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Tzav in a Nutshell

Tzav in a Nutshell

Leviticus 6:1–8:36


G‑d instructs Moses to command Aaron and his sons regarding their duties and rights as kohanim (“priests”) who offer the korbanot (animal and meal offerings) in the Sanctuary.

The fire on the altar must be kept burning at all times. In it are burned the wholly consumed ascending offering; veins of fat from the peace, sin and guilt offerings; and the “handful” separated from the meal offering.

The kohanim eat the meat of the sin and guilt offerings, and the remainder of the meal offering. The peace offering is eaten by the one who brought it, except for specified portions given to the kohen. The holy meat of the offerings must be eaten by ritually pure persons, in their designated holy place and within their specified time.

Aaron and his sons remain within the Sanctuary compound for seven days, during which Moses initiates them into the priesthood.

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Discussion (7)
March 17, 2014
The Talmud asks precisely that question, and answers that these days we have prayer as a substitute for offerings. In the temple there were three offerings a day; the morning offering, the afternoon offering, and the leftovers that were burnt in the evening. The Rabbis therefore instituted three prayers, morning, afternoon and evening prayers, corresponding to those daily sacrifices.

On a deeper level, just as an offering was consumed by the fire of the altar, causing the animal to become burnt, so too it is with prayer. This is the time when a person works on arousing his burning love for Hashem, and as a result "offers" all his animal traits and characteristics, allowing them to become consumed by his fiery love.

For more information please see Atonement in the absence of sacrifices?
Rabbi Shaul Wolf
March 16, 2014
But we live in 2014, so what offerings would God like from us??
Palm Beach, Florida
March 14, 2014
Lots and lots of offerings!
March 10, 2014
Thank G-d for Parshah in a Nut Shell!
Gafiltah Fish
March 30, 2012
Re: Aaron's four sons.
Steve, let me preface this by saying this is just my opinion, and I am by no means a Bible scholar or authority. I think that by having Nadab and Abihu work together to bring the "strange fire" they are each held to a higher level of accountability. HaShem may have been more forgiving if just one had an idea to improvise on the Temple service and did it on his own, but with two of them working together, they each share blame for the sin itself, and for not stopping the other from sinning as well. I think leading another Jew to sin is more grevious than a moment of forgetfullness or exhuberence.
Stamford, CT
March 3, 2012
aaron's four sons
Very interesting that there were two sons involved in the offerring where thy were killed, certainly the point could have just as well been made with one son, anyone have a comment on this? Thanks.
hartford , Ct USA
March 28, 2004
I have a very short comment to make and it concerns in general. I would just like to congradulate the success and power of transmission that this site has on the number of Jews who long on, on a daily basis. I enjoy the learning and would like to express a profound thank you from my part !!!

Montreal, Canada
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