April 2, 2020 8:46 am at 8:46 am #1845812abukspanParticipant
Tzav 2 — Kohanim and Korbanos and Klal Yisrael
זה קרבן אהרן ובניו אשר יקריבו לה’ ביום המשח אתו עשירת האפה סלת מנחה תמיד מחציתה בבקר ומחציתה בערב:
הכהן המשיח תחתיו מבניו יעשה אתה חק עולם לה’ כליל תקטר…
This is the offering of Aharon and his sons, which each shall offer to Hashem on the day he is inaugurated: a tenth of an ephah of fine flour as a meal-offering; continually, half of it in the morning and half of it in the afternoon…The Kohen from among his sons who is anointed in his place shall perform it; it is an eternal decree for Hashem; it shall be caused to go up in smoke in its entirety (Vayikra 6:13, 15).
Often, a topic’s location in the Torah speaks volumes, clueing us into wonderful lessons to learn and live life by. The placement of the korbanos the Kohanim brought upon being initiated into their holy service is such an instance.
Though the final third of Parashas Tzav describes the seven days of the inauguration of the Mishkan and the Kohanim, the minchas chinuch, the flour-offering brought by a Kohen on his first day of service, is found earlier in the parashah (between the korban minchah and korban chatas). If this is an inaugural sacrifice, would it not be more appropriate to have it placed near the laws and details that apply to the inauguration of the Mishkan and Kohanim?
In general, a man of means would be the one to offer a large animal as a sacrifice, since that comes at a considerable expense. One with less disposable income would bring a less expensive bird, and one in the most dire straits would bring a minchah, a small amount of flour, scraped together from the free-for-the-taking leket, shichechah, and pe’ah.
Rav Zalman Sorotzkin (Oznayim LaTorah ad loc.) describes how feelings of worthlessness may shroud the pauper as he self-consciously, and with great embarrassment, brings what he perceives is the least of the korbanos. In Rav Sorotzkin’s words, the poor person says to himself, “Everyone else brings animals and birds, while I, the poor man, have nothing with which to honor Hashem but a tenth of an ephah of flour!”
For this reason, writes Rav Sorotzkin, right after the poor man’s meal-offering, we find the meal-offering brought by the Kohen at his investiture into office. Hashem is showing the pauper who else is bringing a meal-offering: the Kohen, from the elite of Klal Yisrael. As Rashi explains (verse 13), though this korban was brought by all Kohanim only on the day of their inauguration, the Kohen Gadol brought it every day. In fact, he even brought it on Yom Kippur. Hashem was telling the pauper, “Even Aharon, on the day he enters the Kodesh HaKodashim, is to offer the same. What’s more, the Kohen Gadol brings half of the measurement (of a tenth of an ephah) in the morning, and the other half at night, not even all at once — while yours is whole, offered all at one time. You have nothing to feel bad about.”
We can turn around the idea of the Oznayim LaTorah to demonstrate how it is also for the sake of the Kohen that he and the pauper bring the same korban. After undergoing a chinuch process and then waiting seven days (Vayikra 8), Aharon and his sons officially became Kohanim. From that point on, they were Klal Yisrael’s elite. They were supported by the Klal, and had access to places that would render others guilty of a high crime. Bnei Yisrael needed their services and came to them with their problems. They were the holders of high office, with unique power and prestige. There is even a mitzvah to treat them with special honor (Vayikra 21:8).
All of this could subtly induce feelings of superiority and unjustified importance. To preempt this, the Kohen, at the moment of his advancement, had to learn the lesson that only a minchas chinuch could teach. By bringing a poor man’s korban, he was making a statement: “I realize that I was not selected to lord over others but to serve, not to receive rewards but to help make life rewarding to others.” At the very moment that he was elevated to high office, he had to be made aware that he should not feel elevated.
The challenge facing the Kohen Gadol was far more serious, as he was the principal figure in the Beis HaMikdash. In contrast to the Kohen Hedyot, who served in the Beis HaMikdash for only two weeks a year, the Kohen Gadol served there all year long. And on Yom Kippur, he performed the special avodah of the day, even entering the Kodesh HaKodashim, the holiest place on earth. The other Kohanim, whom we have to honor, must themselves honor the Kohen Gadol. To thread the needle between accolades and humility could not have been easy for him.
