Meir Tzvi Berman

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Parsha Tzav

"V'Hakohen Hamoshiach Tachtav MiBonov Ya'aseh Osah Chok Olam"
"And the priest anointed in his (Aharon's) place from his children should perform it (the Chavitin offering) as a statute forever"

The "Chavitin was a special offering brought by every Kohen (priest) upon his first day of service in the Mikdash. The Kohen Gadol (High Priest) brought such an offering every single day.

Bringing this offering every day would remind the Kohen Gadol of an important lesson. It was incumbent upon the Kohen Gadol to realize that his prestigious position (like the position of anyone else!) was a gift from Hashem. Hence, his position was not his by right. Rather, Hashem's continued grace allowed him to retain his important post. Each day that Hashem allowed him to remain in his important position was as if he was newly appointed on that day. Thus, each day was like his inauguration day.

It was especially important for the Kohen Gadol, who held a very important position, to bear in mind his dependence upon the grace of Hashem.

(Darash Moshe)


"V'kli Cheres Asher Tivushal Bo Yishaver"
"And a vessel of earthenware that it (the sin-offering) is cooked in shall be broken"

The meat of every sacrifice could only be eaten within a prescribed period. Any vessel in which meat of a sacrifice was cooked had to be cleansed. However, an earthenware vessel could not be sufficiently cleansed and had to be broken. This is because it is impossible to completely remove the flavor of the meat that was absorbed by the walls of the vessel.

The above verse surely intended its basic legal interpretation, (that earthenware which had absorbed forbidden flavors must be broken.) This law applies to all sacrifices. Even so, perhaps the Torah chose to illustrate this law using a sin-offering as an example in order to convey a lesson.

The Hebrew term for sin-offering is often used in other contexts to mean sin. An "earthen vessel" is a metaphor for a person because Hashem formed man from the earth. Thus, in the metaphorical sense, a "vessel of earthenware" in which a "sin-offering was cooked" refers to a person in whom sin was "cooked" - the person became so mired in sin, that the ways of sin have become ingrained in his very being -just as the flavor of something cooked in pottery remains absorbed within the pot's walls. For one whose "vessel" was saturated with the forbidden flavor of the sacrifices, the only course of action was to break the vessel. Likewise for one whose character has absorbed the ways of sin. The solution would be to "break" his heart with sorrow over his misdeeds. Remorse over one's wrongful conduct to the point of a "broken" heart about the sin is a key ingredient of repentance.

(Kli Yakar)

Courtesy of JewishAmerica (

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