Drash on Tzav
Rabbi Em Mueller
March 22, 2016
Lev. 6:1-6 tells us:
And Adonai spoke to Moses saying: COMMAND tzav Aaron and his sons
saying they shall build a fire on the alter and keep it going night and day
— a perpetual fire — esh tamid
I’d like to look at the relationship between the priests, and their maintenance of
the perpetual fire, and the word TZAV — command. When God talks to Moses
with instructions, the vocabulary is usually “speak” and “say”. Rarely is TZAV
used as a verb: COMMAND the priests to keep the fire burning.
What do we do with this? How do we make these verses relevant to our lives
In my life as a rabbi, I work with many interfaith couples, and I feel like it is my job
– my responsibility – to keep the fire of Judaism alive and burning bright!
But Judaism does not depend soley upon me, or upon any one individual, rabbi
or other. It depends upon each of us, to love Judaism with a passion that will
keep the fires burning. We have to educate ourselves so that we don’t fall into
the trap of idolatry, Israel right or wrong! Judaism must be used for good: to help
bring the messianic age, which will only occur when there is peace through
creating a world of justice — justice for all people. That is the commandment —
the TZAV — we, as Jews, must embrace.