Points to Ponder

Tzav 5776

Tzav  (6:2) – Rashi comments that the word Tzav is a call for Zirzus for now and in the future as it involves monetary loss. The Or Hachaim explains that the real cost is to the Kohein who spends time on this Korban and does not gain any part of the flesh and might prefer to involve himself in other things where his take would be better.  The Taz adds that the thing that would be lost would be the Zrizus and thus, the command. Rav Baruch Simon Shlita would often point out the need to be extra Zariz in matters that concern money. The pressure to lessen one’s interest when he does not have the same financial stake is enormous. Still, one needs to be Mishtadel to put forth the greatest effort whenever and wherever possible.

And he shall take off his clothes and put on others (6:4) – Rashi explains that he is not obligated to change the clothes but that it is Derech Eretz to do so. After all, the clothes that one puts on to cook should not be the ones that one wears to serve the elegant meal. Rav Moshe Feinstein ztl. explains that from here we see that even Derech Eretz matters are also Halachic  and need to be heeded. If one were to wear inappropriate attire to daven it appears as if one does not recognize in front of whom he is davening.

 A fire “Tamid” shall be lit on the Mizbeiach (6:6) – Rav Noach Weinberg ztl. noted that the bigger picture described herein of the Avodah in the Beis HaMikdash. He noted that the process was the same each and every day. It never varied in its beginning nor in its end. That is because true Kedusha and sustained continual growth therein begins with constant consistent and continuous growth. There is a need to appreciate the constant use of time for growth (so do not kill time) , that growth needs to be consistent (so make times for growth Kavua) and it needs to be continuous (in today’s time, this is a challenge with desire for focused attention so limited.)

If he brings it as a Todah (7:12) – When discussing different Shelamim Korbanos, the Todah stands out in 2 ways: It is to be consumed in a shorter period of time (1 day) and has 40 breads that needs to be brought with it. Why the change? Rav Shimshon Dovid Pinkus ztl. explains that Shelamim in general were a reason to invite guests. However, when one needs to consume more in a shorter period, then more people would be invited. The more who showed in order to partake of the Todah, the more who would hear of the thanksgiving due to the miracles of Hashem. Sharing in the Chessed of Hashem adds to the Simcha in the ears of the listener.

If he brings it as a Todah (7:12) – The Gemara (Berachos 54b) tells us that four need to be Modeh. Why does it not state that they must bring a Korban Todah? Rav Yonasan Steif ztl. explains that one does not only have to be Modeh for the salvation. Rather, one needs to be Modeh for all of the components – good and bad – that went into the process. It is part of the recognition of the Todah responsibilities. The Korban alone, is only on the salvation but the requirements go so much farther.

It will be a Pigul (7:18) – What is so wrong with the idea of a Pigul? Rav Rivlin Shlita suggested that the whole idea of Korbanos is the idea that one needs to get closer to Hashem and rely on Him with Bitachon. When one has a thought to extend the Korban beyond its allotted time, one demonstrates a lack of that Bitachon. Whereas normally the thoughts do not count, in this area it is clear that Machshavos are also a part of a person and reflect what he really thinks about his relationship with Hashem. If it works against man, it certainly follows that a Machshava Tova in this regard helps.

For that is what I was commanded (8:35) – Why did Moshe need to tell Aharon that he was commanded to leave Aharon and his sons at the entrance of the Ohel Moed? Did Aharon suspect otherwise? Rav Menachem Tzvi Teksan (Ohr Torah) ztl. explains that although it seemed degrading to have the Kohanim who dedicated their lives to purity limited and left waiting for 7 days, Moshe encouraged Aharon by telling him that he too, was not able to enter the Machaneh Shechina during this time.


Haftorah:  For I did not speak to your forefathers and did not command them about an olah and a Zevach when they left Egypt (Yirmiyahu 7) – Rav Schachter Shlita noted that when Acher heard the call Shuvu Banim Shovavim Chutz MeiAcher he assumed it was a denial of his right to return in Teshuvah. However, the Bas Kol did not say Chuz MeElisha Ben Avuyah. It meant that so long as there is a son, there is room for Teshuva. As long as Bnei Yisrael do not wind up identifying with “Acher” then they can do Teshuvah. Elisha was so lost, he assumed the Acher referred to him.