A Jewish king had to have a personal copy of the Torah strapped to his arms at all times: “Le’vilti rum levavo mei’echav — So that his heart does not become haughty over his brothers” (Devarim 17:20).He may have been king, but he could not allow it to go to his head. In order to uphold his moral and ethical compass, a Kohen Gadol also needed a tangible reminder.
Yet one minchas chinuch, at the beginning of his career, would not have been sufficient. On a daily basis, the Kohen Gadol was to bring the same korban as the pauper did, to demonstrate that he may have merited high office, but he should not feel any higher than the people. Like his forebear Aharon, who was praised for not allowing the office to change him (Bamidbar 8:3: Rashi, Ohr HaChaim), the Kohen Gadol had to maintain his spiritual equilibrium. As the Abarbanel (verse 13) explains, the Kohen Gadol had to offer a minchah every day, thereby bringing the feeling of humility into his heart, since after all, his offering was the same as the poor person’s.
Perhaps that is why he had to bring only half of the korban every morning and the other half every evening, taking the same tenth of an ephah as the most destitute person and dividing it into two. He thereby acknowledged that though he was the representative of the entire nation, he was not even giving as much as the poorest person at any one time.
Rav Michel Zilber (cited in VeShalal Lo Yechsar ad loc.) has a far different pshat to explain why the Kohen Gadol brought what was essentially an inaugural korban every day.
As we saw in Rashi’s explanation cited in the beginning of this piece, the pasuk weaves together the laws of the one-time minchas chinuch of the Kohen Hedyot with the daily minchas chavitin of the Kohen Gadol. Why is this?
Rav Zilber explains that even the daily korban of the Kohen Gadol was, to a certain extent, an inaugural one. The Kohen Gadol was supposed to be in a constant state of spiritual growth, with no ceiling or limits. As such, every day he was like a new person, different and greater than the day before. Consequently, his avodah on any given day was also new, filled with novel facets in his service to Hashem and the Klal. That is why he brought a daily meal-offering, which was essentially no different from a minchas chinuch, as he underwent a new inauguration on a daily basis.
Rav Zilber concludes that this can serve as a lesson for us all. We need to constantly find new ways to grow and serve Hashem. The depth of our mitzvos and the care we put into them can always be improved and brought to the next level, as we constantly offer Hashem our personal minchah chadashah.
This pshat of Rav Zilber lines up with a drush from the Izhbitzer. In Parashas Behaaloscha (Bamidbar 8:2), Moshe was told to instruct Aharon regarding the details of lighting the Menorah. The next pasuk reads, “Vayaas kein Aharan — Aharon did so.” Rashi comments that this additional phrase is inserted “le’hagid shivcho shel Aharon she’lo shinah — to tell the praise of Aharon that he did not deviate.” According to the Izhbitzer, instead of translating the word “shinah” as “deviated,” we can translate it as “repeated,” meaning that Aharon never repeated. Although superficially the ten-thousandth lighting of the Menorah may have looked exactly like the first one, that was not the case. Every time Aharon lit the Menorah, he discovered a different nuance and facet to the mitzvah, and had a different thought in mind. Aharon never once did the mitzvah the same way as the day before. He never repeated, and for that he was praised.
Whether one is involved in lighting the Menorah or bringing a daily minchah offering or doing any one of the 613 mitzvos, every day brings new opportunities to step up our avodas Hashem — while keeping our ego in check.April 2, 2020 9:21 am at 9:21 am #1846166Reb EliezerParticipant
An olah comes on a machshova where חסרון כיס means covering,, protection from bad thoughts.April 2, 2020 1:56 pm at 1:56 pm #1846222Reb EliezerParticipant
It says היא העלה על מוקדה being implied that if someone elevates himself, he ends up on fire but והרים את הדשן if he holds himself low like burned coals, he will be elevated.
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