PARSHA ON PARADE IS DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY
OF MY DEAR FATHER AND REBBI:
HARAV HAGAON RAV YESHAYA SHIMANOWITZ Z'TZL ,
YESHIVAS RABAINU YAAKOV YOSEF
(RABBI JACOB JOSEPH YESHIVA - RJJ)
IN NYC FOR OVER 23 YEARS.
NIFTAR ON 20 ADAR 5758 - MARCH 18, 1998.
MAY HE BE A MAYLITZ YOSHER FOR ALL OF KLAL YISROEL.
MY DEAR MOTHER
REBITZEN BRACHA ETEL SHIMANOWITZ A'H
WHO DEVOTED HER ENTIRE LIFE TO MY FATHER AND HIS TORAH,
NIFTERA ON 21 TEVET 5770 - WED EVE. JANUARY 6, 2010.
MAY SHE BE A MAYLITZA YOSHER FOR ALL OF KLAL YISROEL .
Menachim Z. Shimanowitz
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| פרשת צו
NUMBER OF MITZVOT: 18
9 MITZVOT ASEH (POSITIVE COMMANDMENT)
9 MITZVOT LO TAASEH (NEGATIVE COMMANDMENT - PROHIBITION
NUMBER OF PESUKIM (SENTENCES): 97
Some sources say that TZAV has 96 pesukim. (See Minchat Shai, [a major authority regarding the masorah --
the record of the traditional text], on 8:8)
NUMBER OF WORDS: 1353
NUMBER OF LETTERS: 5096
This year, (5780 / 2020) Tzav is a special Shabbat.
It is Shabbat HaGadol: (Lit. 'the Great Shabbat');
The Shabbat preceding Pesach / Passover is called Shabbat HaGadol because it was the day when the Jews were to take the sheep (which the Egyptians worshipped) to be used for the Korban Pesach (Pascal offering) four days later. (This means that the first Pesach was on a Wednesday).
Pesach / Passover starts Sundown Wednesday, April 8, 2020.
After nine plagues, the Egyptians were powerless to react to the slaughter of one of their gods. The Israelites, of course, didn't know this, and therefore displayed tremendous faith in Hashem prior to Yetziat Mitzrayim (the Exodus). We remember this event with a special Haftorah, Malachi 3:4 - 24, where again great faith and trust in Hashem is emphasized. The Haftorah concludes with the call to remember the teachings of Moshe and informs us that Hashem will send Eliyahu Hanavi (Elijah the Prophet) to herald the great and awesome day when Bnei Yisroel will again experience redemption. This is yet another possible reason for the name Shabbat HaGadol, - that "great day" mentioned in the Haftorah.
Traditionally on Shabbat HaGadol the Rabbi lectures about the observance and meaning of Pesach to his congregation, teaching the laws of Pesach, so that the families can prepare properly for the Yom Tov. Which leads to another interpretation of Shabbat HaGadol - "the Shabbat of the Leader" or of the Rabbi. A more novel explanation is that the people returning from the synagogue later than usual on this Shabbat because of the unusually long speech that was customary on this day. Thus this Shabbat seemed "great," i.e., longer than the other Shabbatot.
Whatever the reason for the name, it is customary to recite part of the Haggadah on Shabbat HaGadol, from " עבדים היינו - Avadim Hayinu" we were slaves in Egypt" to " לכפר על עוונותינו Lechaper Al Kol Avonoteinu."
HAFTORA: (Additional portion, from Prophets, which is read after the Parsha.)
Malachi 3:4 - 24 repeating verse 23 at the end.
In our last episode Hashem introduced the laws of
Our Parsha opens as Hashem finally forgives Aharon for his participation in the Chet HaEgel (sin of the Golden Calf). In the last Parsha, Aharon's name didn't appear even once; Parshat Tzav starts off with a message for Moshe to "command Aharon and his sons". Everything in this Parsha is directed at Kohanim.
In the Mishkan, the Kohain starts off his morning with a Korban Olah, (also called the Korban Tomid). The Olah sacrifice is a community sacrifice of one lamb. Another lamb is offered in the afternoon.|
The kohanim are encouraged to be enthusiastic and swift and to
employ great zeal! But before anything is placed on the Mizbayach......
Morning comes to the Mishkan and you can imagine the dash to determine
who will do the first mitzvah of the day. The race is on... or is it?
Hashem recommends a lottery system.|
Each morning the Kohanim draw lots to determine who will be first
to perform the daily rituals. The winner performs the terumat hadeshen (taking a portion of ashes).
First he purifies himself in the mikva. Next, he puts on his priestly
garments. Then he pours water from the Kiyor, (the washing basin), over his
hands and feet. Next he takes a silver pan and climbs the ramp of the Mizbayach. From the
previous day's ashes he takes a handful and places it into the vessel. Then
he takes the pan to the east side of the ramp and pours out the contents in a designated
spot. (One of the miracles that occurred in the Bait Hamikdash was that these ashes would be swallowed up into the floor immediately. No trace of them would remain.)
