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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

TZAV

Monday, March 23, 2015

The entire book of Vayikra is described in rabbinic literature as Torat Kohanim – the laws, instructions, rituals and duties of Aharon and his sons, the founders of the priestly family of Israel. In this week’s Torah reading, Moshe is instructed to command Aharon regarding the daily sacrifices to be offered in the Mishkan/Tabernacle and the keeping of eternal fire that always was to be present on the holy altar. Aharon and his sons were chosen for special status and dutiful service on behalf of Israel and the Creator. The question arises, why was Aharon, his family and descendants so chosen? We will find later in the Torah that Moshe will be accused of nepotism regarding the choice...

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SHABAT HAGADOL

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Shabbat that immediately precedes the holiday of Passover carries with it the title of being Shabbat Hagadol – the great and exalted Shabbat. There are many explanations advanced as to why this Shabbat should merit that special title. The one most often advanced is that the tenth day of Nissan – the day when the actual redemption from Egypt began by the Jews taking the paschal lamb into their possession – fell on the Shabbat before the actual exit from Egypt. This traditional explanation has always been found somewhat wanting and many other explanations have been advanced over the centuries. It is said that once the door has been opened for the great, then even the small may...

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