Questions and Concepts for Parsha Tzav
(Leviticus 6:1 - 8:36)
  1. Why did God punish Egypt for enslaving the Jewish people? Had they not merely fulfilled God's master plan, as the verse prophesized in Genesis 15:13?
  2. God brought His people out of the bondage of Egypt into freedom, via Mount Sinai where He gave them the commandments of His Torah. How do the Torah's commandments increase our free-will and not reduce it?
  3. We all have an evil inclination within us called the "yetzer hara." How does the yetzer hara promise free-will when in fact it delivers just the opposite?
  4. The yetzer hara cannot be made to "disappear." In fact, it is said that the greatest men and women of God also have a greater yetzer hara. How can we channel the yetzer hara to doing God's will in our lives?
  5. God could bring His own fire from heaven upon the altar, so why did He have the priests kindle the fire every day? How do "actions below" stimulate a response from above?
  6. The priests were to keep the altar's fire going, even working on Shabbat to do this. This of course did not abrogate the laws concerning Shabbat. Yeshua made mention of this when His disciples were accused of picking grain on the Sabbath. How is His "defense" valid?
  7. Every aspect of the physical Sanctuary has its counterpart in the inward Sanctuary within the soul. How do we keep our "fire going continually" as such? How does this relate to the three aspects of faith as found in the "Great Commandment" of Deuteronomy 6:5?
  8. Consider this concept:
    During the seven days of consecration, the Sanctuary was continually being constructed and taken apart. Only on the eighth day did the Divine presence descend and become permanent. The seven days were a week, the measure of earthly time. The eighth was the day beyond human time, the number which signifies eternity. This is associated with the feast of Sukkot and God's plan for human history.