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In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Tzav Leviticus 6:1-8:36 provides additional details regarding the sacrificial rites discussed in last week’s portion. God instructs both the priests and the people, via Moses, on proper conduct with the various offerings they may encounter.

Additionally, the portion delineates certain general rules, such as not eating the fat of certain animals which can be used in the sacrificial service, or the blood of any animal at any time. The portion concludes with the inauguration ceremony for both the Tabernacle itself and Aaron and sons as the priestly family, a service conducted by Moses himself over the course of seven days.

Topic 1: Further Instructions to the Priests
This lengthy passage deals with the details of several sacrifices discussed in last week’s Torah portion, Vayikra. Each section is introduced with the phrase “Zot Torat…”, or “This is the law of…”. God tells Moses that he is to teach Aaron and his sons what to do with the various offerings the Children of Israel… Read More »

Topic 2: Further Instructions to the People
After instructing the priests with further details of the sacrificial rites, God tells Moses to instruct the people regarding portions they are forbidden from eating at any time and who gets to partake in the sacrifices they bring and how. God commands the Children of Israel not to eat the fats of animals which… Read More »

Topic 3: Inauguration of the Tabernacle and Priests
In this chapter, God tells Moses to anoint the Tabernacle, Aaron and his sons so that they may begin their service. The inauguration takes place in front of the entire Assembly of Israel. Moses immerses his brother in water and dresses him in his High Priestly garments. He then anoints the Tabernacle and everything in… Read More »

Topic 4: Haftarah- Ben Gurion’s Reminder to Transmit the Miracles on Shabbat Hagadol
In 1936, the Peel Commission questioned David Ben Gurion, then head of the Jewish Agency, concerning Jewish rights to the Land of Israel. “Three hundred years ago, a ship called the Mayflower set sail to the New World,” the future prime minister reminded the British officials. “This was a major event in the… Read More »

2 thoughts on “THE PORTION OF TZAV”

  1. Avatar

    Thank you for being such a light! My question concerns the different sacrifices. The burnt offering was
    done, (I think), 3 times a day in the Temple courtyard on the brazen altar. Were the sacrifices for sin
    offered on the same altar or somewhere else? I will study more, but I’m not clear on where the sin
    offerings took place. Shalom!

    1. Avatar

      Hi! I asked Rabbi Aryeh Lupo, an expert in these issues, and here is his answer:

      The daily offering, called the Tamid, is offered twice a day, morning and evening.
      The sin offerings are also on the same altar, after the morning Tamid and before the evening Tamid.
      There is only one altar for sacrifices, the outer altar, constructed with stones, in the courtyard.
      And the inner altar, the golden altar, was in the Temple, for the incense. That is where the lamp to the south and the table to the north were.

      The copper altar , also called the brazen altar, was only in the tabernacle in the desert, it was mobile.
      In the temple, the copper altar was replaced with the one made of whole stones that were never touched by iron.

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