Musings of an Orthodox Jew

Thoughts on Torah and the Jewish world today.

Parshas Tzav 5770- Chavitei Kohen Gadol

Parshas Hashavuah Question: What lesson applicable to us all can be learnt from the Chavitei Kohen Gadol that?
was offered half in the morning and half in the afternoon?

Vayikra (Leviticus) Chapter 6 v13. This is the offering of Aaron and his sons, which they shall offer to the Lord, on the day when [one of them] is anointed: One tenth of an ephah of fine flour for a perpetual meal offering, half of it in the morning and half of it in the evening. יג. זֶה קָרְבַּן אַהֲרֹן וּבָנָיו אֲשֶׁר יַקְרִיבוּ לַי־הֹוָ־ה בְּיוֹם הִמָּשַׁח אֹתוֹ עֲשִׂירִת הָאֵפָה סֹלֶת מִנְחָה תָּמִיד מַחֲצִיתָהּ בַּבֹּקֶר וּמַחֲצִיתָהּ בָּעָרֶב:

15. And the kohen who is anointed instead of him from among his sons, shall prepare it; [this is] an eternal statute; it shall be completely burnt to the Lord. טו. וְהַכֹּהֵן הַמָּשִׁיחַ תַּחְתָּ יו מִבָּנָיו יַעֲשֶׂה אֹתָהּ חָק עוֹלָם לַי־הֹוָ־ה כָּלִיל תָּקְטָר:

This weeks Parsha Tzav: Vayikra (Leviticus) 6:1-8:36

The best explanaton of why the Chavitei Kohen Gadol was offered in two parts is one I read in Darash Moshe- a collection of some of Rav Moshe Feinstein zs”l lessons on the Torah. R’ Moshe points out that the lesson here is that spirituality is not something of the moment. We do not wake up in the morning, put on tefillin, daven shacharis, and then forget about it till later in the day. Instead, we are required to maintain that spirituality throughout the day- just as the Kohen Gadol had to be at an elevated spiritual level in the morning when he offered the first part of the sacrifice, he had to be at the same elevated level of spirituality later in the day when he offered the second part of the sacrifice.

In my mind, we can extend this even further. We all wake up in the morning, fresh, ready and filled with good intentions. After we haved davened, eaten breakfast and started working, all that excess energy dissipates and the good intentions do not always materialise. As it states at the start of Shulkhan Aruch Orach Hachaim in the very first halachah “One should strengthen himself like a lion to get up in the morning to serve his Creator, so that it is he who awakens the dawn.” However, the Chavitei Kohen Gadol emphasises that it is not enough to just get up and be this way in the morning, but we have to maintain this atitude throuhout the day! As the Rema says in his gloss to this halachah quotin the Tur “And when he lies on his bed he should know before Whom he lies, and as soon as he wakes up from sleep he should rise eagerly to the service of his Creator, May He Be Blessed and Exalted (Tur).” When we lie down at night, we should be as mindful of the presence of G-d as when we wake up in the morning. The Rema also quotes Tehilim 16:8 ‘”I have set the Lord before me constantly”- yet another emphasis that our striving for spirituality, our intention to stay at a physical high, is the same throughout the day-the Kohen Gadol had the Chavitei split into two to emphasise and to teach us this important lesson.

As always, comments, discussions, correction etc are welcomed


March 23, 2010 - Posted by | Parshah, Torah | , , , , , , ,

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