Tzav Shabbat Hagadol ~ 5772 ~ שבת הגדול צו
In today’s Torah portion, we learn of how Aharon and his sons are to be instructed in the additional laws relating to their service in the Tabernacle.
The ashes of the “Korban Olah” (the offering burnt on the altar throughout the night) are to be removed from the area by the kohen after he changes his special linen clothing. The Olah is brought by someone who forgot to perform a positive commandment of the Torah. The kohen is gifted the animal hide. The fire on the altar must be kept constantly ablaze. The korban mincha is a meal offering of flour, oil and spices. A handful is burned on the altar and a kohen eats the remainder before it becomes leaven. The Parsha describes the special offerings to be offered by the Kohen Gadol each day, and by Aharon’s sons and future descendants on the day of their inauguration. The “Chatat,” the offering brought after an accidental transgression, is described, as are the laws of slaughtering and sprinkling the blood of the ‘guilt’ offering.
The details of the “peace” offerings are described, including the prohibition against leaving it uneaten until morning. All sacrifices must be burned, destroyed if they were ritually prepared with wrong intentions.
Blood and “chelev” (forbidden animal fats), are prohibited to be eaten. Aharon and his sons are granted the breast and shank of every peace offering. The inauguration ceremony for Aharon, his sons, the Mishkan and all of its vessels is detailed.
MAFTIR Leviticus: 8:33 – 36 ~ page 438
HAFTORAH Shabbat Hagadol Malachi 3:4 – 24 ~ page 1005
(Read on the Shabbat before Pesach)
The prophet foretells the punishment of all evil-doers on the day of G-d’s judgment and condemns the people for neglecting to pay the tithes and offerings due to the Priests and Levites. Were they to honor their obligations, He would shower blessings upon them and the land would yield abundant crops. The righteous who show impatience at the apparent prosperity of the wicked, will reap the reward for their integrity on Judgment Day when the unrighteous will be destroyed. The prophet calls upon the people to remember the Law of Moses and foretells the coming of Elijah before “the great and terrible day of the Lord” when parent and child will be reconciled and turn their hearts towards G-d.
Holiday Study Questions
1. Sages say we wash our hands (without a bracha) before karpas because that’s how it was done during the time of the Temple. After the Temple was destroyed, we stopped. Why do it at the Seder then?
2. What is the basis of the order of the 4 sons, Wise-Wicked-Simple-Young?
3. How many reasons can you think to explain breaking the middle matzah into two halves?
4. Is it true that some very strict rabbis prefer “machine matzah” over “hand made matzah”?
5. How many different vegetables can be used for Karpas and Maror?
6. During Passover, must one sell their stocks in companies like General Mills or Pillsbury since that means you won chometz and profit from it ?
7. What if one is allergic to wine, or is easily affected by wine – must one still drink four whole cups?