This week’s Torah portion is Tzav. It is a continuation of last week’s Parshah. It begins with the laws of the burnt offering. Hashem tells Moshe to “command Aharon and his sons, saying, ‘This is the law of the burnt offering. That is the burnt offering which burns on the altar all night until morning etc.’” Rashi cites the words from the verse, “this is the law of the burnt offering.” He explains that “this passage comes to teach us that of the fats and parts the burning of an animal is valid throughout the entire night.” The Talmud teaches us that the primary time for burning fats is during the day. However, they may be burnt at night as well.
Everything in Torah teaches us a practical lesson in serving Hashem. What lesson can we learn from the above?
“The main time for burning the fats is during the day.” The word day signifies light and revelation, as the Torah says, “And Hashem called the light day …” This refers to the service of Torah and Mitzvos, through which one brings Divine light into the world. The fact is that that “they may be burnt at night as well.” Night represents darkness, i.e., the concealment of G-dliness. This refers to one being occupied with mundane matters, such as conducting business or the like. These are things that are permissible according to Torah law. Nevertheless, they conceal our true purpose in this world.
The meaning of burning the fats (which symbolize pleasure) during the day is burning the personal pleasure we derive from our service of Hashem. Our only purpose for serving G-d should be order to fulfill His will.
Burning the fats at night, however, alludes to burning the pleasure we derive from worldly matters. All such things must be performed for the sake of heaven; one must be occupied in providing his children with a “Torah true” education, giving Tzedokoh, etc.
As quoted earlier from the Talmud, the only time for burning fats is during the daytime. We must perform mundane acts for Hashem’s sake. However, it is of greater importance that we must strive to study Torah and perform Mitzvos to serve Hashem.
I wish one and all wonderful Shabbos and a happy and Kosher Pesach!
Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn
Adapted from Likkutei Sichos Volume 3, Page 950
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. Our Parshah, Vayikroh 6:2.
. The various parts of the animal may continue burning on the altar throughout the night, following the day on which it was brought.
. See Tractate Menochos 72.
. Parshas Bereishis, Bereishis 1:5.
. Please note, that serving Hashem even for personal reasons is perfectly acceptable. What is written in the text is our goal.