Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshios Tzav & Pesach

The Great Shabat

The parsha of Tzav more often than not coincides with the Shabat preceding Pesach – Shabat Hagadol, the “great Shabat.” At first glance there does not seem to be any inherent connection between the parsha of Tzav and Shabat Hagadol and Pesach. However, since Judaism little recognizes randomness or happenstance regarding Jewish life, and certainly regarding Torah itself, a further analysis of the parsha may reveal to us an underlying connection between Tzav and Pesach.

I feel that this underlying theme lies in the description that the parsha contains regarding the consecration of Aharon and his sons as the priests and servants of God and Israel. Judaism teaches us that freedom equals responsibility. Freedom without limits or purpose is destructive anarchy. The entire narrative of the Torah regarding the construction of the Mishkan and the institution of public worship/sacrifices came to emphasize to the freed slaves from Egypt their newfound responsibilities.

The rabbis cogently and correctly defined freedom in terms of obligations and study of Torah, as opposed to the alleged freedom of hedonism. The consecration of Aharon and his sons coinciding with the consecration and dedication of the Mishkan itself brought home to the Jewish people the requirement of community service and national unity.

Look at the freedom movements that have arisen in the Middle East over the past few years and the chaos and deaths of tens of thousands of people that followed in their wake. The inability to create unity, to develop a moral and tangible national goal mocks all pretenses of positive freedom. Without Aharon and the Mishkan the promise of the freedom of Pesach would have remained permanently unfulfilled.

Part of the lesson of the Great Shabat is that without Shabat, Jewish freedom is only an illusion. Shabat is truly the epitome of freedom. The absence of workday activities, the sense of family and friends, and of the contentment that Shabat engenders all combine to create a vision of true freedom that is attainable and real.

The Great Shabat that precedes Pesach gives it its true meaning and places the anniversary of our freedom from Egyptian bondage into holy perspective. Freedom to toil 24/7 is only a different form of slavery. When Saturday looks like Tuesday but only more so since school is out and the burdens of car pooling and “having a good time” are even greater, then that cannot even remotely be related to true freedom.

In reality every Shabat is the Great Shabat and the Shabat preceding Pesach is even more so. Shabat Hagadol represents the miracle that blessed our forefathers in Egypt when they took the Paschal lamb and the Egyptians did not object. But the true and ultimate miracle of Shabat Hagadol is Shabat itself. It has preserved the Jewish people throughout the ages in the face of opposing innumerable odds and challenges. It is in the realization of our freedom that we are able to properly appreciate and give tribute to Shabat - Shabat Hagadol, the Great Shabat that we now commemorate so joyfully and gratefully.

Shabat shalom Pesach kasher v’sameach

Rabbi Berel Wein


Crash course in Jewish history

Rabbi Berel Wein- Jewish historian, author and international lecturer offers a complete selection of CDs, audio tapes, video tapes, DVDs, and books on Jewish history at www.rabbiwein.com


 






ARTICLES ON TOLDOS:

View Complete List

We Have No 'Rights'
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5760

How About Them Apples?
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5770

Fragrance of Our Actions
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5762

ArtScroll

Why is Bill Gates the Richest Man in America?
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5756

Why Does "And G-d blessed him" Appear at the End of the Pasuk?
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5772

DeGeneration
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5761

> Energy or Exhaustion - Eisav Shows His True Colours
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5765

Running Out Of Womb
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5775

Prayer and Domestic Tranquility Are The Secrets To Raising Good Children
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5766

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Our Struggle
Rabbi Label Lam - 5761

Digging for Water
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5770

Again and Again Rather Than…
Rabbi Label Lam - 5767

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

The Bravery of a Jew
Shlomo Katz - 5761

Who deserves a blessing?
Shlomo Katz - 5774

Keen Sense of Smell
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5761

One Cannot Make Blanket Rules Concerning Telling The Truth
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5773



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information