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Tzav (Shabbat Zachor) ~ 5774 ~ 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. In addition, 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 Parashah 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 and 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 Shabbat Zachor – Deuteronomy 25:17-19 ~ page 856
HAFTORAH Shabbat Zachor – Samuel I 15:1-34 ~ page 995
Saul carries out Samuel’s instructions to exterminate the wicked. Amalekites but spares the life of their king, Agag, from whom Haman was descended. Samuel goes to meet Saul at Gilgal, denounces him for disobeying G-d’s word, and executes Agag.
Parashah Study Questions
1. Kabbalists note the Zodiac of Adar is Pisces (Fish) therefore, Adar is the only Jewish month which doubles itself. Why so?
2. Moshe died on the 7th of Adar. Because his burial site is unknown, how is this day observed in Israel?
3. What is the unique relationship between Sarah and Esther?
4. Although Hashem’s name is absent from the Megillah, what importance is there in the fact that Hamelech (êìîä) is mentioned 182 times?
5. Why are the mitzvot of Purim so community oriented (gifts of food to friends, gifts of charity to the poor, community meals, reading the Megillah in public, etc)?