Weekly Sidra: Tzav ( Command)
Torah Portion: Vayikra / Leviticus 6:1-8:36
Maftir: Devarim Deuteronomy 25:17-19 (Zachor)
Haftorah: Sh’muel / Samuel I 15:2-34
Tzav, Tsav, Zav, Sav, or in Biblical Hebrew Ṣaw (צַו — Hebrew for "command,” the sixth word, and the first distinctive word, in the parshah) is the 25th weekly Torah portion (parshah) in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading and the second in the book of Leviticus. It constitutes Leviticus 6.1–8:36. Jews in the Diaspora read it the 24th or 25th Sabbath after Simchat Torah, generally in March or early April. The parshah teaches how the priests performed the sacrifices and describes the ordination of Aaron and his sons.
The name comes from the first word of Vayikra 6:9, where HaShem says to Moshe, “Command Aaron and his sons …” Tzav reiterates the five types of sacrifices introduced in the previous portion but this time discusses the priestly regulations pertaining to them. The last chapter of the reading describes the seven-day ordination of Aaron and his sons as they prepared to enter the holy priesthood (kehuna).
In the previous parsha, Vayikra, the laws of the types of offerings and the types of people who were to offer them was given. In this parsha, "Tzav", Moshe rabenu transmits the instructions for the priest’s follow-up duties with these offerings.
Our Parsha Tzav “Command,” uses the more direct, imperative term (“command”), alluding to a type of mitzvah which speaks to the soul’s inner core. that does not possess true free choice, and is simply “commanded” to obey God’s will. These special mitzvot which are included in our Parsha are aimed at helping our inner identity of unquestioning and uninhibited commitment to the Jewish faith surface in everyday life.
Note: On the Shabbat the Torah Reading is divided into 7 sections. Each section is called an Aliya [literally: Go up] since for each Aliya, one person “goes up” to make a bracha [blessing] on the Torah Reading. Here are this week`s aliyot:
1st Aliya: Additional instructions regarding the Olah – ascent offering, and the Mincha – meal offering are detailed.
2nd Aliya: The special meal offering of the Kohen Gadol and the special inaugural meal offering of the regular Kohen is described. This was the same offering in both cases; however, the Kohen Gadol brought his offering every day while the regular Kohen did so only on the day of his inauguration into the service of the Beit Hamikdash. Additional laws of the sin offering, and the guilt offering are detailed.
3rd Aliya: Additional laws of the peace offering are detailed along with those portions of the offering that must be shared with the Kohen. We are told here to not eat the blood of any mammal or bird. This is why we, or the butcher, "processes" the meat with soaking and salting and rinsing to remove any blood before we can further prepare the meat.
4th Aliya: Moshe anoints Aharon and his sons to be the Kohen Gadol (high priest), and priests, respectively, and serve in the Mishkan (the tabernacle in the desert). Moshe assembles all the Jewish people and immerses Aharon and his sons in the mikvah. Then he dresses them in their priestly garments, and anoints the Mishkan and all its contents, as well as Aharon and his sons, with the holy anointing oil.
5th Aliya: It continues the description of the installation of Aharon and his sons as priests with the sacrifice of a bullock for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering.
6th Aliya: It describes the procedure used for the installation offering: it consisted of sacrificing a second ram and placing some of the blood on certain parts of Aharon and his sons’ bodies.
7th Aliya: It completes the process of installing the priests. Moshe anoints them with the holy anointing oil, and commands them to eat a special meal at the entrance of the tent of meeting. This installation ceremony lasted seven days.
Tags: aliya, aliyot, Beit HaMikdash, first word, free choice, guilt offering, holy priesthood, inner core, inner identity, jewish faith, Judaism, kohen gadol, Leviticus, meal offering, mussar, parsha tzav, parshablog, peace offering, reading from the torah, sacrifices, second reading, Shabbat, sin offering, talmud, Torah, Torah Commentary, Torah Reading, tsav, tzav, zohar
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