What is there to say about Parashat Tzav? Ashes, offerings (burnt, meal, ordination, sin, guilt, and, especially, well-being), and ordination. Here’s a little more, from 2011, with new text underlined and removed text identified by strikethrough:
“This week’s portion begins with instructions for removing the ashes that remain on the altar after a sacrifice is burned. The priest is supposed to wear plain but still sacral clothing to collect the ashes, then change into something ordinary less holy to take them outside the camp. One simple reason: step (1) is at the altar, so it requires a more dignified mind set than (2), which is basically taking the trash out. This is discussed by a number of sages, presented by Nehama Leibowitz in her New Studies in Vayikra which is in turn commented upon by Dr. Michelle Lynn-Sachs in this week’s her JTS commentary at http://www.jtsa.edu/Conservative_Judaism/JTS_Torah_Commentary/Tzav_5771.xml . Then we learn more about the various sacrifices, which I should know how to keep straight by now but don’t, this time focusing on who gets to eat what, “who” being the priests, donor (and family and guests), or nobody. Most of the fat and all of the blood from the sacrifices are forbidden as food.
“Finally, the priests are ordained, which takes seven days (most of the ceremony is on the first day). Moses dresses Aaron and his sons in their vestments and anoints them with sacred oil. He offers a bull as a sin offering, a ram as a (totally) burnt offering, and then slaughters a second ram, the ram of ordination, and dots each new priest’s right ear, right thumb, and right big toe with its blood. Note that, 8:23, when Moses slaughters the second ram, the word for “slaughter” has the cantillation sign shalshelet above it (looks like a vertical chain or squiggle), which is a sign of hesitation. Maybe Moses is a bit hesitant about turning so much responsibility over to Aaron and his sons, especially after Aaron’s behavior when Moses first went up on Mt. Sinai for 40 days. On the other hand, the priests’ instructions are laid out in such (ahem) gory detail that they should have no difficulty following them to the letter, right?”
From 2001 and 2010:
(Judaized) Dead link
Ten reasons why men should not be ordained as rabbis
1. Men are too emotional. Their conduct at sporting events proves this.
2. A man’s place is in the military.
3. Some men are so handsome, they will distract female worshipers.
4. Male physiology indicates that men are more suited to tasks like chopping down trees, unearthing rocks, and wrestling with wild animals. It would be “unnatural” for men to do other forms of work.
5. In the Bible, the male Israelites persist in losing faith and disobeying God. Indeed, the phrase “Children of Israel” is more accurately translated “Sons of Israel.” Their poor judgment and lack of faith represent the character of their gender. This justifies the subordinate position all men should take in matters of spiritual formation.
6. Men are overly prone to violence. “Real” men prefer to settle disputes with immature displays of prowess and domination. Thus they make poor role models and are dangerously unstable in positions of leadership.
7. To be an ordained pulpit rabbi today is to nurture the congregation. Nurturing is not a traditional male role. Through all history, women have proven more skilled at nurturing and more naturally attracted to it. This makes women the obvious choice for ordination.
8. In Genesis, man was created before women, obviously as a prototype. Thus men represent an experiment. Women represent the crowning achievement of creation, a more perfect image of God’s intent for humanity.
9. For men who have children, the rabbinic duties may distract them from their responsibilities as fathers.
10. Men can find meaningful and satisfying roles in synagogue activities without being ordained. They can still sweep sidewalks, repair the roof, and maybe even lead portions of worship services on Father’s Day.
By embracing such traditional roles, they can still be vitally important in the life of the synagogue.
The next two are from 2009:
Church of England to ordain Rabbis
Written by Steddyeddy
Story written: 11 February 2009 [yes, it’s a spoof!]
In their continuing efforts to appear non-discriminatory and anti-racist, the Synod of the Church of England has decided to allow the ordination of Rabbis for the first time.
Continuing on from the banning of churchmen who might be members of the BNP [the far-right British National Party. IGP], the church authorities decided that it was time the Church of England showed its true colours.
Their spokesperson, Bishop Takesrookthenchecks said that following on from the ordination of women, the next step was the ordination of Rabbis.
He continued to explain that because the good old bean Archbishop Rowan Atkinson had a beard, and many Rabbis also exhibit this form of facial growth, both the church and synagogue had a lot in common. Not to mention the seats, doors and singing of holy songs. Also, he felt that Rabbis might be well placed to comment on the Bible, especially the Old Testament.
He confirmed that the Church of England now has plans for the future ordination of Imams, Gurus and even that extremely nice Dalai Lama chap with the lovely smile, although he could do with ditching the NHS [National Health Service. IGP] glasses.
Tom Cruise was said to be devastated that there were no plans to ordinate aliens.
http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/822682 (dead link)
When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord – Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
The top answer out of 15 was judged to be “Yes, with fire and brimstone preferably.” I would have liked to see the other 14.
I recently asked a friend, ‘Has your son decided what he wants to be when he grows up?’
‘Yes, he wants to be a garbage collector’, my friend replied.
I had to think about that one for a moment. ‘That’s a rather strange ambition to have for a career,’ I finally managed to reply.
‘Well,’ said the boy’s father, ‘he thinks that garbage collectors only work on Tuesdays’.
The Problem with Speaking English
- Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than us.
- Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than us.
- Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than us.
- Italians drink excessive amounts of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than us.
- Germans drink beer and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than us.
CONCLUSION: Eat and drink what you like. Speaking English is apparently what kills you.