Rabbi Krakowski: Parshas Tzav/Zachor


At the end of this week’s Sedra Hashem instructs Aharon and his sons regarding the Seven inaugural days of the Tabernacle. Hashem tells Aharon and his son’s that they must stay inside the Mishkan and not leave its threshold for the entire seven inaugural days. The Torah then informs us that Aharon and his sons did exactly as they had been commanded by Hashem through Moshe.

This last point seems a bit curious. The Chumash is filled with Hashem’s commands and instructions to Klal-Yisroel, or various individual members of Am-Yisroel. Rarely is the command followed by a confirmation that those commanded did exactly as they were told. Why is it that here the Torah felt it necessary to tell us that Aharon and his sons executed to the letter that particular command.

Rashi explains that the Torah wished to praise Aharon and his sons for not veering right or left from what they had been ordered. Rashi’s comment, however, only seems to complicate things further. Is this the only place that a commandment of Hashem was fulfilled without deviating slightly from the command?

If we examine closely the words of Rashi we notice that Rashi doesn’t simply say that they didn’t deviate – שלא  שינו, but rather that they didn’t veer to the right or to the left שלא הטו ימין ושמאל. The way Rashi phrases their not deviating by using the words of right and left implies something space oriented: it suggests that physically they didn’t move. Looking back at the commandment Hashem tells them not to move from the Mishkan, not even to cross the threshold of the Mishkan for seven days. While the Mishkan was a beautiful place it was still confining. They were only minutes from their families’ tents and yet they couldn’t exit the Mishkan even for a moment. Furthermore the Mishkan and the Karbonos were all new to Aharon and his sons. These are all areas with very intricate Halachos. Living in the Mishkan was living in the depths of new halachic Sugyos day in and day out.

Rashi seems to be bringing out this point: the Torah is praising Aharon and his sons for their ability to force themselves to living within the parameters of Retzon Hashem in the most exacting ways.

A very warm Good Shabbos, Rabbi Y. Dov Krakowski