April 4, 2020: Parshat Tzav – The Meaning of “Command”

"Command" is the meaning of this week’s Torah (Bible) portion, "Tzav."
hebcal.com/sedrot/

Primary reading: Leviticus 6:1 – 8:36
Leviticus.6.1-8.36?lang=bi&platform=facebook
Leviticus 6:1-8:36The LORD spoke to Moses,…

Supplemental reading: Jeremiah 7:21 – 8:3; 9:22 – 9:23
Jeremiah.7.21-8.3?lang=bi&platform=facebook
Jeremiah 7:21-8:3Thus said the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel: Add your burnt offerings to your other sacrifices and eat the…

The above links go to Hebrew-English with commentary.

The below link goes to a free PDF with text & commentary.
chabad.org/media/pdf/725/…

In his commentary on this Torah portion, the Lubavitcher Rebbe asks: Why the urgency?

God says to Moses: "COMMAND!"

Commentary: chabad.org/media/pdf/725/…
Illustrative story re: the Rebbe:Rabbi-Schneerson.jpg
The rabbi who took on ACLU, liberal Jews – WNDWhen a coalition of secular U.S. Jewish groups joined the fight to oppose prayer in public schools, one of the most prominent rabbis stood virtually alone in vocally opposing them. Rabbi Menachem Men…

(Side note: The photo that begins this thread was simply taken from a search of Pixabay. Third row, left. There is no intentional use of a one-eye symbol. Sorry if anyone is concerned.)

pixabay.com/images/search/…

You’ll see that I frequently quote or turn to the Lubavitcher Rebbe/the Chabad movement, which is much maligned, because in my view their approach to Judaism is the most authentic. They emphasize outreach to redeem the fallen for the sake of bringing the Messiah.

The Rebbe notes that there seems to be a mismatch between the urgency invoked here (God tells Moses – "COMMAND THEM," meaning the Jews)

and

the actual content of the portion, which is about the laws of bringing sacrifices and the laws of initiating priests.

Here’s a two-eyed photo if the first was triggering.

Why is God being so "harsh" when transmitting some routine commands?

Apparently God wants us to know how important these particular commands are.

That "more than usual is at stake."

"You have to do this," says God.

The Rebbe explains that "our free choice is taken away," by God saying this.

This is unusual – it is not how He usually runs the world.

Let’s put this in context. You’re supposed to have a choice, every step of the way. You’re not supposed to know that Good and Evil stand over you fighting, and that the truth of this world is concealed so that you can choose.

Without even getting into the content of the portion, the Rebbe argues that we learn something simply from its title.

If we occasionally hear a command phrased strongly, we should infer that all commands are urgent, but God holds back to let us choose.

Choice creates meaning.

Now, this commentary does not do it for me.

Are we to believe that any portion of the Bible is rote?

Of course not – we’ll have to dig deeper.

But in the meantime, let’s explore what the Rebbe is saying here.

Showtime has a series called "Couples Therapy" which is exactly what it sounds like.

In one episode, Lauren (yes she is trans) and Sarah, fight it out over Lauren reaching out to Sarah, and Sarah pushing her away, and Lauren feeling rejected.

CouplesTherapyBB.jpg
Friday, Sept. 6: Go Behind Closed Doors in Showtime’s ‘Couples Therapy’This new docuseries brings viewers into the world of four couples undergoing weekly therapy with Dr. Orna Guralnik.

The situation that leads to their fight: Sarah woke up at 6 a.m. to go to the bathroom. When she got back, Lauren was "in her spot," scooched over on the bed on her pillow, and Sarah told Lauren to back off.

Lauren stormed out of the bedroom and they went at it all day long.

Sarah had to listen quietly while Lauren talked about wanting to express love, and feeling that the love was not wanted.

Meanwhile, Sarah said that Lauren "doesn’t give a s**t about me, she just wants what she wants."

This conflict theme (at the extreme: he wants her "all the time"; she "never wants him") is expressed by another couple as well.

Now how does this manifest spiritually? Here?

God holds back from us.

We live in a state of not knowing.

One spiritual benefit: When we choose to be good, when we could be bad, it makes the choice that much more meaningful.

Another spiritual benefit of God’s holding back is that we develop a craving for God.

The material parallel is an often-repeated piece of relationship advice for men. Essentially, the more you chase a girl, the less interested she is.

askmen.com/dating/dating_…

It is lack of certainty that makes brands more valuable than their non-brand alternatives.

Psychologically, brands offer people a sense of certainty that is almost religious.

shopping-iStock.jpg?ve=1&tl=1
Top 10 luxury brands for 2019Here are the top 10 brands making a killing in the luxury market.

It is the lack of certainty that makes Q such a powerful channel of information.

It is the lack of volume that makes Q such a credible one.

In other words, we already know the mainstream media lie their heads off.

?m=02&d=20161108&t=2&i=1160692944&w=1200&r=LYNXMPECA702W
Clinton has 90 percent chance of winning: Reuters/Ipsos States of the NationWith hours to go before Americans vote, Democrat Hillary Clinton has about a 90 percent chance of defeating Republican Donald Trump in the race for the White House, according to the final Reuters/Ips…

These unpredictable drips of information from Q are cherished (yes, that is the right word, cherished) by a nation (world) thirsty for some actual piece of news to inform them.

The fact that they are cryptic only makes us more determined to learn.

"Why wasn’t HRC prosecuted for the emails? Put simply, Obama ultimately OK’d by using the non govt email addy [address] to communicate w/ Clinton. Obama also had an alias along with each of his cabinet members."

"Therefore indicting HRC would lead to indicting Obama & his cabinet etc which could never happen. Remember he lied about knowing but that ultimately came out in the dump. Poof!"

Anonymous [Q drop 7]
29 Oct 2017 – 9:58:37 PM

When Q speaks clearly, the people are grateful, hear and understand.

I’m sure Q would like to just come out with all the information.

But we would’t want a message from Q every day.

When the Jews received the Torah, God spoke directly to them at first. But they could not take the immediacy of the spiritual revelation.

Ex. 20:18-19 "When all the people witnessed the thunder & lightning,the sounding of the ram’s horn, & the mountain enveloped in smoke,they trembled & stood at a distance. ‘Speak 2 us yourself & we will listen,’they said to Moses. ‘But do not let God speak to us, or we will die.’"

OK. So I think we get the point about God "couching the majority of His commandments not as commandments but merely as instructions."

And that in our lives, what is observed as just a slight motion, a quiet piece of feedback, is often really a shout.

chabad.org/media/pdf/725/…

By Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal. All opinions are the author’s own. Public domain.