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Torah Teasers Parshat Tzav

Tzav (Leviticus 6-8 )

by Moshe Erlbaum

9 challenging questions.

1. Besides this parsha, which other parshas have only two letters in their name? (2 answers)

In the book of Genesis there is parshas Noach, and in the book of Exodus there is parshas Bo.

2. Where does the word for "ash" (deshen) appear in the Torah (5 times)?

Deshen appears twice in this parsha (Leviticus 6:3-4) and three times in parshas Vayikra (Leviticus 1:16, 4:12).

3. What commandment involves removing one's clothing? Where else in the book of Leviticus is there a command to remove clothing?

When the Kohen performs the commandment of terumas hadeshen, removing of a portion of the previous day's ashes from the altar, he first removes his finer clothing and puts on other clothing (Leviticus 6:4). During the Temple service on Yom Kippur (detailed in parshas Acharai Mos), the High Priest removes his regular eight garments and instead wears plain white linen clothing. This was done whenever he entered the Holy of Holies. When the service is finished, he would remove the white linen garments and puts on his eight garments (Leviticus 16:23).

4. What type of a vessel is mentioned for the first time in this parsha?

An earthenware vessel is mentioned for the first time in Leviticus 6:21.

5. Which offering in this parsha is brought with leavened bread (chametz)? What other offering is brought with chametz?

In this parsha, the Korbon Todah (Thanksgiving offering) is brought with loaves of leavened bread (Leviticus 7:13). Parshas Emor describes the Two Loaves brought on the festival of Shavuos, comprised of loaves of leavened bread (Leviticus 23:17).

6. The violation of eating blood is referenced in this parsha (Leviticus 7:26). Where is the first time the Torah mentions blood?

In parshas Beraishis, after Kayin kills Hevel, Hashem confronts Kayin and says to him: "The blood of your brother cries out to Me from the ground" (Genesis 4:10).

7. In what context is a basket mentioned in this parsha? Where is the first time the Torah mentions a basket?

In this parsha, the consecration of the Kohanim involves taking a "basket with matzos" (Leviticus 8:2). In parshas Vayeshev, Pharaoh's chief baker describes a dream where he is carrying three baskets on his head filled with baked goods (Genesis 40:16-17).

8. Three parts of the body appear in this parsha, and in two other places in the Chumash. What are there and where do they appear?

The three parts are thumb, big toe, and cartilage inside the ear. In this parsha, during the inauguration of Aharon and his sons, some blood from an offering is placed on these parts of their bodies (Leviticus 8:23-24). These parts also appear in parshas Tetzaveh, where the inauguration process is first described (Exodus 29:20). In parshas Metzora, these same body parts are mentioned with regard to the purification process of the metzorah (Leviticus 14:14-28).

9. Which other parsha has the letters of "Tzav" as part of its name? What other parshas contain the name of another parsha?

Parshas Tetzaveh in the book of Exodus contains the name Tzav. Other pairings include: (1) Vayishlach and Shlach (2) Beshalach and Shlach. (3) Mishpatim and Shoftim. (4) Bechokosai and Chukas. (5) Pinchas and Noach. One might also include Vayelech, which has the first word of Lech Lecha, as well as Ki Tavo, which contains Bo spelled without a vav.


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