Chasidic Insights

on the Weekly Parsha

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 6, v. 2: "Tzav" - Rashi (Toras Kohanim) says that "tzav" is a term that connotes alacrity, immediately, and for generations. When one fulfills mitzvos with alacrity, immediately, without delay, and with great enthusiasm that there is a greater likelihood that it will be for generations. If one's children and students see that mitzvos are done by rote, in a lethargic manner, then their zeal to do the mitzvos is cooled off greatly. When they witness mitzvos executed with excitement, they will most likely emulate what they see. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 6, v. 4: "V'hotzi es ha'deshen el michutz lamacha'neh el mokome tohore" - We see from these words that the removal of the ashes from the top of the altar is a service of Hashem, and not just necessary housekeeping. Firstly, it may only be done by a Kohein. As well, he must wear his priestly apparel. Also, the Torah requires that the ash be placed only in an undefiled place. In essence, this is truly a lowly service, as when one removes the ash usually gets quite dirty. In spite of this the Torah has stringent requirements for this service, just as it does for more glorified acts. We can learn an important lesson from this. Once something is service of Hashem, it makes no difference if it seems glorified and "clean," or seemingly a janitorial job, which leaves one dusty. The bottom line is that it is what Hashem asks of us, and this in itself makes the service respectable.

We similarly find that the priestly family of K'hos had no wagons upon which to place the Mishkon items they were responsible to transport. We thus find that Eliezer, an elder of this family carried the oil for the menorah, the incense mixture, "minchas chavitin" flour, and the oil for anointing. He was only able to carry all these items by placing some on his shoulders, carrying some in his right hand, some in his left hand, and even placing some items into the bosom of his caftan. This surely created a motley scene. Nevertheless, he did not hesitate to do Hashem's will. He considered it honourable work. (Rabbeinu Yonah)

Ch. 6, v. 6: "Aish tomid" - Rashi says that fire is taken from the altar to light the menorah. The fire of our verse is called "tomid," and the fire of the menorah is called "tomid" (Shmos 27:20). The altar symbolizes "avodoh," service of Hashem in action. The menorah symbolizes the light of the Torah, Torah wisdom. The amount of fire on the altar far exceeds that of the menorah. Only when there is much fire of Torah action will the fire of Torah wisdom be sustained, as per the dictum of our Rabbis in Pirkei Ovos (3:12), "Kol shemaasov m'rubin meichochmoso, chochmoso miska'ye'mes." (Nirreh li)

Ch. 6, v. 6: "Aish tomid tukad al hamizbei'ach lo sichbeh" - A continual fire should burn on the altar it shall not be extinguished - The gemara Yerushalmi Yoma 4:6 says that this prohibition applies even when there is the need to disassemble the Mishkon and to travel. We note that the Torah wants the fire to always burn, not only when the encampment is at rest, but also when traveling. Symbolically, this teaches us that one should serve Hashem with the same fire, the same fervour, when he is traveling, away from his regular setting, as when he is at home. (Taam Vodaas)

The same concept was mentioned in an earlier edition of Chasidic Insights on the words "kaasher yachanu kein yiso'u" (Bmidbar 2:17).

Ch. 8, v. 4: "Va'yaas Moshe kaasher tzivo Hashem oso vatikoheil ho'eidoh" - Because Moshe, their leader, did as Hashem commanded, he awakened in their hearts to assemble to hear the good word. (Admor of Kotzk in Ohel Torah)


See also Sedrah Selections and Oroh V'Simchoh

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