This Weeks Haftorah
Rabbi Levi Langer

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"But the Kohanim, the Levites, the descendents of Zadok who kept the charge of My Sanctuary when the Jews strayed from Me--they will approach Me to serve Me. And they will stand before Me to offer unto Me the [sacrificial] fats and the blood: the word of Hashem the Lord." (Ezekiel 44:15)

During all those dark years when the people of Israel strayed far from Hashem and worshipped idols and foreign deities--in all that time the descendents of the priestly clan of Zadok remained firm in their beliefs and true to their traditions.

Therefore, when the Temple will be rebuilt, it will be these Kohanim who will have the privilege of standing before Hashem to offer the sacrifices.

Mendel Hirsch, in his commentary of the Haftoroth, learn an important lesson from here.

The Kohanim, he writes, have a special role. They alone are permitted to don the priestly garments and to offer the Temple sacrifices. But if they fail to see in this privileged status a prod to transform themselves to become G-dly people, then their Temple service and their priestly garments have been robbed of their essence. For it is not merely the rote performance of the rituals that Hashem wants of us; rather, we must learn the lesons that these rituals have to teach us. And we must assimilate those lessons until we ourselves embody the ideals which they represent.

In performing the sacrificial order in the Temple, one demonstrates his own personal fidelity to the service of Hashem. So it is specifically the descendents of Zadok, who remained faithful to Hashem in the darkest of times--it is they who will be able to perform the service in the Temple of the future.

Copyright (c) 1997 by Rabbi Levi Langer

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