Tetzaveh – Chamishi

Today Moshe Gets It; Tomorrow, It's Aharon's

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

After the second ram was slaughtered, Moshe was to place some of its blood on the right ears, right thumbs, and right big toes of Aharon and his sons. The rest of the blood would be sprinkled on the altar as per usual, but this time it would also be sprinkled, along with the anointing oil, on Aharon, his sons, and their special working clothes.

Aharon was to present various parts of the second ram, along with the loaves and matzos, in a waving motion before G-d. This portion was then burned on the altar.

Moshe was to receive the chest of the second ram as his portion. In the future, the chest and thigh of peace offerings would go to the priests. (In this instance, the thigh was among the portions burned and Moshe got the chest.)

Aharon would pass the special garments down to his descendants (not that new ones wouldn’t be made as needed). Future High Priests would need to wear the uniform for a full week before they could serve in the inner sanctum. (The High Priest was the only one who could perform the Yom Kippur service.)

Aharon and his sons were to eat the parts of the second ram that had not been burnt on the altar. This will effect atonement for them and complete their installation as priests. Since this sacrifice was limited to kohanim, it couldn’t be shared with outsiders and leftovers had to be burned in the morning.

Aharon and his sons had to stay on the grounds of the Mishkan for the entire week of their installation. Each day, a bull was offered as a korban chatas (sin offering).

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