Tzav (5776)

Drash Cards for Tzav (5776)

By Marc Mangel

  • Three things that I learned from visiting Congregation Kol Emeth in Lincolnwood, IL last week
  • The Maranos were very fond of the Book of Ester, since like Ester they kept their Judaism hidden and the story gave them hope for redemption and a turning around upside down of the situation.
  • Kol Emeth has a sanctuary that seats 200 people or so and we began late with 5 people and at the max had 25. KT is doing very well.
  • The Rabbi at Kol Emeth is from the UK, his parents escaped Vienna to London and his father was the calling Gabbai of their little synagogue. Rabbi Schecter described the job of calling Gabbai as ‘thankless’.  I left Kol Emeth quite edified.

• Now to Tzav. We read today about the anointing of Aaron and his sons. Being a priest is not easy.

  • Moses dressed Aaron and his sons and then we have the bullock of the sin offering, the rams of the burnt offering, and the unleavened cakes
  • Aaron and his sons spent seven days inside the tent of the meeting so that God would consecrate them (Ch 8, v 33) to make atonement for them (Ch 8, v 34).
  • What did they do inside the tent of the meeting for 7 days? I suspect that there was a lot of introspection and wondering about the details, being honest with themselves about what these roles meant.
  • The Rebbe taught that “the purpose of the sacrifices was to awaken within Aaron and his sons the qualities that would enable them to act as the Jewish people’s representatives before God, whether by securing atonement or raising the people to a higher level of consciousness”
  • So it is with our own atonement, our Teshuvah: it is a continual process, not just seven days, and it is hard to do.
  • Indeed, Teshuvah is so hard because it forces us to be honest with ourselves – to look critically at what we have done and to change, to help achieve the vision of a Kingdom of Priests.