Parashat Tzav - How can gifts bring us closer to God?
Parashat Tzav - Morah Jeanie has written a blog about this week's parasha and how we should give gifts.
This week we read the second Parasha in the third book of the Torah: Vayikra or in English Leviticus.
Watch Morah Jeanie's parasha video, or read below.
This Parasha is called Tzav which means issue a command. You can recognise it in the word Mitzvah. This Parasha is all about how we bring Korbanot (offerings) to God or specifically how Cohanim (Priests) bring these Korbanot. This word is translated as sacrifice but it is really a gift to God. The word Korban in Hebrew has the letters that spell the word close, KAROV. This week it’s all about how to give gifts, in this case to God but we can learn about how we appreciate others from the directions regarding the offerings to God.
This week, part of the parasha talks about how we should bring these gifts. It gives instructions about the sacrifices the Cohanim should bring:
וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר׃
זֶה קָרְבַּן אַהֲרֹן וּבָנָיו אֲשֶׁר־יַקְרִיבוּ לַיהוָה בְּיוֹם הִמָּשַׁח אֹתוֹ עֲשִׂירִת הָאֵפָה סֹלֶת מִנְחָה תָּמִיד מַחֲצִיתָהּ בַּבֹּקֶר וּמַחֲצִיתָהּ בָּעָרֶב׃
And Adonai spoke to Moshe saying: This is the offering that Aaron and his sons shall offer to the Adonai on the occasion of his anointment: a tenth of an ephah of choice flour as a regular meal offering, half of it in the morning and half of it in the evening.
How can these gifts or offerings to God bring the Cohanim closer to God?
When you give a gift to your friend or to someone you love how do you feel? Do you drop the gift outside the front door and leave or do you hand the gift to your friend and get a good feeling that you have made someone else happy?
This Parasha explains exactly how to give gifts to God so that it is clear that the Cohanim show respect and appreciation. Usually when we give gifts to people we love or to people we think need them it brings us closer to that person and we both feel good.
When the Cohanim brought the Korbanot or offerings to God they were recognising that they needed to give the offering as much as God needed to receive it. The idea of giving offerings as a way of bringing the Jewish people closer to God teaches us that showing appreciation brings us closer to the people we love and to God whether it is through a kind word, a gift or a prayer.
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