After the first pan of ashes are poured out, it's a "free-for-all"
for the rest of these Kohanim as they rush up the ramp and empty the ashes
of the Mizbayach.
These ashes are piled in the center of the Mizbayach.
This pile is called a Tapuach. It is considered a monument to the large amount of Korbanot that had been offered the day before.
As days go by, the Tapuach gets very large, excess ashes are taken
to a place outside of the Mishkan. During the time of the Bait Hamikdash, these ashes are taken by a Kohain wearing old priestly garments, to a special spot outside the walls of Yerushalayim.
| The Kohanim
are commanded to prepare three stacks of wood on the Mizbayach
Ha'Olah, which sits in the outer courtyard of the Mishkan.
These piles are called Ma'arachot.
The largest pile, the ma'aracha gedola, is where the korbanot
are burned. It is located on the east side of the Mizbayach.
The second pile is in the southwestern corner of the Mizbayach. Its
fire is used to light the incense Mizbayach in the Kodesh.
There is a third pile of wood that can be placed anywhere on the
This third pile of wood is used specifically for the mitzvah of
maintaining the fire on the first pile of wood.
Twice a day, in the morning and in the afternoon, when the Korban Olah is offered, two logs are taken from the third pile and thrown into the Ma'aracha Gedola.
Hashem's command to maintain the fire of the Ma'aracha Gedola
includes adding logs on Shabbat! That is how important this mitzvah is.
The fire, we're happy to report, was maintained throughout the
years in the Midbar (desert) (including traveling time) through the Mishkan's days in Gilgal, Nov and Givon. That's over 100 years!
| The first time a Kohain
comes to serve in the Mishkan, he has to bring a "Korban
Chinuch," an initiation Korban. It's made of flour,
oil and incense just like a Korban Mincha.
The "Minchat Chavitin" is brought each day by the Kohain
Gadol. The deal is that the expense has to come out of his own pocket. It consists of your basic Mincha offering of flour, oil and incense. Half is offered in the morning, and half in the afternoon. The offerings are completely burned.
The third Korban is called the "Shalmay Todah",
the thanksgiving peace offerings. This Korban's a must
for people who have overcome dangerous situations like illness,
a kidnapping, long trips through the desert or across the sea,
or prison. In addition to the animal, this korban needs
40 lachmay todah (loaves of thanks), made in a variety
of ways. (thirty loaves of three types of unleavened bread [matzo]
and ten loaves of leavened bread[chametz]). After the animal
is skinned and cut up, a kohain arranges the pieces of
meat one on top of another, with four loaves (one of each type)
on top. The kohain then places his hand underneath the
owner's, and performs the tenufa (waving), waving the
meat and loaves to and fro, up and down. Parts of the animal went
onto the mizbayach, part (breast and thigh) to the kohanim,
and the rest to the owner. The challot (loaves) were
also divided between the Kohanim and the owner, with
most going to the owner, who could share them with his friends.
Today, a survivor of these critical situations, must recite a Birchat Hagomail, a special blessing of thanks to Hashem.
Some Korbanot have
to be eaten the same day that they are offered. Whatever is left
over has to be burned. If someone deliberately eats a Korban
after the cut-off time, it is a violation of the commandment!
Some Korbanot may be eaten for up to two days.
When you slaughter a Korban,
if you have in mind that you are going to eat it after its prescribed
time limit or outside its designated area, that Korban
is no good, and may not be eaten. The Torah calls that
Korban "Piggul" - abominable.
tell us two laws that apply today as well. Certain fat parts
of animals (cheilev) must be removed before we are allowed
to eat their meat. The procedure called Nikkur, (done
by a specially trained expert) is used to remove these fatty parts
from the animals.
We are also forbidden
to eat blood. We must process our kosher meat (and chicken too),
to remove the blood before we may eat it.
IT ALL UP
| On the 23rd of Adar,
Hashem commands Moshe to train Aharon and his sons in how
to wear their garments and how to offer the korbanot.
On Hashem's command, Moshe now calls for the entire Bnei Yisroel to assemble in the
Mishkan's courtyard to see Aharon and his sons become Kohanim. And all 600,000 men fit into about 100x200 feet. (Another one of Hashem's miracles!!) Moshe dresses in a white garment and for seven days he handles the jobs of the Kohain Gadol while Aharon and his sons observe and eagerly learn the Avodah.
Each night of these seven days, Moshe takes apart the Mishkan and each morning he sets it up again.
Stay tuned as Aharon and his sons finally got their first crack
at the Avodah on the eighth day of the dedication days.
There's triumph - there's tragedy - in our next episode of:
the Midrash MavIn on Tzav
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