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Parsha’at Tzav

Parsha’at Tzav

D’var Torah TzaV

Command Aaron and his sons, saying: This is the law of the burnt offering, such burnt offering shall remain on the fire-place of the altar all night until the morning, and the fire of the altar shall be blazing in it. (Leviticus 6:2)
parashat vaYikra, which precedes our parasha ends with the verse:

And the Kohen shall make atonement for him before God, and it shall be forgiven him for anything he has done in incurring guilt therein. (Leviticus 5:26)
The juxtaposition of this verse with the opening verse of our parasha stresses that the Kohen effects atonement for a sinner only as God’s agent, not through his own personal greatness. The Kohen may not pride himself on his power to achieve atonement for others, but must be dedicated to God’s service, with no personal interest.
This concept is conveyed as well in verse 3:
And the Kohen shall put on his linen robe (middo, which can also mean “his measurement”)…
from which our Sages learned that the priestly garments must be made to the measurements of each individual Kohen. The Kohen may not wear garments too large or too small for his own measurements, teaching that neither may he be haughty about his position, nor may he lower himself or fail to appreciate his position as one who carries the crown of Divine service. It is when the Kohen strikes the proper balance that he will be able to fulfill his obligation a spiritual guide to the people.
Ba’al haTurim notes the continuity of the two verses: “in incurring guilt therein, command Aaron and his sons,” and comments that this teaches that the Kohanim must be diligent in Torah and mitzvot.
The Kohen, the spiritual guide of the people, must be diligent and careful in his personal fulfillment of mitzvot in order to be able to have a positive influence on the nation. If the Kohen fails in this, it will indeed “incurring guilt” for the entire nation. (David Magence)

Shabbat Shalom

The Va’ad

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