Parashat Tzav / פרשת צו



Parashat Tzav is the 25th weekly reading in the annual Torah reading cycle, and the 2nd reading of Vayikra (“Leviticus”). Tzav (צַו) means Command and is the sixth word of the parashah, which begins with HaShem’s instructions to Moshe (Moses) to command Aharon (Aaron) and his sons, the kohanim (priests), regarding the various offerings discussed in the previous parashah. A variety of instructions are provided for each offering, including but not limited to the following.

For the olah (elevation offering), the length of time the elevation offerings are to remain burning on the altar, what the priest is to wear and when, what he is to do with the ashes, what is to be done with the fire, for example. For the minkhah (grain offering), what portion is to be offered as a memorial portion and what portion the priest will keep for himself, how it is to be eaten, where, and by whom, and what happens to whatever touches these offerings. For the milluim (ordination offerings), what is to be offered, when, how it is to be prepared, who is to offer it, what is to become of it. For the khatat (sin offering), where it is to be killed, who is to eat it and where, what happens to whatever touches its flesh, what is to be done when its blood spatters on a garment, what is to be with an earthenware or copper vessel it is boiled. For the asham (guilt offering), where it is to be killed, what is to be done with its blood and various parts, who may eat of it, and to whom it belongs. For the zevakh shelamim (sacrifice of peace), instructions for a todah (thanksgiving offering) include what is to be offered with it, to whom it belongs, when it may be eaten, as compared to when a neder (vow offering) or a nedavah (freewill offering) may be eaten, who may eat of it, and what happens to a person who eats it in an inappropriate manner. Two prohibitions about eating blood and the fat of animals that may be offered on HaShem’s altar are added to the above.

Parashat Tzav concludes with a detailed record of Moshe’s consecration of the Mishkan (Tabernacle) and all that was in it, the altar, its utensils, the basin and its stand, Aharon and his sons, their garments, together with with the ordination of Aharon and his sons.

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Torah Portion: Leviticus 6:1 (Hb.) – 8:36

1st Aliyah: Leviticus 6:1-11 (11 verses)
2nd Aliyah: Leviticus 6:12-7:10 (22 verses)
3rd Aliyah: Leviticus 7:11-38 (28 verses)
4th Aliyah: Leviticus 8:1-13 (13 verses)
5th Aliyah: Leviticus 8:14-21 (8 verses)
6th Aliyah: Leviticus 8:22-29 (8 verses)
7th Aliyah: Leviticus 8:30-36 (7 verses)
Maftir: Leviticus 8:33-36 (4 verses)

Special Maftir
Shabbat Parah: Numbers 19:1-22 (22 verses)
Shabbat Zachor: Deuteronomy 25:17-19 (3 verses)

Reading from the Nevi’im (Prophets):
Jeremiah 7:21 – 8:3 & 9:22 – 9:23

When Parashat Tzav coincides with a special Shabbat, a different Haftarah is traditionally read:

Shabbat HaGadol: Malachi 3:4 – 3:24
Shabbat Zachor: I Samuel 15:2 – 15:34

Other Related Passages:
1 Corinthians 9:7-14, Galatians 6:6-10, 1 Timothy 5:17-18

1st Aliyah
Vayikra (Leviticus) 6:1-11

6 And HaShem spoke to Moshe, saying,

א וַיְדַבֵּ֥ר יְהוָ֖ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֥ה לֵּאמֹֽר׃

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