Parshat Tzav 5777: The Line Between Divine Command, Logical Sequences of Progression, and Arrogance

Shalom Friends;

Our Parshat Tzav is being sponsored by Dov and Bracha Moses of Ramat Beit Shemesh dedicated for refuah shlaima for Rachel bat Chaya Perel and lilui nishmas Chaya Perel bat Rivka and Yehudit bat Chaya Perel. To the Moses family, many thanks for your sponsorship, 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 5777: The Line Between Divine Command, Logical Sequences of Progression, and Arrogance

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 — On the Job Training — 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 here, this author, with his trip to Florida and his Dad’s recent passing at 3 1/2 months short of ninety-nine years, veers off onto a different track. That track consists of the differentiation between Divine Command, or what this author will call logical sequences of progression, and arrogance.

The Artscroll Stone Edition Chumash explains our Parshat’s title: Tzav in this way:

Tzav — Command. Up to now, commandments regarding the offerings were introduced with “Amartah” = say (Sefer Varikra Perek 1, posuk 2) or “Dabeir” = speak. The Sages explain that the more emphatic term, “Tzav” = command, implies that the Kohanim are being urged to be especially zealous in performing this service, and that this exhortation must be repeated constantly to future generations (citing Sifra: Kiddushin 29a). R’ Shimon adds that this exhortation is especially relevant to commandments that involve a monetary loss, such as the Olah, elevation-offering, of our posuk.

That is to say that Hashem demands consistency between enthusiasm and constancy of service as well as consistent diligence in following of the sequence of service, as Divinely outlined — exact to the letter.

But there are multitudes of other tasks, outside the realm of the Divine Service of the Kohanim, tefillot, or certain Mitzvot which demand an exact sequence of completion, where there are multiple tracks, i.e. flexibility, to achieving the desired goal — so long as all of the variables of a process are considered and included in reaching the necessary result.

As an accountant, as a corporate controller, this author often found it necessary to improvise in proceeding toward the necessary result — a completed set of periodic financial statements, year-end closings, etc. when certain figures were not available at the moment needed, but only slighty later. This is what this author refers to as logical sequences of progression to achieving the desired goal.

In speaking of these multitudes of other tasks, perhaps mundane as compared to the Divine Service of the Kohanim, there is a contrast between flexibility in completing a task and arrogance, i.e. “my way or the highway.”

R’ Zelig Pliskin, in his Sefer “Growth Through Torah” (page 242) cites Sefer Vayikra, Perek 6, posuk 2; “This is the law of the burnt [elevation] offering…” in discussing arrogance:

Our verse can be read: “This” is the principle of the arrogant person, the one who looks at himself as an exalted person. He constantly demands “this.” He always wants things done his way without taking the needs of others into consideration. (citing Vayedabair Moshe)

An arrogant person always wants to have everything his own way. He is totally inconsiderate of others. This trait causes much strife in interpersonal relationships.

Be aware of the needs and feelings of others. Be willing to compromise on your demands of how things should be. While you need not always give in to others, when you take someone else’s needs into consideration you gain spiritually more than you would by demanding that only your wishes should be met.

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 and that the expelled families of Amona be restored to their rebuilt homes, at government expense; both due to alt-leftist-agendized, supreme court legalized Yassamnik gunpoint. May 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 two and a half 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 prevent Chas V’Challila 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 HaGadol!

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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