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March 26, 2015 / conservadox

Dvar Torah- Tzav

This week’s Torah portion is another dry discussion of sacrifices.  Commenting on the priests’ duties, Rashi writes that God tells Moses to “win them over [Aaron and his sons] with fair words”, implying that the priestly duties, rather than being an honor that Aaron should be happy about, are maybe not such a great thing.  Rashi may believe that just as Moses was afraid of the responsibility of leading the Hebrews, Aaron was afraid of the responsibility of priesthood (understandably since the Torah keeps telling us that priestly slip-ups could lead to death).

More broadly, this sort of remark makes me appreciate Rashi (who I often am not moved by).  Although Rashi’s interpretations often seem fanciful to me, maybe a little fancifulness is necessary to make some parts of the Torah seem interesting to an audience thousands of years removed from Temples and sacrifices.  On the other hand, I don’t appreciate this style as much when I read the parts of the Torah that are already pretty interesting even without midrash.


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