This week is Shabbat Hagadol, the Great Shabbat before Passover שבת הגדול
The parsha is Tzav, צַו , translated from Hebrew as “command” and like the title, this week’s parsha explains how the priests at the Tabernacle are to perform sacrifices and covers the ordination of Aaron and his sons into the priesthood.
Tzav consititues Leviticus 6:1-8:36.
In Tzav the different types of offerings are explained; in extremely brief overview there are the:
-burnt offerings (עֹלָה, olah)
-meal offerings (מִנְחָה, minchah
-sin offerings (חַטָּאת, chatat)
-guilt offering (אָשָׁם, asham)
-peace offerings (שְׁלָמִים, shelamim)
Now from such a wide assortment of sacrimental offerings, you might assume that ordination and initiation of a priest also would involve some blood, right? You are correct! In fact, G-d instructs God Moses to kill a ram and marks it’s blood on Aaron and his sons’ right ears, right handed thumbs, and right big toes.
Moving on to the ‘thou shall’ and ‘shall nots’, Tzav contains 18 commandments, equally split between the positive and negative.
Highlights on the forbidden side include not to dine on the meat from the inner sin offering and to not eat fat and blood. On the positive side, commandments in Tzav include daily lighting of fire in the altar and daily removal of ashes.
Translations via JTS:http://www.jtsa.edu/PreBuilt/ParashahArchives/jpstext/tzav.shtml
Rabbi Ted Falcon:http://www.rabbitedfalcon.com/weekly-focus
And calling this week’s parsha the “most hardcore holiest of holy” there is G-dcast’s animated short:
Reminder: The Search for Chametz is on Sunday the 13th of Nisan, followed by the first Seder on Monday.