Major Focus: Commandments and Mitzvot
Minor Focus: Animal Sacrifice
Abstract: Why is the commandment Tzav! stated so strongly when God tells the priests what their job is going to be?
Format: Rabbinic Argument
"God spoke to Moses, saying: Command
(Tzav!) Aaron and his sons..."
Why is the command (Tzav!) so
- Kiddushin 29a: This portion
of Parasha Tzav (Leviticus 6:1 to 8:36) deals with the priestly sacrifices,
things they personally were required to bring for God. The term
tzav implies a sense of urgency, enthusiasm, and zeal in
- Why should God need to use stronger language in reminding
the priests of their personal duty as compared to the people in
- What could possibly be so urgent about the
- Sifsei HaChamim: These
sacrifices were expensive, a lot of work, and not very rewarding. These were
the burnt offerings. There was nothing left of the animal except for the hides,
which the priests were free to use or sell. There was nothing to eat, nothing
of any other great value. The priests needed a little extra
- The priests were not in business, why should they need extra
encouragement to do their community service?
- How do you feel about hard work when there is no monetary
reward? Is the honor of it, or the sense of accomplishment, usually
- Rashi: That is true, but
they didn't lose anything on these sacrifices either. It is not as if these
sacrifices were from their own personal funds or property. They were offered on
the behalf of all Israel. I'll grant you though, the hides weren't worth
- How would the priests have felt if they personally did lose
money on the deal? After all, wasn't that part of their job?
- Would knowing that you wouldn't lose money on a deal be
incentive enough to propel you forward?