Musings of an Orthodox Jew

Thoughts on Torah and the Jewish world today.

Parshas Tzav 5769- Holiness throughout the day

Amongst the sacrifices discussed in Parshas Tzav is the Chavitei Kohen Gadol- a minchah sacrifice that was brought daily by the Kohen Gadol.  Whatwas so unusual about the Chavitei Kohen Gadol was that unlike other korbanot , it wasn’t sacrificed and then burnt on the altar; instead, it was divided in two and one half offered on the altar in the morning, the other half being offered in the afternoon.  HaRav Moshe Feinstein sees this as teaching us thatjust as we are holy in the morning, we shouldn’t allow ourselves to fall in holiness during our work day and should be at the same level at the end of the day.

Think about this:  We wake up in the morning, immediately doing negel wasse, saying the morning brachot, going to shacharit- donning talit and tefillin.  We start the day on a high- our movements co-ordinated to bring us from waking up into the day in a sense of holiness.  For most of us, from there we go on to eat breakfast, go to work, school or on with our mundane live- a few people are lucky enough to go on to spend the day studying in a Kollel or Yeshivah.  So for those of us not in Yeshivot or Kollelim, we are faced with maintaining the high throughout the day.  We are faced with plenty of opportunities to loose what we so carefully cultivated in the morning.

Hashem realises this, knows how the temptations of every day life serve to bring us dowKnowing this G-d knows we need a tangible symbol, something that shows that we can maintain the same level trhoughout the day.  Thus the Chavitei Kohen Gadol.  The Kohen Gadol did not just need to hold half the Korban back till the afternoon- but had to maintain a high enough lefel of tehorah and kedushah to return to the altar and offer the rest Gf the sacrifice.  The Kohen Gadol did not do this by hiding in a room all day emerging in the afternoon to make the second half of his sacrifice; instead he had to maintian his thoughts and actions at such a level that he kept up the high level of Kedushah that he had possessed in the morning when the first half of his morning minchah offers was put on the altar.

If the Kohen gadol could maintain this status, a status far above the level we have to maintain, then surely we can try to maintain our focus and keep up what we start off with in the morning?

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March 31, 2009 - Posted by | Parshah, Torah | , , , , , , ,

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