belong. But it all start with preparing and putting ourselves in a position to succeed and perform, which is what the Cohanim were doing just prior to the inauguration.

  • Daily Aliya for Tzav, Shlishi (3rd Aliya)

    From Chabad.org: The Torah now discusses the Todah (Thanksgiving) Offering, brought by an individual who survived a perilous circumstance. We then learn about various grounds for the invalidation of a sacrifice, such as impurity or improper thoughts on the part of the priest performing the service. We are then commanded not to consume blood or any of the fats offered on the altar. The prohibition against eating these fats applies to all domesticated animals. The section wraps up with the portions of meat the priest is given from the Peace Offering. With this we conclude the laws of sacrifices.

    Two items stand out while reviewing this Aliya. First, the rule that any leftovers from an offering left for three days should be burnt, and if eaten it disqualifies the offering itself. This apparently indicates a certain lack of urgency by the Cohen, but I’m not sure why urgency is required of leftovers, and why it would disqualify actions done three days prior.

    The second most interesting item (to me) is the prohibition of eating blood or fats leftover from an offering. I understand blood more than fats, but both seem like they carry a deeper meaning. Maybe in next cylce’s blog we’ll be able to dive deeper.

  • Daily Aliya for Tzav, Sheni (2nd Aliya)

    This section discusses the priestly meal offering, brought by the Cohen Gadol (high priest) twice daily, and by every priest on the day he is first inducted into Temple service. The laws of the Sin Offering and Guilt Offering, also discussed in last week’s reading, are also repeated with added details. An important principle discussed is a vessel’s absorption of sacrificial meats cooked therein, and the possibility of purging (certain types of) vessels of the vestiges it absorbed — a concept which is very germane in the laws of kosher. This section concludes with a discussion regarding various gratuities the priests were entitled to take from the different offerings and sacrifices.

    An interesting distiction should be noted between the offerings brought by every Cohen on their first day, and the sin offerings brough. While the Cohen’s offering is completely burnt on the alter (priests may not keep any section to eat), the sin offering does have certain parts that are edible by the Cohen. Initial intuition would dictate that sin offerings aren’t as “edible” as first-day-Cohen offerings because the former represents sin, while the latter represents a more positive event.But perhaps the rule helps us and the Cohanim embrace the power of the offering, and getting used to the fact that it purifies, both the person who brought it, and the offering itself.

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