Parshat Tzav 5776: Aaron HaKohen Godol, Paradigm for All of Enthusiasm and Constancy, Sincere Devotion and Humility of Service

Shalom Friends;

Our Parshat Tzav is being sponsored by Benjamin and Gina Fishman and family of Ramat Beit Shemesh dedicated for a Refuah Shlaima for Rivka Nechama bat Gittel Yehudis. To the Fishman family, many thanks for your sponsorship and for your continued kindnesses.

You can celebrate a Simcha — a birth, a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, a Chassuna or other Simcha event in your life, or commemorate a Yahrtzeit of a loved one, or for whatever other reason by sponsoring a Parshat HaShevua.

Please forward to your relatives and friends and encourage them to sponsor a Parshat HaShevua. And please be in contact with me with any questions, or for further details.

Best Regards,

Moshe Burt
skype: mark.burt3

Parshat Tzav 5776: Aaron HaKohen Godol, Paradigm for All of Enthusiasm and Constancy, Sincere Devotion and Humility of Service

by Moshe Burt

The Artscroll Stone Edition Chumash renders translation of the opening posukim of our Parshat:

“Hashem spoke to Moshe, saying: Command [Tzav] Aaron and his sons, saying: This is the law of the elevation offering: It is the elevation offering [that stays] on the flame of the Mizbeiyach [Altar], all night until the morning, and the fire of the Mizbeiyach should be kept aflame on it.” (Sefer Vayikra, Perek 6, posukim 1-2)

In our Parsha, Tzav is Moshe’s command from Hashem to Aaron HaKohen and his sons to take up and clothe themselves in their Vestments, their garments of service in the Mishkan, and to begin their daily Avodah (service and offerings in the Mishkan).

For seven days, Moshe taught Aaron HaKohen and his sons the laws of their Avodah in the Mishkan. (You might say that they were given, as one could term it in the US, OJT from Shemayim.) On the eighth day, Aaron and his sons began their Avodah.

We are taught in our Parsha about the two flames which burn continuously; the flickering light of the Menorah and the powerful flame of the Mizbeiyach (the altar where the various offerings to Hashem were brought). These two flames which burned constantly teach us that a balance must exist between strength and power and modesty and humility. These fires teach us about maintaining a consistency between enthusiasm and constancy. (L’lmod Ul’Lamed, Rabbi Mordechai Katz, Parsha Tzav, pages 103-104)

But Rabbi Katz speaks of another aspect to the service of the Kohanim in the Beit Hamikdash; sincere devotion, which should extend to all of us, whether in tefillah, in learning, or toward the myriad of mitzvot we do outside the Beit Knesset or Beit Medrash:

Consequently, our observance of the Torah should not be marked by tired, listless efforts. When we pray, we should not stumble and mumble through the Tefillot out of habit. Rather we should should remember Whom we are adddressing, and say each word carefully. (L’lmod Ul’Lamed, Parsha Tzav, page 105)

Rabbi Katz adds:

The Torah and the Tefillot are like a list left by the Master, a set of instructions on how to act practically. If we do not realize this, and we do not practice what we say, then our words have no meaning or purpose at all.

“The heart of the matter is what matters.” (Berachot 15) (L’lmod Ul’Lamed, Rabbi Mordechai Katz, Parsha Tzav, page 106)

Aaron HaKohen Godol is the perfect paradigm for Kol Am Yisrael to emulate; of maintaining a consistent balance between enthusiasm and constancy, as well as both strength and power and modesty and humility in the sincere devotion of his service. We learn that in his forty years of service, Aaron HaKohen Godol never wavered or faltered in enthusiasm and constancy, as well as in his sincere devotion and humility.

Here’s hoping that this blog’s readership, including those who act as Shaliach Tzibbor, will internalize and extend this understanding onto their tefillot, Aliyah b’Torah, Aleinu and more, rather than going by rote, mumbling or turning on the auto-pilot.

May we, the B’nei Yisrael be zocha that our brethren — the refugee families from Gush Katif be permanently settled and be made totally whole — be totally restituted for all that was stolen from them at leftist-agendized, supreme court legalized gunpoint, that our dear brother Jonathan Pollard be liberated and truly free — only upon his return home to Israel, and that Sholom Rubashkin, as well as the MIAs be liberated alive and returned to us in ways befitting Al Kiddush Hashem, as should the remains of the two chayalim from the Gaza War of nearly 1 3/4 years ago. May we have the courage and strength to stand up and physically prevent the possibility of Chas V’Challila any future eviction of Jews from their homes and the handing of Jewish land over to anyone, let alone to enemies sworn to Israel’s and Judaism’s destruction and eradication. May we fulfill Hashem’s blueprint of B’nai Yisrael as a Unique people — an Am Segula, not to be reckoned with as with “the nations” and may we be zocha to see the Moshiach, the Ge’ula Shlaima, as Dov Shurin sings; “Ki Karov Yom Hashem Al’Kol HaGoyim”, the Ultimate Redemption, bimhayrah b’yamainu — speedily, in our time”, — Achshav, Chik Chuk, Miyad, Etmol!!!

Good Shabbos!

Moshe Burt, an Oleh, is a commentator on news and events in Israel and Founder and Director of The Sefer Torah Recycling Network. He lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh.

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