Virtual Minyan: Torah Portion Tzav
Marsha Epstein will lead this Thursday’s virtual torah study at 4pm. Her discussions are always a treat for their insight and preparation, and we hope you can join us. This week’s torah portion is Tzav, or “the obligation to give thanks.”
You can participate by calling 702-851-4044, when prompted punch in 2, then our pass code 22252#.
Much can be learned, in terms of social graces and religious etiquette from the korban todah, the thanksgiving offering detailed in this week’s parshah. Rashi, basing himself on the Talmud, lists the four who bring a todah: one who returns from travel at sea; one who returns from a journey in the wilderness; one who is released from prison; and one who recovers from an illness.
This comment of Rashi requires an explanation. We know that bringing a thanksgiving offering is not obligatory; it is a voluntary heartfelt gesture. The priests and the courts could never demand that someone bring a todah.
Another issue in this week’s portion is taking out the garbage, or, cleaning the “miniature temple”
If you take out the garbage today, there are many thoughts you could think. You could try to ignore the unpleasant activity and think any thoughts you like. You could think about how it’s an unpleasant job and you wish you didn’t have to do it. You could think about how your roommate should do it instead of you.
Or you could think about how blessed you are to have things that cause garbage. Poor people have much less garbage. You have leftover food, bags and packaging from purchases, empty food containers like bottles, cans and jars — all because you are wealthy enough to afford the items that stuff came in.
You could think about how removing garbage makes the house cleaner, more pleasant to live in for everyone, and more respectable.
You could think about how thankful you are that you’re physically capable of taking out the garbage.
You could think about how just like the Almighty has to clean up the “garbage” of the world (i.e. our transgressions and the consequences of our transgressions), and how you are mimicking God’s attribute of kindness by this act.
When you think these thoughts, you are elevating a mundane, non-holy act into a blessing. You are transforming the physical world into the spiritual world.
The verses for the week:
6:6 A perpetual fire shall be kept burning on the altar, not to go out.
7:23 Speak to the Israelite people thus: You shall eat no fat of ox or sheep or goat.
7:26 And you must not consume any blood, either of bird or of animal, in any of your settlements.