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March 26, 2012 / conservadox

Dvar Torah- Tzav

After discussing sacrifices in Lev. 6-7, the Torah tells Moses to anoit Aaron and consecrate his sons, which he does (Lev. 8).    Rashi writes that this ceremony was done before the erection of the Tabernacle (discussed at the end of Exodus), “for there is no strict chronological order in the Torah.”

Nachmanides disagrees, asking: “why should we invent the word of the living God!”  Rather, the correct view (in his opinion) is that Moses was commanded to build the Tabernacle, built it, then was commanded about the sacrifices to be made in that Tabernacle, and then prepared the priests to make them. As usual, Nachmanides is a bit closer to a commonsense explanation.

What’s interesting about this dispute is that there is now a vigorous exchange on the blogosphere on how much deference moderns should give Rashi’s views.   (See one posting and links to contrary views at http://www.rationalistjudaism.com/2012/03/anti-rationalism-and-rashi.html ).   Obviously, the authors of these posts are frum rabbis who know more than I do.  But this week’s parsha exemplifes Nachmanides’ treatment of Rashi: with respect, but not with kid gloves.

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