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Tzav, Shabbos Hagadol: Nissan, set aside for redemption

Updated: Aug 27, 2018

ויאמר משה אל אהרן ואל בניו בשלו את הבשר פתח אהל מועד ושם תאכלו אתו ואת הלחם אשר בסל המילואים כשאר צויתי לאמר אהרן ובניו יאכלוהו

“And Moshe told Aharon and his sons, ‘Cook the meat at the door of the Sanctuary and eat it there along with the bread that is in the jar to be filled, as I commanded to tell Aharon and his sons, they shall eat.” (Vayikra 8:31)

What is the meaning of the word “hamelaim” – to be filled?

In this week’s Haftorah we read the verse in Malachi (3:10): “Test Me with this, says Hashem, if I won’t open for you the windows of the heavens and empty it out [by showering] you with endless blessing.” Hashem is telling us that we are permitted to test Him when tithing our income, and He promises us to open the heavens in reward. If so, how do we explain the fact that for hundreds of years in exile, the Jewish people have not seen this endless blessing, although many were meticulous in giving the proper tithes and set aside a tenth of all income for charity?

The Prophet continues (ibid. 18): “And you will see [the difference] between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve G-d and those who don’t.” The verse is telling us that Hashem will demonstrate His love for the righteous by showering them with blessing. Once again, how do we explain the fact that this is not always so? We do not see the righteous benefiting from special blessings, while the wicked suffer retribution. We see plenty of righteous people who go through tremendous suffering, while the wicked exult in the pleasures of this world.

We cannot assume that the two promises cited above apply only to the days of Moshiach, because this would be self understood and would not require special mention in the Torah and Prophets.

It could therefore be understood that these promises are waiting to be fulfilled before the coming of Moshiach. They are prepared and waiting for us, to benefit those who tithe their fortunes and to those who are righteous with exceptional blessings. In the days preceding the coming of Moshiach, we will finally merit the fulfillment of these promises.

We are now in the month of Nissan, a month that is set aside for redemption. We hope and pray to merit eating the sacrifices and the special Pesach sacrifice in Yerushalayim. Moshiach is almost here, and we therefore hope to finally benefit of these promises Hashem gave us.

The verse tells us, “Cook the meat,” we hope to merit cooking the Korban Pesach and eat it in the Sanctuary. “And the bread,” hints at the matzos which are eaten along with the Korban Pesach. “Which is in the jar to be filled” means that there is a “jar” full of blessings waiting for us. Hashem prepared heaps of blessings for the righteous and those who give charity. “As I commanded,” Hashem had long since commanded that these blessings be set aside for us, and now we will finally receive them, preceding the coming of Moshiach.

May we indeed merit the blessings from Hashem and the geulah sheleima, this very Nissan, Amen.

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