Parashat Tzav (Command)

Tzav – (Command) Leviticus 6:8 to 8:36 is the Parsha for the week. The numbering in the Masoretic Text starts at Leviticus 6:1

Much of what we read is repetition of the offerings, the burnt offering the sin offering, the guilt offering, and the peace or fellowship offerings previously studied last week in Vayikra .

Additional details are provided such as the fact that the fire for the burnt offerings were never to be extinguished and that the ash was to be disposed of outside the camp after the priest had removed his ceremonial garments.

The grain offering was to be part burned and part eaten by Aaron and his sons. The grain offering at Aaron’s consecration was to be entirely burned.

The sin and guilt offerings burnt the internal organs, and the rest would be for the priest.

The fellowship or peace offering was similar but he person who brought the offering could eat it. A peace offering could be brought for thanksgiving or as a freewill offering or for a vow. A thanksgiving offering was to be accompanied by an offering of unleavened loaves and was to be eaten the same day. A freewill offering could be eaten until the following day but was to be burned on the third day. The priest was to eat the right thigh of the peace offering.

The description of the consecration of the priests is much of a repetition of what was studied in Parshat Tza’veh.  One point to note during the consecration rite is the priest putting blood on his right ear lobe, right thumb and right toe

Haftarat Tzav                                     הפטרת צו

First a correction needs to be made. Last week was Shabbat Zachor the Shabbat before Purim so instead of the normal Haftarah for Vayikra it should have been the special Haftarah for Shabbat Zachor which is 1 Samuel 15:2-34. It tells the story of how Saul disobeyed God in not completely annihilating the Amalekites. Haman was a descendent of Amalek and had Saul been obedient Haman would never have been born.

The Haftarah portion this week for Tzav is in two parts. Firstly Jeremiah 7:21-8:3. The theme is that God has commanded sacrifice but also commanded not to follow the customs of those who worship false gods. The second part is Jeremiah 9:22-24 asserting that no one should boast in a anything other than God

Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, 24 but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord es  Jeremiah 9:23,24

Messianic Message

Rav Shaul – the apostle Paul reiterates the verse of the Haftarah in his letter to the believers in Corinth

Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord 1 Corinthians 1:31

As we progress in the study of the Torah, we will discover that many decrees and commands are repeated over and over again. This world loves highflyers. We reserve the best schools and the most prestigious universities for those who can absorb knowledge quickly and become an elite to whom everyone else will go to for information and guidance. The Torah is not like that. It repeats things over and over until even the slowest learner absorbs it. The worlds way is to admire those who can streak ahead and leave everyone else behind. The Jewish way is to repeat and for the rest of the class to wait until the slowest student has grasped the subject. Only then can we proceed to the next lesson.

The following formula ACTS for personal devotions was devised by Nicky Gumbel founder of the Alpha course. Gumbel is the son of a German Jew who fled the Nazis

A      Adoration

C      Confession

T      Thanksgiving

S      Supplication

The sacrifices also follow that formula to some extent.

Adoration –   The burnt offering is for worship and adoration

Confession – The sin and guilt offerings are for confession of wrongdoing.

Thanksgiving – The peace or fellowship offering is to give thanks for the things, God has given.  The word for the offering in Hebrew is Shlomiv derived from the same root as the word Shalom

However, there is no supplication offering in the Torah, but the New Covenant provides a path to intercede and ask God for things in a way that was not possible under the Old Covenant.

Yeshua said

And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do itJohn 14:13,14 (NIV)

That is something available to us only because of the sacrifice Yeshua made.

We are in the middle of a war started by a man who thinks he can influence and control people by might. Yeshua will conquer the world by his meekness, love and service and submission to all people everywhere.

The Parsha is called Tzav (command) because God commanded Moses to instruct Aaron about the sacrifices.

Yeshua also gave us a Tzav

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, immersing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Ruach ha-Kodesh (Holy Spirit) Matthew 28:19 (TLV)

This article originally appeared on the BMJA website and is reposted with permission.