Thursday, March 24, 2016

Tzav/Command Lev 6:8-8:38

Tzav (command)

After the Tabernacle has been built towards the ending part of Exodus, the next directions from Ha’shem is to set up an offering system in the beginning sections of the book in Leviticus. These guidelines seam to be very complex, redundant and with a lot of stringent practices that can easily be seen as just ritualistic in nature. One of those repetitive instructions is of the five different types of offerings or sacrifices that are meant to be done in the tabernacle. In last week’s parash we see the same set of offerings contrasted to this week’s parash. The one big difference between these two portions is that in last week’s reading the instructions are for the children of Israel (Lev 1:2) compare to this week’s portion the offerings are for the priest Aaron and his sons (Lev 6:8-9)  These 5 types of offerings that we read about are:
  1. Burnt/Olah offerings
  2. Meal/Minchah offerings
  3. Peace/Sh’lamin offerings
  4. Sin/Chatat offerings
  5. Guilt/Asham offerings
 “It is most regrettable that we have no word which really reproduces the idea which lies in the expression ‘korban.’ The unfortunate use of the term ‘sacrifice’ implies the giving of something up that is of value to oneself for the benefit of another, or of having to do without something of value, ideas which are not only absent from the nature and idea of a korban but are diametrically opposed to it....
KAREV (the root of korban) means to approach, to come near, and so to get into a close relationship with somebody. This at once most positively gives the idea of the object and purpose of the process of KORBAN as the attainment of a higher sphere of life ... the (person) desires that something of himself should come closer to God, that is what his KORBAN is ...”
In essence this system that is set in place is not meant to be a common ritual routine practice, but rather to show the children of Israel and the priest on how to approach Ha’shem on an every day visit to the Tabernacle/Temple. The majority of these offerings have to do with shedding of blood to be able to approach Ha’shem. This is something that Rabbi Shaul points out in Hebrews 9:22 “ In fact, according to the Torah, almost everything is purified with blood; indeed, without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.” CJB. Also a pattern is clearly established here with most these offerings and that is that these are substitutionary in nature. The fact that the presence of God is manifested in the Tabernacle and that God is tell the Israelites that if you want or have to approach him, it has to be according to His prescribed way and not ours.



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