| Published: March 27, 2023
General Overview: This week’s Torah reading, Tzav, continues describing the various sacrifices offered in the Tabernacle and Temple — a topic started in last week’s reading. This is followed by an account of the seven-day inaugural of the Tabernacle.
First Aliyah: The Torah describes the mandatory daily removal of ashes from the altar. This was the first order of the day in the Temple service. The Torah then repeats the laws of the meal offerings described in last week’s reading, adding several important details.
Second Aliyah: This section discusses the priestly meal offering, brought by the High Priest twice daily, and by every priest on the day he is first inducted into Temple service. The laws of the Sin Offering and Guilt Offering, also discussed in last week’s reading, are also repeated with added details. An important principle discussed is a vessel’s absorption of sacrificial meats cooked therein, and the possibility of purging (certain types of) vessels of the vestiges it absorbed — a concept which is very germane in the laws of kosher. This section concludes with a discussion regarding various gratuities the priests were entitled to take from the different offerings and sacrifices.
Third Aliyah: The Torah now discusses the Thanksgiving Offering, brought by an individual who survived a perilous circumstance. We then learn about various grounds for the invalidation of a sacrifice, such as impurity or improper thoughts on the part of the priest performing the service. We are then commanded not to consume blood or any of the fats offered on the altar. The prohibition against eating these fats applies to all domesticated animals. The section wraps up with the portions of meat the priest is given from the Peace Offering. With this we conclude the laws of sacrifices.
Fourth Aliyah: We now read about the induction of the priests and the inauguration of the Tabernacle. In the presence of all the Jews, Moses dressed Aaron and his sons in the priestly vestments and anointed them, along with the Tabernacle and its vessels, with the holy anointing oil.
Fifth Aliyah: The priestly induction continues with Moses sacrificing a bullock and a ram as burnt offerings.
Sixth Aliyah: Moses then sacrifices a second ram, and their fats are burnt on the altar, along with some breads.
Seventh Aliyah: Completing the process of initiating the priests, Moses anoints them with the holy anointing oil which is mixed with some of the blood from the altar. Moses instructs the priests regarding the consumption of the sacrificial meats, and tells them that this entire process will be repeated for the following six days, and during this seven day inaugural they are not to leave the confines of the Tabernacle.
The content on this page is produced by and courtesy of chabad.org.