This week we read the Torah portion of Tzav. To a large extent, this week’s Parshah is a continuation of the sacrificial law which we learned last week.
Among other things, this portion tells us that “A continuous fire shall burn upon the altar; it shall not go out.” Rashi cites the words from the verse “a continuous fire.” He explains that “the fire regarding which it says ‘continually (תָּמִיד),’ this fire must also be kindled from (the fire) on the outer altar.”
We need to understand this. Everything in the Torah provides each of us with a lesson that is applicable in all times and places. What sort of lesson can we learn from this? Until the long-awaited arrival of our righteous Moshiach (may he come now), we have neither a Bais Hamikdosh, a Menorah, nor an altar!
The Lubavitcher Rebbe explained that the outer altar alludes to G-dly service, which we do with others, particularly those who are still “outside.” The Menorah represents Torah study, as it is written: “Torah is light.”
The fact that the kindling of the Menorah in the Temple came from the outer altar indeed provides us with a tremendous lesson! There is one way to truly acquire Torah study (the lighting of the Menorah). It is only by not being satisfied with our own, personal service of Hashem. We must always look out to benefit another (the outer altar). This is true even if the other one seems to be “an outsider.”
How much more so is this true as we approach Pesach. The highlight of the Seder is telling the story of our exodus from Egypt. We begin this by saying that “Whoever is hungry, let him come and eat; whoever is in need, let him come and conduct the Pesach Seder.”
May we merit to thank Hashem for the ultimate redemption this Pesach.
I wish one and all a happy and kosher Pesach!
Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn
Adapted from Likkutei Sichos Volume 17, Page 56
לזכות חיילי “צבאות השם” חיים ועדן עודד שיחיו מאריס
נדפס ע”י הוריהם הרה”ת ר’ מנחם מענדל וזוגתו מרת חי’ מושקא שיחיו מאריס
מוקדש לזכות כ”ק אדמו”ר נשיא דורנו מליובאוויטש