Posted by: mosesfromsinai | March 22, 2010

Tzav – Constant Flame

This week’s Torah reading is Tzav.  We are told that the concept of “Tzav” – “command” the Cohannim, was necessary because during their time spent in the Temple they would lose out on their regular paying  job and the Cohannim needed additional motivation –  thus the command – Tzav.  When it comes to loosing income you apparently need additional encouragement in your volunteer role.  Yes the Cohannim were rewarded with parts of most sacrifices, as well as other benefits, but apparently this would not make up on their lost revenue during their volunteer service in the Temple.

The Torah also stresses that the fire on the Alter had to be kept burning constantly.  The Alter symbolizes the place for sacrifices.  As mentioned previously, throughout our lives we are called upon to make various sacrifices in different ways.  One would think that we should be able to relax during those times when we are not needed to make a sacrifice.   So to speak we could turn off that button that controls the sacrifice mode.  Comes along the Torah and tells us that the “button” has to remain in the on position constantly.  This is similar to the Ner Tamid (Eternal Light) concept on the Menorah.  There has to be a constant light to light the darkness.  Similarly there has to be an Aish Tamid (Eternal Fire) on the Alter to ensure that we are always ready for sacrifice.

Perhaps this is also the choice of the word Tzav to encourage the Cohannim to fulfill their obligation of volunteer service even though it may cost them loss of revenue.  By making this sacrifice, the Cohannim would be fulfilling the Tzav – commandment and thus attaching (also from the same Hebrew word Tzav – attach) themselves to the Al-mighty so to speak, in a strong, eternal, bond.

We need to be constantly prepared to make the sacrifices called upon us to make by keeping the “flame” constantly lit.  There has to be the excitement and desire – the “flame” to carry out the Tzav – command or will of the Al-mighty as it is presented to us.  It is this eternal fire, our will to be constantly prepared to sacrifice and fulfill the Tzav – command of the Al-mighty, even at a financial or other sort of loss, that will reveal the 3rd Temple here on earth.

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