Which came first: the chicken, or the egg?
It is not difficult to come up with a connection between Passover and Parshat Tzav. For it is here in Leviticus, deep in the arcane laws of the priestly sacrifices, that we reencounter a substance familiar to us from the Exodus. Every day in the Temple, we read, there were both animal sacrifices and grain sacrifices. The most basic form of the latter – the Minkhah – was partially burnt on the altar, and then the remainder was eaten by the priests, as follows:
There is something hidden in the Tabernacle.
Every so often, roaming through the world of parshanut, we come across a piece of commentary so startling, so profound, and so complex, that it demands our full attention for the week. This is such a week, and the piece in question is from one of the great works of Torah commentary of the 20th-century, the Meshech Chochmah, by Rabbi Meir Simcha of Dvinsk, Latvia.
I have written before about the rabbinic tradition of seeking thematic links between an upcoming holiday and the parsha that regularly precedes it. When the holiday in question also has its own special reading, then all the more so, the commentators assiduously comb the two texts, looking for connections.
Deep in the heart of God’s sanctuary, there in the Holy of Holies, stood two golden idols.
Wandering through a dense forest of laws, we come upon a witch.