Parshas Tzav- Summary of the Parsha

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Parshas Tzav

Pesukim: 97 [Siman: צו ]

Haftorah: Yirmiyahu 7:21-28[1], 9:22-23

Number of Mitzvos:

There are a total of eighteen Mitzvos in Parshas Tzav; Nine positive commands and Nine negative commands. The following are the commands in the chronological order that they are brought in the Parsha.

 

A. Positive:

1. Mitzvah 131/Positive 59: To remove the ash from the altar [i.e. Terumas Hadeshen].

2. Mitzvah 132/Positive 60: To keep a fire constantly alit on the altar and to daily light a stack of wood on the altar.[2]

3. Mitzvah 134/Positive 61: For the Kohanim to eat the leftovers of the Menachos.

4. Mitzvah 136/Positive 62: For the Kohen Gadol to offer a daily Mincha offering in the morning and afternoon.

5. Mitzvah 138/Positive 63: For the Kohanim to perform the Chatas offering according to the laws mentioned in the Torah.

6. Mitzvah 140/Positive 64: For the Kohanim to perform the Asham offering according to the laws mentioned in the Torah.

7. Mitzvah 141/Positive 65: For the Kohanim to perform the Shelamim offering according to the laws mentioned in the Torah.

8. Mitzvah 143/Positive 66: The Mitzvah to burn any leftovers of the Karbanos, which remain past their time [i.e. Nosar].

9. Mitzvah 146/Positive 67: The Mitzvah to burn Karbanos which have become impure.

B. Negative:

1. Mitzvah 133/Negative 73: The prohibition to extinguish a fire from on the altar.

2. Mitzvah 135/Negative 74: The prohibition to bake the leftover Menachos into Chameitz.

3. Mitzvah 137/Negative 75: The prohibition for the Mincha of a Kohen to be eaten, and rather it is entirely offered to G-d.

4. Mitzvah 139/Negative 76: The prohibition to eat from the Chatas offering which is offered in the Heichal.

5. Mitzvah 142/Negative 77: The prohibition to have any leftovers from the Toda offering, or other offerings, left until the morning [i.e. Nosar].

6. Mitzvah 144/Negative 78: The prohibition to eat Pigul, which is a Karban that was slaughtered or offered with intent to offer or eat past its time.

7. Mitzvah 145/Negative 79: The prohibition to eat Kodshim that are impure.

8. Mitzvah 147/Negative 80: The prohibition to eat the Cheilev fat of a Kosher domestic animal.

9. Mitzvah 148/Negative 81: The prohibition to eat the blood of an animal or fowl.

Rishon

  1. The constant fire on the altar, the Olah offering & Terumas Hadeshen:
  • Hashem spoke to Moshe and told him to command Aaron and his children the following laws [of Karbanos]:
  • The law of the burning of the Olah offering on the altar, is that it shall remain burning on the altar throughout the night.
  • Terumas Hadeshen: The Kohen is to wear his linen shirt and pants on his flesh upon removing the ash of the sacrifices. The ash is to be placed next to the altar. He is to change clothing and remove the ash out of the encampment, to a place of purity.
  • The constant fire: The fire on the altar is to remain there constantly and is not to be extinguished. The Kohen is to place wood on the altar each morning to fuel the fire. The Kohen is to arrange the Olah offering on it and cause the fats of peace offering to go up in smoke.
  1. The laws of the Mincha offering:
  • The children of Aaron are to offer the Mincha offering to the altar.
  • They are to remove three fingersful of the fine flour of the Mincha, including its oil and all of its frankincense, and offer it on the altar.
  • The remainder of the Mincha is to be eaten by the Kohanim in the courtyard of the Ohel Moed. It is to be eaten as Matzah, and not Chameitz. It is considered Kodesh Kodashim like the Chatas and Asham.
  • Every male Kohen is allowed to eat its leftovers. This law applies for all generations.
  • Whatever touches the Karban becomes Holy.

