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28.03.2012 21:42    Comments: 0    Categories: Weekly Parashah      Tags: parasha  weekly  shabbat  shul  

Rabbi Cowen's Corner (Notes on the Parsha)

Notes on the Parsha

The Torah focuses on Aharon and his sons to teach them additional laws relating to their service. The ashes of the korban olah, the offering burnt on the altar throughout the night are to be removed from the area by the kohen after he changes his special linen clothing. The olah, which means to rise up, is brought by someone who forgot to perform a positive commandment of the Torah. The kohen keeps the skin. The fire on the altar must be always be kept burning. The korban mincha is a meal offering of flour, oil and spices. A handful is burned on the altar and a kohen eats the remainder before it becomes leaven. The Parasha describes the special korbanot to be offered by the Kohen Gadol each day, and by Aharon's sons and future descendants on the day of their inauguration. The chatat, the korban brought after an accidental transgression, is described, as are the laws of slaughtering and sprinkling the blood of the asham guilt-offering. The details of shelamim, various peace offerings, are described, including the prohibition against leaving uneaten until morning the remains of the todah, the thanks-offering. All sacrifices must be burned after they may no longer be eaten. No sacrifice may be eaten if it was slaughtered with the intention of eating it too late. Once they have become ritually impure, offerings may not be eaten and should be burned. One may not eat a korban when he is ritually impure. Blood and chelev, forbidden animal fats, are prohibited to be eaten. Aharon and his sons are granted the breast and shank of every peace offering. The inauguration ceremony for Aharon, his sons, the Mishkan/Tabernacle and all of its vessels is detailed.
This Shabbat is known as Shabbat HaGadol, the Great Shabbat. It is the Shabbat immediately before Pesach and commemorates the numerous miracles that occurred just before the Exodus of our nation from Egypt. We were given our first commandment of setting aside a lamb for the Pesach offering. The lamb was a deity in Egypt and as they observed the Jewish Nation going about setting aside the lamb for an offering, a miracle occurred in that no Jew was harmed in the process. Furthermore, the firstborn of Egypt were told of their impending demise in the last of the plagues and, as the Midrash teaches, no Jew was harmed during the attempted revolt of the Egyptian firstborns. An earnest teshuva and commitment was made to H' by the Jewish Nation on this Shabbat, thus also earning it the title of the Great Shabbat!

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