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Parasha Insights

By Rabbi Yitschak Hacohen Tawil

“Command [Tzav] Aharon and his sons” (6:2).

Rashi comments that the Hebrew word Tzav used by the Torah here to mean “command” is an expression indicating performing enthusiastically and swiftly, without hesitation. The Torah uses this encouraging expression because the Mitzvah under discussion is a little heavy on the pocket! Unlike most sacrifices where a portion of the sacrifice is to be consumed by the Kohanim, the Burnt offering is entirely burnt and none of the meat may be eaten by the Kohanim. The Torah therefore sees extra need to encourage the Kohanim concerning this sacrifice – Rebbi Shimon exclaimed “All the more must the verse encourage when it comes to a financial expense!”

The nature of man is to think twice before righteously digging into his pocket. When it comes to physical lusts, without thinking he lavishly spends money on an appetizing treat. When it comes to true virtuous spiritual values the evil inclination tries to impede! We must always remember that any wealth that we are blessed with is a result of G-d’s blessing, and we are under trial to spend our money wisely during our lifetime. Concerning the attitude with which we spend our money, we must keep the Torah and Mitzvoth in the forefront of our minds! Every man is expected to act according to his ability. We should constantly encourage ourselves when it comes to spending money over Mitzvoth, performing charity and kindness according to our financial ability. We must settle only for the best standard of Kashrut in the food that we purchase, the best quality Teffillin and Mezuzoth that we can afford. Our day to day expenses are also considered as for a good cause if we truly spend them with the intention of attaining the necessary commodities with which to be fit and healthy to serve G-d. Money in the physical sense does not accompany us after we leave this world, but the money that we turn into Mitzvoth is a true everlasting investment. We are encouraged and advised to use our money wisely, to feel happy and proud to spend it freely when it comes to Torah and Mitzvoth, performing them in the best possible fashion!

We also learn from here the importance of acting enthusiastically when performing Mitzvoth and studying Torah. Our Sages teach us many a time to prudently make full use of our time. “A Mitzvah which comes your way, do not allow it to ferment!” “Those who are enthusiastic are early to perform Mitzvoth!” The Shulchan Aruch [Code of Jewish Law] opens up with the wise dictum of Yehuda Ben Tema “Be bold as a leopard, light as an eagle, swift as a deer, strong as a lion, to perform the Will of your Father in Heaven!” The Tur explains that there are often many obstacles on the way [part of the many trials in life] attempting to hinder us, bidding us to tarry in our service before the Almighty. Sometimes people may even laugh at us – ”be bold as a leopard” and do not be distracted from performing the Mitzvah! Sometimes we see in front of our eyes something evil or immodest which is not befitting for us to see – “be swift as an eagle” to shut your eyes. “Be strong as a lion” in your heart to consistently continue earning more and more Mitzvoth, strengthening your heart in performing G-d’s Mitzvoth and studying His Torah. “Be swift as a deer” to pursue justice chasing after every opportunity to perform yet another Mitzvah! The Messilat Yesharim explains that the nature of the human body is to weigh down and tend to laziness. We must combat this tendency, stimulating ourselves to always act swiftly and enthusiastically towards our Torah Study and Mitzvoth. Very often the whole day follows in line with the way in which we wake up in the morning! If we get up early with a burn to compact fill our day with Torah Study and Mitzvoth then we will be successful, however if we roll out of bed in a sleepy and lazy manner the whole day follows suit in this style!

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