Points to Ponder – Tzav 5774

Yartzeit of HaGaon HaRav Moshe Feinstein ztl.


Command Aharon and his children about the Toras HaOlah (6:2) – Rav Efrayim Greenblatt ztl. noted that the Torah that endures (HaOlah) is the one that is Tamid – where we create a consistent environment of learning and living Torah. If the children learn the structure of “Tamid” when they are young, and those who are Rachok learn it by watching our consistent Jewish living, then it will be a source of Reiach Nichoach to Hashem.


The Torah of the Olah (6:2) – Both Rav Moshe Feinstein ztl. and Rav Nissan Alpert ztl. comment on the Torah’s Torah HaOlah wherein even Kodashim that become Pasul that go onto the mizbeiach should not be taken down. Rav Nissan comments that this is true for Pisulo BaKodesh not for Roveiya and Nirva wherein they ARE removed. Why the difference? Certain Avairos limit us from using them as Kodesh but they are not to be Miruchak – we do not want to push them away from experiencing Kedusha as we hope that it will inspire them to do Teshuva by hitting on the Kedusha within them. Other Avairos (such as Arayos) do push the limits and are those which need to be distanced as the effect of Kedusha will be minimal.


And he should change his clothes and put on other clothes (6:4) – This is not a Halacha. Rather, notes Rav Moshe Feinstein ztl., it is a question of Derech Eretz. Thus, he concludes, we learn that even issues of how to comport oneself are part of the Torah even when they are not part of the bottom line Halachic demand.


This is the Korban of Aharon and his children… half in the morning and half at night (6:13) – Why does the Kohein Gadol bring his Korban half in the morning and half at night? Rav Avraham Fishelis quotes Rav Moshe Feinstein ztl who noted that if we only offered the Korban in the morning, it would be before we went off to work. At that point we are still pure minded and able to relate to Hashem. After going off to work and dealing with the world, our focus on Hashem could be different. Therefore, the Korban reminds us even when out at work that we will return to finish the second half. With the focus on the korban broken into halves, we are always in front of Hashem.  


Piggul (7:18) – Rav Nissan Alpert ztl. points out that although in regard to Kedusha, Hashem is above time and place, man needs to know that no matter how ascetic he strives to be, he is always bound by certain aspects of this world – namely those of time and place. The people of Korach’s time disagreed on this point as well. Hence Moshe pointed to them that “Boker V’Yoda Hashem”  -- that there are boundaries and limits in life for each of us – when we don’t see it, we have chaos.


Take Aharon and his sons with him (8:2) – Rashi notes that Moshe needed to encourage Aharon to move into the new position. The Talmud (Menachos 109) notes that once upon a time, Rabbi Yehoshua Ben Perachya would have tied up and placed one who told him to become a Leader in front of lions. Now a Jewish leader, if someone told him to give it up, he wouldpour hot water on him. Rav Michel Barenbaum ztl. points out the irony of the change in temperament and notes the challenge of Jewish focus on leadership. On the one hand, one is not supposed to seek it for his own personal needs. However, once one masters it, it becomes so much of his being that it is almost impossible to excise and still hope to continue.Thus, he concludes, one must be exceedingly careful when assuming Jewish leadership positions and make sure that he is not seeking them for personal benefit.


 And he placed the Choshen on him and he put on the Urim and Tumim on the Choshen (8:8) – We need to remember that the Urim V’tumim was a piece of paper with Shem Hashem. Why would he wait to put this on until after the Choshen was  attached? Wouldn’t it be easier to put the Urim V’tumim in now, before the Choshen was attached? Rav Dovid Feinstein Shlita points out that the Choshen represented fairness in monetary issues. It was connected to the Eiphod which symbolized service to Hashem. True justice only exists when we are under Hashem’s will and His divine guidance. Once the Choshen was attached to the Eiphod it could function properly – only then could the Urim V’Tumim be attached.



Haftorah: I have sinned to Hashem and to you (Shmuel I: 15:24) – Shaul notes that his sin was compounded. But wasn’t he supposed to listen to Hashem? Why the stress on the double language by including Shmuel as well? Rav Schachter Shlita notes that there were 2 commands here – the Mitzva of destroying Amalek which included Aggag and the destruction of the animals. The destruction of Aggag was  a Divine Mitzva. Not doing it was an affront to Hashem. Not following orders about the animals was Shmuel’s Nevuah – a Horaas Shaah. The lack of listening to THAT was an affront to the Novi.