The parshah for this upcoming Shabbat is Tzav (Leviticus 6:1-8:36). It details the investiture of Aaron and his sons into the priesthood and lays out the basics of various offerings (mostly, although not exclusively, animal sacrifices) and the rules regarding the eating of them. As I’ve mentioned before on this site, I would like to complete at least one commentary on each parshah of the Torah. Yet, there are only so many times that one can question the establishment of the temple, condemn animal sacrifice, and denounce the absence of women. Yet, as we approach another Torah portion this week, Tzav , this is more or less what we have. So, what do we do?
Tzav starts, as parshot from the book of Leviticus often do, with descriptions of various laws. Here, the laws focus on various offerings including the grain, sin, peace, thanksgiving, and burnt. Only the male members of Aaron’s family can eat the offerings. Consumption of the offering increases the holiness of the consumer as long as the eating of the animals falls into the guidelines outlined within the text.
The parshah ends with an explanation of how to consecrate Aaron and his sons. The process lasts a total of seven days. It includes residing at the entrance to the tent for the duration, offering various animals as sacrifices, eating copious amounts of said animals, the donning of specific ritual clothing, and multiple anointings of the men and the altar (often with blood).Continue reading “Tzav: Holiness, the Situation in Ukraine, and Eating Animals by Ivy Helman”