Shalom and Bracha!
This Shabbat we read the portion of Tzav which means command.
Rashi comments that the word Tzav in this portion is an
encouragement immediately and for all generations. Although this
week is the second week that deals with the offerings in the
Temple, the word Tzav is mentioned here. Rashi explains that
this section is speaking about the Olah, the offering that was
fully offered to Hashem and the Kohen ate nothing. Where there
is a financial loss, there is a need for special encouragement.
The word Tzav also means binding. When we are ready to endure a
loss for Hashem, it creates and reveals as stronger and deeper
bond than previously.
Rashi comments that this is an
encouragement for all generations. With the current financial
crisis, many of us are faced with difficult choices. Maintaining
our standards of Kashrut, education and charity can become a
challenge. The word Tzav in this week’s portion teaches us that
Hashem has already blessed us with the strength to forge forward
and that by doing so and enduring the hardships we receive a
much deeper connection to Hashem and as a result a tremendous
Much of the portion describes the consecration of Aharon and his
children as Kohanim, priests of Hashem. The very conclusion of
the portion is that Aharon and his sons did as Hashem commanded
Moshe. Rashi comments that this teaches their praiseworthiness
because they didn’t veer to the right or the left. Seemingly,
what is so great? Would we imagine they had done otherwise?
Hashem Himself had just commanded them! Rashi is actually
alerting us to a great lesson. When a person is raised to a
position of importance, he tends to become haughty and
egotistical. His reliance upon his own opinion becomes
greater. In our relation with Hashem, the opposite must be true.
As we become closer to Hashem, we must become more aware that
His greatness and His wisdom are unfathomable. Our total
subjugation to His will must become even greater. The
greatness of Aharon and his sons was that although they were
raised to the highest office of the Jewish people, their
humility towards Hashem grew. This is also the lesson of Matzah,
which represents humility.
Shabbat before Pesach is called Shabbat Hagadol, the great
Shabbat. This is because of the great miracle that occurred on
this Shabbat. The Jewish people were commanded to take the
Pesach lamb on the tenth of Nissan, four days before
slaughtering it. That day was Shabbat. The lamb was the idol of
the Egyptians. Readiness to slaughter the lamb was a tremendous
act of self-sacrifice. When Moshe initially spoke to Pharaoh, he
told him that the Jews must perform their offering outside of
Egypt because the Egyptians would surely stone the Jews for
slaughtering sheep. Holding a lamb for four days, in preparation
for slaughter, was an even greater act of courage. Nevertheless,
imbued with faith in Hashem and the coming redemption, The Jews
followed Moshe’s command.
Upon seeing the Jew’s taking sheep into their homes, the
Egyptians asked them what they are doing. They responded that in
four days they would slaughter the lambs, and then Hashem would
kill all of the firstborn Egyptians. Upon hearing this, the
firstborn Egyptians rebelled, demanding the release of the Jews.
Many Egyptians were killed quelling the rebellion.
reason that this is called a “great” miracle is that although
many times our enemies have been given over into our hands, or
defeated by Hashem, here the Egyptians were smitten by there
own, by their firstborn. The firstborn represent the epitome,
the cream of the crop. By the Jews selflessly fulfilling the
will of Hashem, the epitome of evil became a tool to smite evil
and pave the path to redemption. Further, the merit of their
self sacrifice made them worthy of the redemption. May Hashem
grant us the miracle of redemption immediately!
Tuesday, April third, marks the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s hundred and
tenth birthday. Those who say the Rebbe’s chapter of Tehillim
daily begin to say chapter 111. As we mark this day it is an
appropriate time to reflect upon the Rebbe’s effect on worldwide
Jewry and to think how we can follow in his path, both by
ourselves fulfilling additional Mitzvot and by encouraging
fellow Jews wherever they may be to embrace their heritage. Just
as we begin the Seder by inviting the hungry to partake, every
Mitzvah we do should be accompanied by a desire to share with
the spiritually hungry. Once, after the Rebbe’s secretary had
left for the night, someone slipped a note under the Rebbe’s
door. Upon receiving an answer, he realized that the Rebbe had
had to kneel to pick up the letter. Feeling that this was
disrespectful, he wrote an apology. The Rebbe responded that his
whole being was only to bow down to help a fellow Jew. This is a
lesson to all of us.
person’s birthday, his Mazal is strong. On the Rebbe’s birthday,
the Mazal of the entire Jewish people is strengthened. If anyone
would like a prayer said by the Rebbe’s resting place, please
contact me at
firstname.lastname@example.org and include your Hebrew name and
your mother’s Hebrew name. May Hashem immediately grant the goal
that the Rebbe strived for endlessly, the coming of Moshiach.
Thousands of families are depending on Chabad to provide them
for the basic needs for the holiday. Please donated generously
to the Passover emergency fund and as you enjoy your Seder you
will know needy families are enjoy their Seder thanks to you.
is a great Pesach Website with loads of information,
instructions on selling Chametz and Seder locations throughout
the world at
is a beautiful video of the Rebbe encouraging helping the needy
for Pesach at
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