Thoughts on the Weekly Parshah by HaRav Eliezer Chrysler
Formerly Rav of Mercaz Ahavat Torah, Johannesburg

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Vol. 19   No. 25

This issue is sponsored by
the Intract Family
l'iluy Nishmas
Yosef ben Yitzchak Halevi v'Faigy a"h
whose Yohrzeit is 28 Adar
Rachel bas Zev v'Chana Aidel a"h
whose Yohrzeit is 16 Nissan

Parshas Tzav
(Shabbos ha'Gadol)

Aharon Reinstated
(Adapted from the K'li Yakar)

And G-d spoke to Moshe saying. "Command Aharon and his sons saying, 'These are the laws of the Olah, that is the Olah that burns on the Mizbei'ach all night, and the fire of the Mizbei'ach shall burn it' " (6:1/2).

The K'li Yakar points out that, throughout Parshas Vayikra, the Torah refers to the sons of Aharon regarding all details of the Korbanos, deliberately omitting any mention of Aharon himself.

The Medrash explains that G-d distanced Aharon due to the major role that he played (albeit inadvertently) in the making of the Golden Calf. The reason for this is because the majority of Korbanos that are discussed there are connected with sin, and it is only after Yisrael sinned by the Golden Calf that they became necessary, as the Navi Yirmiyah informs us "for I did not speak to your fathers about matters concerning burnt-offerings and sacrifices when I took them out of Egypt". And the commentaries explain that specifically at that point when G-d took them out of Egypt, and when according to the Divine plan, they were due to receive the Torah at Har Sinai and go straight to Eretz Yisrael, He made no mention of Burnt-offerings of sacrifices since, before the sin of the Golden Calf they were superfluous.

Had Yisrael not succumbed to the sin of the Eigel ha'Zahav, they would have been freed from the clutches of the Yeitzer ha'Ra and would not have sinned again (much like Adam ha'Rishon before he ate from the Tree of Knowledge).

Indeed, it is in this connection that the Pasuk writes in Tehilim (82:6/7) "I said you are angels, and exalted beings are you all (free of the Yeitzer-ha'Ra and free of the Mal'ach ha'Maves). But like Adam you will die ... ".

It was only after they sinned that G-d commanded to build for Him the Mishkan, in which the Korbanos would be sacrificed, which became necessary to atone for their sins. And the reason that the Torah mentions the Mishkan before the sin of the Golden Calf is due to the fact that G-d always 'sends the cure before dealing the stroke' (see Rashi in ki Sissa 31:18). And because Aharon was responsible for the need to bring Korbanos, he was initially precluded from participating in bringing them (remember the principle that 'a prosecutor cannot become a defense counsel'). Until Moshe reinstated him. The Medrash explains how Moshe Davened on behalf of his brother, describing him as 'a spring that is hated but whose water is beloved'. This Mashal refers to a Mishnah in Tamid (29a). The Mishnah there teaches us that the wood of all trees is eligible to go on the Mizbei'ach (to burn the Korbanos) with the exception of the vine and the olive trees. Their wood was spared from destruction, Chazal explain, on the merit of their fruits, which were brought on the Mizbei'ach as part of the sacrifices.

Just as there, we find that the 'parents' were saved on the merits of their offspring, so too now, Moshe pleaded with G-d, should Aharon once again find favour in G-d's eyes on the merit of his sons. Moshe's prayer was answered, and so the Parshah begins with the words "Command Aharon and his sons ... ".

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Parshah Pearls
(Adapted from the Torah Temimah)

The Three Ma'arochos <

p> "This is the Olah that burned (al mokdoh) on the Mizbei'ach all night" (6:2).

" and the fire of the Mizbei'ach shall burn it (tukad bo)" (Ibid.)

" and the fire on the Mizbei'ach shall burn on it (tukad bo), it shall not be extinguished" (6:5).

It is from these three words ("mokdoh" and twice "tukad") that the Gemara in Yuma learns the obligation of the Kohanim to make sure that there were three Ma'arochos (arrangements of wood) burning on the Mizbei'ach:

The Torah writes "al mokdoh" with reference to the main pile of wood that they lit in the middle of the Mizbei'ach, on which they burned the Korban Tamid and the other Korbanos.

It continues "al mokdoh" with reference to the second pile of wood, from which they took a light in order to burn the Ketores (on the Mizbei'ach ha'Ketores).

And it adds a second "tukad bo" with reference to a third pile of wood, which they kept burning to ensure that the fire on the Mizbei'ach burned continually. Consequently, if the fire on the large arrangement of wood showed signs of going out, they would rekindle it with this one.

The paragraph ends with another "tukad bo" - "An everlasting fire shall burn on the Mizbei'ach", from which Chazal learn that the fire for the Ketores had to come from the Mizbei'ach ho'Oloh.

And from the word "ve'ho'eish" (in Pasuk 5), they learn that Yom Kipur required a fourth arrangement, from which they took coals to carry, together with the special Ketores into the Kodesh Kodshim.


Bringing the Korban Tamid all Night


Strictly speaking, any Korban that is eligible to be brought at night-time, can be brought throughout the night until the morning.

The opening Mishnah in B'rachos teaches us however, that the Chachamim instated that they must be brought before midnight, for fear that one may fall asleep and the Korban will become Nosar ('leftover') thereby invalidating the respective Korban. Rashi explains there that the one exception to the rule is the fat-pieces and the limbs of the Korban Tamid, which were allowed to burn on the Mizbei'ach all night, and did not become Nosar at midnight (although the Rambam disagrees with Rashi).

The Torah Temimah suggests that the reason for this is based on the well-known Taz, who rules in Yoreh De'ah that whatever the Torah specifically permits, the Chachamim do not have the power to prohibit (by way of decree). And the Pasuk currently under discussion specifically permits the fat-pieces and the limbs of the Korban Tamid to burn all night.


Why Ma'ariv is Voluntary


It is obvious, comments the Torah Temimah, that the Mitzvah of burning the remains of the evening Tamid (which primarily, the Pasuk is referring to) is not an obligation. It was only necessary with regards to parts of the Korban that had not yet burned up. In the event that they had burned by the time night-time arrived, the Mitzvah did not exist.

This explains why Tefilas Ma'ariv is voluntary (this may not be taken literally). Because the Chachamim instituted Shachris, Minchah and Ma'ariv corresponding to the morning Tamid, the afternoon Tamid and the burning of the fat-pieces and the limbs of the latter, respectively. Consequently, he explains, since the burning of the limbs and the fat-pieces is dispensable, so is Ma'ariv.

And by the same token, the author writes, it may well be that the Chachamim did not restrict Ma'ariv to before midnight (though it is certainly preferable to do so), because the Halachah is that the fat-pieces and the limbs may remain on the Mizbei'ach all night (like the opinion of Rashi that we cited earlier).

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