<I>Tzav</I>: Alacrity and Aliyah

"Tzav" demands "zerizut".

Aloh Naaleh

Judaism לבן ריק
לבן ריק
Arutz 7
The parasha opens with the words "Tzav et Aharon v'et banav...." - "Command Aharon and his sons" - concerning the Olah sacrifice. Rashi, citing Torat Kohanim, asks: Why does the Torah use the the term tzav (command) rather than daber (speak) or emor (say)? He answers that tzav demands alacrity (zerizut) in the performance of a mitzvah, and it implies: 1) immediacy; 2) future applicability; and 3) according to Rabbi Shimon, the additional element of financial loss. Since all mitzvot do, in fact, require alacrity, it is particularly urged in the case of this mitzvah because of the potential financial loss that it involves.

The commentaries disagree about the loss that an Olah sacrifice might cause the Kohen. Ramban, in fact, denies that there is such a loss, for the Kohen receives the hides of the sacrificed animals. The Maharal, in Gur Arye, suggests that a loss might be incurred if the Kohen has to serve through the night and will then be unable to do his regular work the next day. Chizkuni sees the possibility for loss in the fact that the Kohen must replace the sacrifice out of his own pocket if he does something to disqualify it.

The implication is that special alacrity is needed in a case of potential financial loss, because otherwise one might procrastinate or hesitate to perform the mitzvah. One might even rationalize that the mitzvah is, in fact, unnecessary, so as not to incur the loss. Kli Yakar says that potential monetary loss confuses a person and leads him to improper thoughts. We are, therefore, urged to a higher level of alacrity and enthusiasm in
Special alacrity is needed in a case of potential financial loss.
performing these particular mitzvot.

This lesson should not be lost to us when we contemplate Aliyah. As there is potential financial loss, we should approach this mitzvah with a higher level of zerizut and enthusiasm - to counteract the natural, but undesirable, effects of thinking of potential loss, particularly when there is so much to gain.
Chaya Passow came on Aliyah nearly five years ago with her husband Eli and son Eliezer. She teaches English at a Jerusalem high school and Jewish Studies at Midreshet Rachel V'Chaya. She also gives shiurim in the Katamon area.

The foregoing commentary was distributed by the Aloh Naaleh organization.