Torah Portion: Vayikra(He called)
Vayikra (Leviticus) 1:1-5:26
HafTorah: Isaiah 43:21-44:23
New Testament: Romans 8:1-13; Hebrews 10:1-14; 13:10-16
Tonight we begin the third book of the Torah. It is the first book that Jewish children study in religious school. It is basically a call to enter the Presence of G-d, and so it should be. I think it appropriate that we start this study on the first day of Aviv. This month begins the cycle of G-d’s appointed times. Aviv is representative of our own beginning as G-d’s called ones in redemption.
Weekly Torah Section: Tzav (Command) Leviticus 6:8-8:36, Haftorah: Malachi 3:1-4:6
I would like to start with the Torah section, Leviticus 6:8-8:36 and then finish with Malachi 3:1-4:6. The first verse of the Torah section begins with the word, Tzav. In English this word means “Command.” What is interesting is that this word is used rather than some other Hebrew word that would mean to tell or to speak. These words are often used when the person wishes to get across a sense of urgency. Command, on the other hand, seems to say do it now and keep on doing it. So, the question arises why did G-d feel He had to use this word here? Would G-d have doubted the commitment of Aaron and his sons? After all, they were at the top of the religious hierarchy. One thought that carries a hint was that maybe G-d wasn’t worried about the immediate future but as time went on would their attentiveness wane. It is one thing to be excited and committed early in our walk with G-d and another to hold on to that zeal as time goes on. So like Aaron and his sons we are challenged to not lose our fire but to stay close to G-d no matter what we experience in life.