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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS TZAV 5771 BS"D

Ch. 6, v. 2: "Tzav es Aharon" - Rashi (Toras Kohanim 6:1) says in the name of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai that the word TZAV is used here to indicate alacrity. Great zeal is required where there is "chisorone kis," financial loss. Some insights are offered to explain this cryptic statement:

1) If the "oloh" offering is not processed properly it will amount to a total loss and a new sacrifice will have to be brought, causing the donour a financial loss. (Chizkuni)

2) Since almost the complete body of the "oloh" is burned on the altar, it involves Kohanim being awake all night to see that it is properly burned. They were therefore not able to function well by day and this caused them financial loss. (Paa'nei'ach Rozo)

3) Although there were no wages given for the actual service in the Mikdosh, for staying up at night to process the burning of the "oloh" wages were paid, hence "chisorone kis." (Rabbi Yitzchok Katz, son-in-law of the Mahara"l of Prague)

4) The Ramban says that our verse refers to the sacrifice of "minchas chavitin," the daily flour offering of the Kohein Godol that is mentioned later in verse 13, "Zose minchas Aharon uvonov." There is a large financial cost to offer daily flour offerings for every day of the year. One might question that there is no real out of pocket cost for the Kohein Godol, as he receives grain from the bnei Yisroel in different forms of tithing. However, our verse is telling Moshe to tell Aharon about his requirement to bring this offering. In the desert the bnei Yisroel were not agriculturalists. Grain and oil had to be bought from people who braved the elements of the desert to sell to the bnei Yisroel. No doubt, the price for these items in the desolate desert was quite high, hence the great out of pocket expense. (Ksav Sofer in the name of his father the Chasam Sofer)

5) In the M.R. 7:3 Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai himself says that the "oloh" sacrifice atones for thoughts of sinning. The organs of the body that serve as portals to allow for matters to enter the body have covers. For example, ears allow sound to enter the body. The gemara K'subos 5a-b says that Hashem created ear lobes as a guard to allow one to plug his ears to stop loshon hora from entering. Similarly, the eyes have lids, the nostrils can be pinched close, and the mouth even has two guards, the teeth and the lips. However, the mind has no protective cover. Rabbi Shimon is telling us that greater care must be taken regarding that which the "oloh" atones, improper thoughts, as the mind has a "chisorone kis," it lacks a protective cover. (Chidushei hoRI"M)

6) Very holy acts require a "cover-up" to make them seem less holy so that the evil forces will not exert great efforts to thwart them. (This is mentioned in the Holy Zohar parshas P'ku'dei page 237 regarding the mitzvoh of tefillin.) Other sacrifices have parts eaten by either the Kohanim or the owners, or both. This physical eating is their "cover-up." However, an "oloh" sacrifice is totally consumed on the altar and has no "cover-up." This is a "chisorone kis" and therefore requires having it processed with great care. (Chidushei hoRI"M)

7) Rashi actually predicates the statement of Rabbi Shimon by saying that TZAV indicates something that applies immediately and for generations. The gemara M'nochos 110a says that we derive from the words "toras ho'oloh" that one who studies the laws of the "oloh" is considered as if he has brought an "oloh" sacrifice. This has a very practical application when the Beis Hamikdosh is no longer existent, as sacrifices cannot be offered. However, even when the Beis Hamikdosh stood, one who was so destitute that he could not even afford a meal offering could study its laws and it would be considered as if he had brought it, since he could not afford to bring it. This is the intention of the verse in Psalms 119:92, "Lu'lei soro'cho shaashu'oy oz ovadti v'on'yi," if not for the possibility to learn the laws of your Torah regarding sacrifices, then I would have been lost in my destitution, when I was very poor.

This is the intention of Rashi when he says "immediately and for all generations." The learning of the laws of sacrifices applies immediately for a person who is destitute, even when the Beis Hamikdosh exists, as Rabbi Shimon said, "Extra alacrity is required when there is a lack of funds, 'chisorone kis,'" and for all later generations, for all people when there is no Beis Hamikdosh. (Ir Dovid)

8) As mentioned earlier the gemara M'nochos 110a says that we derive from the words "toras ho'oloh" that one who studies the laws of the "oloh" is considered as if he has brought an "oloh" sacrifice. Thus we see that our verse refers to the study of Torah. The gemara N'dorim 81a says "Be careful with the children of poor people, because from these children Torah will emerge." The Ra"N explains that this is so because they have no other activity besides the study of Torah, and because they are from poor families they are humble. This is the intention of Rabbi Shimon. Be very careful regarding "toras ho'oloh," the study of Torah, where there is a lack of funds - "chisorone kis," by the children of poor people, because from them the Torah will emerge. (The Holy Admor of Satmar)

7) The gemara Kidushin 31a says that one who is commanded and fulfills is greater than one who does so voluntarily. Tosfos d.h. "godol" explains that once a person is COMMANDED to do, his evil inclination pushes him to not fulfill the mitzvoh. Thus where there is TZAV, a command to do, there is need for greater care. (Kiflayim L'soshioh)

Ch. 6, v. 2: "Hee ho'oloh" - Here the Ibn Ezra says that the name OLOH given to this sacrifice is because its entire body is elevated onto the altar to be consumed. In 1:4 he says because this sacrifice atones for sins of the mind (M.R. 7:3), which are referred to by the Prophet Yechezkel as "V'ho'OLOH al ruchachem hoyo lo s'h'yeh" (20:32), it is called OLOH. Here Rabbeinu Bachyei and the Chizkuni on 1:3 say that the word OLOH means the best, "m'uloh," as it is totally consumed on the altar.

