June 14, 2024
Parashat Tzav צַו‎ ‎

When you Choose Shabbat, you choose to learn that every Shabbat is different and special. This week I learned that Parashat Tzav (צַו‎‎) is the 25th weekly Torah portion in the annual cycle of Torah readings as well as the second reading from the Book of Leviticus (6:1 to 8:36). I also learned that the Shabbat immediately prior to Passover has a special designation; Shabbat Hagadol, “The Great Shabbat“.

According to Wikipedia, Tzav (צַו‎‎), contains 5,096 Hebrew letters, 1,353 words, 97 verses and makes up 170 lines of a Torah scroll. Tzav contains details about how the priests performed the ritual sacrifices and describes the ordination of Aaron and his sons.

Rabbi Michael D Klein of Temple Torat Emet offers his insights on this week’s Torah reading, Tzav:

“In the coming week we will gather to celebrate the festival of Pesach which includes the offering of the Paschal Lamb, whose description in the Torah was given to us much earlier as we prepared to depart Egypt. This week’s Torah portion, Tzav, also includes a detailed description of karbanot, offerings which were to be brought to celebrate important events, offer thanks to G-d for special blessings, and to seek forgiveness from G-d for trespasses committed against others or violations of Torah rules. The common denominator of these is the mindfulness of fulfilling G-d’s commandments and the awareness of our fulfilling and participating wholeheartedly in the blessings. We cannot enjoy the Passover Seders knowing that we have left out those who need our help. We cannot offer sacrifices for trespassing against others if we have not corrected the wrongs we have committed against others.

Shabbat Hagadol is a reminder that we must be as aware of the freedom of others and not jeopardize or deny these freedoms to anyone. Shabbat Hagadol and Sedra Tzav are both messages of hope for personal and national improvement. When we appreciate the gifts we receive by sharing with others, then G-d gives us the ability to care. When we are mindful of the feelings and sensitivities of others we become more aware of how Hashem needs us to make the world a kinder and gentler place and we become G-d’s partner.

For those of us who have returned from a spiritually uplifting visit to Israel, may our voices and messages of hope and courage be shared to encourage others in the future to make the same pilgrimage. Shabbat Shalom Umevorach and may this Shabbat Hagadol be the starting point of a joyous Passover holiday!

Rabbi Michael D. Klein

Rabbi Michael D. Klein attended Yeshiva College of South Florida and served as Torah Reader, Hebrew teacher, Chazzan and spiritual leader of various synagogues throughout South Florida. In January 2015 he became Ritual Director, Bnai/Bnot Mitzvah instructor and 7th grade Hebrew instructor for Temple Torat Emet of Boynton Beach. In October 2019 he was accepted into an accelerated track and received his shicha from Yeshiva Adath Wolkowisk and has been the Rabbinic leadership of Temple Torat Emet since August 2020. In September of 2022 he was appointed Rabbinic and Spiritual Advisor of the Florida Region of FJMC.

Choose Shabbat; choose to celebrate, to light candles, sing songs and learn a little Torah.

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