For the week ending 1 April 2023 / 10 Nisan 5783

Parshat Tzav

by Rabbi Yaakov Asher Sinclair -
Become a Supporter Library Library


The Book of Vayikra (Leviticus), also known as Torat Kohanim — the Laws of the Priests — deals largely with the korbanot (offerings) brought in the Mishkan (Tent of Meeting). The first group of offerings is called a korban olah, a burnt-offering. The animal is brought to the Mishkan's entrance. For cattle, the person bringing the offering sets his hands on the animal. Afterwards, it is slaughtered, and the kohen sprinkles its blood on the Altar. The animal is skinned and cut into pieces. The pieces are arranged, washed and burned on the Altar.

A similar process is described involving burnt-offerings of other animals and birds. The various meal-offerings are described. Part of the meal-offering is burned on the Altar, and the remaining part is eaten by the kohanim. Mixing leaven or

honey into the offerings is prohibited. The peace-offering, part of which is burned on the Altar and part eaten, can be from cattle, sheep or goats.

The Torah prohibits eating blood or chelev (certain fats in animals). The offerings that atone for inadvertent sins committed by the Kohen Gadol, by the entire community, by the Prince and by the average citizen, are detailed. Laws of the guilt-offering, which atones for certain verbal transgressions and for transgressing laws of ritual purity, are listed. The meal-offering for those who cannot afford the normal guilt-offering — the offering to atone for misusing sanctified property, laws of the "questionable guilt" offering, and offerings for dishonesty — are detailed.

© 1995-2024 Ohr Somayach International - All rights reserved.

Articles may be distributed to another person intact without prior permission. We also encourage you to include this material in other publications, such as synagogue or school newsletters. Hardcopy or electronic. However, we ask that you contact us beforehand for permission in advance at [email protected] and credit for the source as Ohr Somayach Institutions

« Back to Parsha

Ohr Somayach International is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation (letter on file) EIN 13-3503155 and your donation is tax deductable.