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This week's 10-Minute Torah (March 19, 2022): "Parashat Tzav" 5782

Parashat Tzav 5782 / פָּרָשַׁת צַו

Read on 19 March 2022 / 16 Adar II 5782.

Parashat Tzav is the 25th weekly Torah portion in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading.

In Tzav (“Command”), God tells Moses about the sacrifices offered in the Mishkan (Tabernacle), including a meal offering brought by the high priest, guilt offerings, and offerings of thanks. Moses initiates Aaron and Aaron’s sons for priestly service in the Mishkan.

Triennial year 3

1: 8:1-5 · 5 p’sukim ·

2: 8:6-9 · 4 p’sukim ·

3: 8:10-13 · 4 p’sukim ·

4: 8:14-17 · 4 p’sukim ·

5: 8:18-21 · 4 p’sukim ·

6: 8:22-29 · 8 p’sukim ·

7: 8:30-36 · 7 p’sukim ·

maf: 8:33-36 · 4 p’sukim ·

Haftarah: Jeremiah 7:21-8:3, 9:22-23 · 19 p’sukim

Commentary and Divrei Torah:

After discussing the various offerings, this sidra now discusses how the priests should actually perform the offerings.

The sidra in our Third Triennial cycle also discusses Moshe Rabbeinu consecrating the priests into their new role of officiating in the Mishkan (and later the Temple). From our perspective, many of the rituals seem primitive. They involve animal sacrifice, and putting some of the blood, along with the anointing oil, on various parts of the bodies of the priests. As discussed previously, the blood was place on the priests’ right ears, thumbs, and big toes. The anointing oil was placed on their heads and clothes. The high priest would also dash some of the blood on the horns of the copper alter.

We need to remember that all this took place over three thousand years ago. At that time, humankind worshipped using these types of procedures including animal sacrifice. Many sages believe that when our Third Temple is rebuilt, prayer, the practice of Jewish worship, will replace sacrifice.

In fact, some our most esteemed prophets (Isaiah and Jeremiah) have stated that Hashem does not want their sacrifices but rather their sincerity in observing the covenant and brit. Some other sages believe that since the Torah commands sacrifices, these procedures will be reëstablished in the Third Temple. Prayer or offerings? We shall see.

The Etz Haim Humash also discusses the fact that this is the first time in the Torah that the word “Torah” is used. It is based on the word ירא (Yirah) which is the word for “arrow”. In this context, “Torah” refers to “hitting the mark” in knowledge. Thus this is the way to hit the mark in the offerings.

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