Weekly Torah Portion: Tzav (Leviticus 6:1-8:36)
In Torah portion Tzav, God continues to describe the different laws of sacrifices. A distinction is made between sin offerings, burnt offerings, and homage offerings, with each following its own process. God then commands the priests to make another offering which ordains themselves in their positions. Read an extensive summery on My Jewish Learning
Related D’var Torah
“The 1980s Bangles song called the Eternal Flame, asks the existential question: ‘Am I only dreaming? Or is this burning an Eternal Flame?’ How do we know? ” – Rabbi Heather Miller in 2015. Read the full drash
“It’s not enough that we have arrived where we are, that we’ve grown as we’ve grown; we must always remember how we got here, where we came from, who we were.” – Alex Maghen in 2014. Read the full drash
“WHY Spring has become the symbol of re-birth and of the cycle of life” – Rabbi Lisa Edwards in 2013. Read the full drash.
“I received a letter from our dear friend Harriet Perl this week. She wrote me because she was upset that the G’vanim, our newsletter, had, in this month’s issue, printed a list of “forbidden foods” for Passover without making any disclaimer that the list follows Orthodox tradition.” – Rabbi Lisa Edwards in 2001. Read the full drash.
Torah Verse of the Week*
“A perpetual fire shall be kept burning on the altar, not to go out” (Leviticus 6:6; Parashat Tzav, Shabbat Hagadol)
Haftarah verse of the week: “Behold! I will send the prophet Elijah to you before the coming of the awesome day of God.” (Malachi 3:23)
Other Suggested Readings
“…sometimes our obsession with cleanliness can have real and tragic ramifications. For instance, because of cleanliness laws, women are not permitted to be rabbis or scribes. We are not allowed to enter a sanctuary for 33 days after the birth of a male child — 66 for a female child.” (Jewish Journal, 2018) Read the column “Table For Five” on Torah portion Tzav
“18 years ago in Cairo, Egypt. My husband was doing an immersive program in Arabic at the American University of Cairo, and I was spending several months living with him in an apartment near Tahrir Square. I became quite friendly with a woman named Hoda.” – Leah Zimmerman in her blog Experiencing Torah
“The obligation to give thanks” and taking out the garbage (“cleaning the “miniature temple”) are two issues that are emphasized in torah portion Tzav. Read about them from our Virtual Minyan archive
URJ commentator Robert Tornberg’s short article ‘What Can We Learn From Taking Out the Garbage?,’ provided a stepping off point for the discussion on how we can transform our seemingly inane daily chores into a profound spiritual and creative life. Read it from a past Telephone Torah Study material
*Torah Verse of the Week is chosen by the Torah class during Tuesdays’ studies with Rabbi Lisa Edwards. Check out when our next Torah Study takes place