Parshat Tzav

Learning Group– Parshat Tzav

(Leviticus: 6:1-8:36)

Shabbat Hagadol

(Haftara: Malachi 3:4-24)

1. Our holy books tell us that chametz—leaven—represents arrogance. On Pesach leaven is totally forbidden to us. Arrogance is totally undesirable to us, so why is leaven only forbidden on the week of Pesach. Why is it not forbidden all year round?

2. [Pesach] In our prayers and in Kiddush, we often say “zecher l’yitziat mitzraim”–in memory of leaving Egypt. Why are liberation and freedom such central values to us. Shouldn’t we also mention justice, kindness, truth and awareness of God in Kiddush.

3. Rav Avraham Yitzchak Kuk (1865-1935—Lithuania, Israel) tells us that matzah represents freedom and marror (bitter herbs) represents the limitation to freedom because of listening to God. They are eaten together in korech (the sandwich) and this reminds us of the holy Temple–our ideal. Why do we call Pesach the “festival of freedom” if our freedom is limited?

4. [Pesach] We drink four cups of wine at the Pesach seder because the Torah uses four words for different stages of the liberation process. We are joyful that we were liberated. Why are the different parts of the liberation process so important to us? Doesn’t this attention to examining details take away from our joy?

5. [Malachi 3:24] In a messianic vision, we are told that “he shall turn the hearts of the father’s to the children and the hearts of the children to their fathers”. This seems to express the main change that will occur in the ideal world of the future. Why is this the major messianic image, and not Godly knowledge, political and spiritual independence or social justice?


Leviticus 6:13: “…a tenth of an ephah of fine-flour for a meal offering…”

A regular Kohen brought a meal-offering only on the day that he began his work in the mishkan. However the High Priest brought a meal-offering every day. What does this difference suggest to us?

Someone who is on a higher spiritual level– his service is new every day. Every day is like his first day, and it is as if he is born anew.

This study page is dedicated to the memory of Sarah Bella bat Yitzchak Kummer, Chaim Yosef Yechiel ben Eliyahu Kummer and Eliyahu and Margaret Kummer

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Mizmor LeDavid meets at the Mesorati High School, 8 Beitar Street, in the auditorium. There is another minyan that meets there, we are the one further north. Accessible from Beitar, the single gate at the bottom of the semi-circle of steps, or from the north end of Efrata Street, through the gate on the right, then turn left.

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