Sheiyni

  1. The Karban of the Kohanim on the day of their inauguration:
    • On the day of his inauguration, Aaron and his children are to offer to Hashem a 10th of an Eifa [2.49 liter[3]] of flour as a Mincha offering. It is to be fine flour [i.e. Soles]. Half is to be offered in the morning and half in the evening.
    • Fried crackers: It is to be fried in oil in a pan and broken to small pieces.
    • This offering is to be brought in each generation by the Kohen who inherits the mantle of priesthood from his father.
    • Entirely offered: The entire Mincha is to be offered to Hashem and no part of it is to be eaten.
  1. The laws of the Chatas offering:
  • The following are the laws of the Chatas offering: It is to be slaughtered in the same area as the Olah, in front of Hashem. This offering is a holy of holies.
  • The eating: It is to be eaten by the Kohen who offers it. It is to be eaten in a holy area, in the courtyard of the Ohel Moed. It is to be eaten by all male Kohanim.
  • Its taste: Whatever touches [and absorbs from] its flesh becomes holy.
  • The garments: Any garment that gets wet from its blood is to be laundered in the holy place.
  • The vessel: The earthenware vessel in which it is cooked is to be destroyed, while if it is cooked in a copper vessel, it is to be cleaned and washed with water.
  • Invalidations: Any Chatas which its blood is entered into the Ohel Moed to atone is not to be eaten. It is rather to be burnt in fire.
  1. The laws of the Asham offering:
  • The following are the laws of the Asham offering: This offering is a holy of holies.
  • Where: It is to be slaughtered in the same area as the Olah and its blood is to be sprinkled all around the altar.
  • What is offered: All its fat is to be offered, as well as its tail, and the fat covering the intestines. The two kidneys and their fat which are on them are to be offered. The diaphragm which is on the liver is to be removed. It is to be offered by the Kohen onto the altar.
  • The eating: It is to be eaten by all the male Kohanim in a holy area.
  1. Who keeps the meat and skin of the Karbanos?
  • The Chatas and Asham have the same law; it is given to the Kohen who offers it. Likewise, the Kohanim who offer the Olah of an individual gets to keep its skin. Likewise, any baked and fried Mincha which is offered by a Kohen, is to be given to that Kohen. Any Mincha offering that is mixed with oil or is dry, belongs to all of Aaron’s sons.

Shlishi

  1. The laws of the Shlamim, Toda:
  • The following is the law of the Shelamim:
  • The Todah and its breads: If a Todah Shelamim offering is brought, it is to have [four types of breads, three which are] Matzah breads offered with it. The breads are to be mixed with oil [type #1], and contain Matzah crackers which are smeared with oil [type #2], and fine broiled flour which is mixed with oil [type #3]. In addition, Chametz bread is also to be brought with the Karban. [type #4]
  • Distributing the breads and eating the meat: One loaf of each of the breads of the Todah offering are to be donated to Hashem and given to the Kohen who throws the blood of the Shelamim. The meat of the Toda is to be eaten that day and is not to remain until morning.
  1. The laws of Nosar, Pigul, Tuma:
  • Neder and Nedava-Nosar: If one donates a Shelamim offering, it may be eaten that day and the next day, however any leftovers may not be eaten. The leftovers [i.e. Nosar] of the third day are to be burnt in a fire.
  • Pigul: If the meat is [intended] to be eaten on the third day, the sacrifice is invalid for the person who brought it, as it is considered Pigul [distanced]. One who eats it is liable [for punishment].
  • Impure meat: If the meat become impure, it may not be eaten and is to be burnt in the fire.
  • Impure person: The meat of the Karban may only be eaten by a person who is pure. One who eats the meat while he is in a state of impurity, receives the penalty of Kareis. A person who touches anything that is impure due to man [i.e. Tumas Meis] or animal [i.e. Niveila] is considered impure.
  1. The laws of Cheilev/forbidden fats:
  • The Cheilev of an ox, sheep or goat may not be eaten. The Cheilev of a Niveila of Treifa may be used for all ones needs, although may not be eaten. Whoever eats the forbidden fats of a Karban [or Chulin, non-Karban, animal] receives the penalty of Kareis.
  1. The law of blood:
  • One may not eat any blood of a bird or animal in any of the encampments. One who eats any of the blood receives the penalty of Kareis.
  1. Offering the Shelamim:
    • The Shelamim is to have its fat rest on its breast and be waved before Hashem.
    • The Kohen is to offer the fat on the altar and the breast is distributed to the Kohanim [to eat].
    • The right leg is to be given as a present to the Kohen. It is given to the Kohen who offers the blood and Cheilev of the sacrifice. This is an eternal gift to the priests from Hashem.
    • The above is the laws of all the Karbanos of the Olah, Mincha, Chatas, Asham, and Shlamim which Hashem commanded Moshe on Har Sinai, and the Jewish people were told to offer in the desert of Sinai.