Ch. 6, v. 2: "Hee ho'oloh" - HEE is spelled with Vov, and thus has an underlying meaning of male, HE. Based on the Ramban that the petitioner should envision himself as if he were being brought as the sacrifice, this is "hee" = he, the owner of the sacrifice, is brought onto the pyre. (Bris Avrohom Grosverdain)

Ch. 6, v. 5: "V'ho'aish al hamizbei'ach tukad BO" - Should the verse not have said "tukad OLOV," - burn ON it, rather than "tukad BO" - burn in it? The Imrei Emes answers that this phraseology alludes to the emotions the Kohein should have when doing the Mikdosh service. The fire of excitement and zeal shall burn IN HIM. (Pardes Yoseif)

Ch. 6, v. 10: "Kodesh kodoshim hee kachatos v'cho'oshom - The Abarbanel asks why all "minchoh" offerings including voluntary donations have the status of "kodshei kodoshim," while "shlomim" offerings, which are also voluntary only have the status of "kodoshim kalim," a lower level of sacrificial sanctity. He answers that this is due to the fact that "minchoh" offerings are given by a poor person. Even a voluntary offering that is given by a person for whom it is financially difficult is very dear to Hashem and therefore has the elevated status of "kodesh kodoshim."

He adds that the reason all sacrifices brought to bring about atonements also enjoy the status of "kodshei kodoshim" is because the one who offers the sacrifice is involved in an act of repentance. This is also very dear to Hashem and the sacrifice offered by such a person is given an elevated status.

Ch. 7, v. 2: "Yish'chato es ho'oshom" - They shall slaughter the guilt offering - Rashi explains why our verse expresses slaughtering in the plural. This is because we find a communal "oshom." This is most startling, as there is no such thing as a communal "oshom." The Sochatchover Rebbe, the Avnei Nezer, answers that there was a communal "oshom" as an "horo'as sho'oh," as recorded in Ezra 10:19, "Va'asheimim eil tzone al ashmosom." The gemara Krisus 11 says that this was a communal "asham shifchoh charufoh," a unique prophet announced exception. This might be Rashi's intention here.

Ch. 7, v. 12: "Im al todoh yakri'venu" - The gemara Brochos 54b says that one is required to bring a thanksgiving offering when going through one of four experiences, being released from incarceration, recovering from a sickness, having safely traversed a sea, or having safely made it through a desert. The Baal Haturim O.Ch. #219 says that this is alluded to in the text of our thrice daily prayers, "v'chol haCHAYIM yoducho seloh." The word "chayim," spelled Ches- Yud-Yud-Mem is an acronym for "choleh" - an ill person, "y'surim" - one who went through the suffering of an illness, "yam" - one who traversed a sea, and "midbor" - one who passed safely through a desert.

The M.R. 9:2 on our verse says: In T'hilim 50:23 it says "Zovei'ach todoh y'chabdoN'Ni." Rabbi Huna in the name of Rabbi Acha says that the verse does not say "y'chabdoNI," with one letter Nun, but rather, "y'chabdoN'Ni," with two letters Nun, indicating that one must honour and again honour Hashem. The Ksav Sofer explains that when Hashem puts someone into a dangerous circumstance and then saves him, the person realizes that he must thank Hashem for being saved. However, the double Nun tells us that thanks must also be given for being placed into a dangerous stressful position, "Avorcho Hashem b'chol eis" (T'hilim 34:2). "Kol d'ovid Rachamono l'tav ovid," - All that the Merciful One does is for the good.

Ch. 7, v. 17: "V'hanosor bo'aish yiso'reif" - The Chinuch mitzvoh #143 writes that this mitzvoh teaches us the moral lesson of trusting that Hashem will provide for our food needs. Just as the meat of the sacrifice should not be left for numerous days, in spite of the disadvantage that nothing will be left in a short period of time, since the meat will not be eaten sparingly, so too, one should not hunger by eating very small portions, for fear that he will have nothing in the future. The GR"A says on the verse "Tzadik ocheil l'sova nafsho u'veten r'sho'im tech'sor" (Mishlei 13:25) that the "tzadik" of this verse is one who trusts in Hashem, as per the verse "V'tzadik be'emunoso yichyeh" (Chabakuk 2:4). The tzadik trusts in Hashem that He will provide tomorrow and eats to his satisfaction, while the "rosho," the one who lacks in trust eats a very meager portion for fear that he will have nothing tomorrow.

Ch. 7, v. 29,30: "Hamakriv es zevach shlomov laShem yovi es korbono laShem mi'zevach shlomov, Yodov t'vi'enoh" - He who offers a sacrifice of the shlomim type shall bring his offering to Hashem from his shlomim sacrifices, His hands shall bring" - What is the intention of "yodov t'vi'enoh"? If one has angered the king and attempts to appease him by bringing a present, protocol requires that the present be sent through an intermediary, as until the king hopefully responds positively, friction still exists. This is why the Torah does not say "yodov t'vi'enoh" when a "chatos" or "oloh" is to be sacrificed. Those offerings are sent through the Kohanim.

Our verses discuss the bringing of a "shlomim," which is devoid of any atonement connotations. It is totally a donation. One brings the "shlomim" with "his own hands" to the Mikdosh. (Kli Yokor)

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See also Oroh V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha, Chasidic Insights and Chamisha Mi Yodei'a


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