Tzav-March 23, 2018

This Shabbat:

Friday Candle Lighting: 6:50pm
Shabbat Ends: 7:38 pm

Torah Message:

 Once More, With Feeling

“…he (the kohen) shall separate the ash…” (6:3)

Have you ever tried to start singing a song in the middle?

Well, it’s possible, but quite difficult.

How about getting your computer to load a program while leaving out the first ten lines of code? That’s not just difficult; it’s impossible.

sugya in the Gemara is a lot like a computer program or a song.

You have to sing it from the top.

When you come back to a sugya in the Gemara that you have already started, the yetzer hara always says to you, “Well, we know what happened up till here, let’s go on! Or as we say in Yiddish ‘Veiter!’” (Yes, the yetzer hara speaks Yiddish as well. He’s fluent in every known language.)

Chances are you don’t know what happened up till here — well, not well enough to carry on. Not to be able to carry all the nuances of the sugya in your head. One of the things I do with my students is that I try to always start the shiur with a review of the sugya up to that point.

“But Rebbe, we know the sugya already. Let’s go on!

“…he (the kohen) shall separate the ash of what the fire consumed of the elevation offering on the Altar, and place it next to the Altar.”

The first service of the kohen in the Beit Hamikdash was to scoop a shovelful of ash from the innermost ashes of the Altar. These ashes had to be from the offering of the previous day.

Just as the avoda (service) of the Beit Hamikdash requires a connection to yesterday’s avoda, so too should our avoda in Torah connect today’s learning with yesterday’s, and ensure that we begin the song of the Torah “once more with feeling.”

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