Points to Ponder

Tzav/HaGadol 5775

Tzav (6:2) – Rashi comments that Tzav is a command for the present and the future. For a Kohein might need a bit more inspiration to bring the Olah simply because he does not receive any part of it. Rav Yaakov Galinsky ztl. asked how it could be that a Kohein in the midbar would have a need for MORE meat when the families bringing korbanos likely topped out at 100,000 korbanos a week! That’s a lot of meat for 5 Kohanim. Why the need for the Tzav? Rav Galinsky answers that when one receives something as a gift – no matter the reason or the need – there  is an inherent connection and inspiration. Yaakov Aveinu tells the brothers to being a gift to the viceroy Tzafnas Paneiah of Miat Tzari U’Miat Va”lot because the gift inspires – even if it is not needed.

This is the Torah of the Olah (6:2) - The Chozeh of Lublin would often comment that the Torah that is studied with hislahavus (intensity and fervor) rises and serves as a means to remove one’s anger – which can serve to rise as a korban to Hashem.


This is the Korban of Aharon and his children (6:13) – Rashi notes that on the day that a new Kohein begins his service he too, brings a korban of an Eipha. However, the Kohein Gadol brings that same Korban each and every day.  Rav Moshe Tzvi Neriah ztl. explains that the same uniqueness and zeal that a new Kohein has at his first opportunity to do the Avodah needs to be the same feeling that a Kohein Gadol has each and every day – a Hischadshut that doesn’t end – as if he is a new Kohein Gadol each day.


The Kohein who offers the Chatas shall consume it in a holy place (6:19) – In the Perek Eizehu Mikoman we note that it is eaten within the curtains. This term was only applicable to the Mishkan – not the Mikdash. So why mention its relevance only to the Mishkan? The Brisker Rav ztl. answered by citing a comment of the Vilna Gaon who opined that the reason why this Perek of Mishnayos is studied each morning is because there is no Machlokes within this Perek. The Vilna Gaon explained that the reason why there is no Machlokes in this Perek is due to the fact that it is handed down directly from Moshe. Supporting that idea, the Brisker Rav said that this is why the term curtains is appropriate. The unadulterated Mishna from Moshe’s time had no Beis HaMikdash yet – only a Mishkan. Accordingly, Moshe would have referred only to a curtain.

Whatever touches them will be sanctified (6:20) – A Shelamim that touches a Chatas and has a Bliya from it take on the stringencies of the Chatas. The Gemara uses this as the source of the principle of Taam K’Ikkar. Rav Schachter Shlita notes that when a Korban Tamai touches a Korban Tahor even if it is cold, it can be mitamai. On a homiletical level, one learns a valuable lesson from here – for Kedusha to transfer there needs to be a Bliya but for Tumah to transfer even mere casual contact can make that happen. Superficial influence with those not as observant as us will not have the desired effect. We need to be Mashpia on a deeper level.

This is the Torah for the Olah, Mincha, Chatas, Asham (7:37) – The Talmud at the end of Menachos determines that one who studies the laws of Korbanos, it is considered as if he brought the korban. Rav Chaim of Volozhin explained that this is because the one who studies the Torah is connecting with Hashem on high – which is the goal of a korban anyhow. The Chofetz Chaim added that this is why the possuk says L’Olah L’Mincha etc. The Lamed teaches us that the main point of the Korban is the Limmud that comes from it and the connection fostered that creates the restorative power of the korban.

And from the opening of the tent they shall not leave for the 7  days until the Yimei HaMiluim are completed (8:33) – Rav Baruch Simon Shlita would often point out that the preparatory days of one’s life are like the Yimei HaMiluim. These are the times where the rules during the Chinuch process are more strict than the rules themselves. The Chashmonaim didn’t want to allow Tamai oil at the time of the dedication of the Beis HaMikdash because although it might be mutar regularly, one does not use a Heter alone at the time of establishment of the course of the future. The same is true in our lives – at the times we establish new stages in life the early pieces need to be done with a solid grounding without veering from the mishkan.

Haftorah (Shabbos HaGadol)  and it will shine for you who fear my name etc. () – The Gemara (Nedarim 8)  notes that the same Chama that the Tzaddikim benefit from, will judge the Reshaim. The Steipler ztl. noted that the light is the light of truth. One who walks through life with a sense of declaring that he is a tsaddik while really being a Rasha will be surprised and distressed when he sees the truth at a point where nothing can be done about it in the future. The opposite will be true for the Tzaddik – he has distressed himself over the slights he has made and in the future will see that his atonement will be achieved.