Sunday, March 25, 2012

Parashat Tsav

Tsav begins with God continuing to teach Moses many of the various laws about the Tabernacle service. It describes the procedure for offering the sacrifices in the mishkan and repeats many of the instructions from last week’s parasha, with one major difference. Last week’s portion, Vayikra targeted the entire Israelite community and began with the voluntary sacrifices, and then continued with the ones that were designated for specific people. But, Parashat Tsav, which is addressed to the kohanim, the High Priests, lists the sacrifices in the order of their holiness.
When people bring an important part of themselves, whether this is a sacrifice or an interest in learning or being part of the community, we should receive them openly.  On the other hand,, like in Tsav, there are some people among us who, because of their role in the community, are literally commanded to sit down and go above and beyond. This is their life's mission.
 But, we no longer have kohanim, who perform rituals on our behalf. Instead, it is up to each of us to form our own connection with God. Tsav motivates us to move beyond the level of involvement and learning that we usually operate at..hopefully, not only when we find it convenient to do so.

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