Pearls of Rashi – Tzav

This week we read the Torah portion of Tzav. At the beginning of the Parshah, Hashem tells Moshe (Vayikroh 6:2) to “Command Aharon and his sons, saying, ‘this is the law of the burnt offering …’” There are various words which Hashem uses to tell Moshe to issue commandments to Jews (or to groups of Jews). Here Hashem tells Moshe to “command” (rather than “say” or “speak” to) the Kohanim about the laws of the burnt offering. Rashi explains the use of the word “command.” He cites the words “command Aharon,” and says that “The expression ‘command’ always denotes urging to promptly and meticulously fulfill a particular commandment both in the present and for all future generations.”

Rashi’s words present us with several important lessons which apply for all times. Every command must be fulfilled with the greatest alacrity. Even a minimal amount of thought into the great privilege afforded to us to actually fulfill G-d’s commands must inspire us. I must invest all of my G-d given abilities to fulfill each Mitzvah as well as I can. I must never delay fulfilling His Mitzvos; rather I must perform His commandments as quickly as possible.

Along these lines, the Torah commands us (Shemos 12:17) that “you shall watch over the Matzos …” The word Matzos, meaning unleavened bread, and Mitzvos, meaning commandments, can both be spelled the same in Hebrew. Based on this Rashi quotes (ibid.) from the Sages “do not read ‘the Matzos,’ rather read ‘the Mitzvos.’ We may not permit the Matzos to become leavened. In the same manner, we not permit the Mitzvos ‘to become leavened.’ If a Mitzvah comes to your hand, perform it immediately.”

The fulfillment of each Mitzvah affects all future generations. For one thing the act of performing a Mitzvah now bears fruit for all generations. Additionally, just as Hashem is eternal, so are His commandments. May we merit seeing the fruit of our Mitzvos with the coming of Moshiach now!

Wishing one and all a wonderful Shabbos and a happy and kosher Pesach!

Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn

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