 

Revi’i

  1. The inauguration of Aaron and his sons:
  • Hashem told Moshe to take Aaron and his sons and perform the inauguration. He is to take the clothing, the anointing oil, the sacrifices which include the Chatas cow, the two rams and the basket of Matzos.
  • The entire congregation is to be gathered to the opening of the Ohel Moed.
  • Dressing Aaron: Moshe did as instructed, and bathed Aaron and his sons in water and dressed them. He placed on Aaron the Kutones, and wound the belt around him, the Meil, the Eiphod, and the belt of the Eiphod, the Choshen and the Urim Vetumim. He placed the Mitznefes on his head, and on the Mitznefes, towards his face, he placed the Tzitz.
  • Anointing with oil: Moshe took the anointing oil and anointed the Mishkan and all of its vessels, and sanctified it. He sprinkled the oil onto the altar seven times, and anointed the altar and all its vessels with the oil, as well as the Kiyor. He poured the anointing oil on the head of Aaron to sanctify him.
  • Dressing the sons of Aaron: Moshe clothed also the sons of Aaron in their four priestly garments

 

Chamishi

  1. Offering the Karbanos by the inauguration
  • The Chatas bull: Aaron and his sons performed Semicha to the head of the Chatas bull offering. It was slaughtered, and its blood was taken by Moshe and placed on the corners of the Mizbeiach with his fingers. The remainder of the blood was poured on the foundation of the altar and it was sanctified to atone. Moshe offered onto the altar the fat that covers the intestines and the diaphragm of the liver and the two kidneys. The bull itself, its skin, meat and waste he burnt in a fire outside of the camp, as Hashem commanded Moshe.
  • The Olah ram: Aaron and his sons performed Semicha to the head of the Olah ram offering. It was slaughtered, and its blood was thrown by Moshe around the Mizbeiach. The ram was dismembered, and Moshe offered its head and other limbs onto the altar. Its innards were washed in water. Mosher offered the entire ram to the altar as it is an Olah offering to Hashem.

 

Shishi

  1. The second inauguration ram:
  • Aaron and his sons performed Semicha to the head of the second Olah ram offering.
  • Placing the blood on the ears and thumbs: It was slaughtered, and its blood was taken by Moshe and placed on the edges of the right ear and right thumb of the hand and toe of Aaron and his sons. The remainder of the blood was poured around the altar.
  • Waving the offering and the Kohanim: Moshe took the fat, and the tail and all the fat that covers the intestines and the diaphragm of the liver and the two kidneys, and the right thigh. He also took one bread from each of the baskets and he placed them on the fats and the right leg. He placed them all on the palm of Aaron and his sons and waved them before Hashem. Moshe removed the foods off the palm of their hands and offered them before G-d.
  • Moshe took the breast of the ram and waved it before Hashem. It was a present to Moshe from Hashem.

Shevi’i

  1. Anointing the Kohanim with the oil and blood:
  • Moshe took the anointing oil [Shemen Hamishcha] and blood that was on the altar and sprinkled on Aaron and his sons and their clothing, and they were all sanctified.
  1. Eating the sacrifices:
  • Moshe told Aaron and his sons to cook the meat in front of the Ohel Moed and eat it there. Likewise, the bread is to be eaten there. The leftover meat and bread is to be burnt.
  • Not to leave the Ohel Moed: Aaron and his sons are to remain for the full seven days, day and night, in the opening of the Ohel Moed, until the end of the inauguration. They are not to leave the area, lest they die.
  • Aaron and his sons followed all the instructions they were given.

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[1] So is followed by Chabad communities. However, Ashkenazi and Sepahardi communities read until verse 8:3 and then add the verses 9:22-23

[2] See Minchas Chinuch ibid that according to the Rambam the Mitzvah is to make sure that a flame is always alit on the altar, while according to the Chinuch the Mitzvah is light a pile of wood on the altar every morning and evening.

[3] Shiureiy Torah

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