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Tzav - Pessach |  12th Nissan  | April 8th 2017  |  Issue 694
Chag Sameach!

   Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner

Rosh Kollel Yeshiva University - Torah MiTzion Beit Midrash Zichron Dov

The Value of Perpetuity

As lottery winners demonstrate when they choose lump sum payouts over perpetual annuities, human beings prefer immediate payment of a smaller sum over long-term payment of a larger sum. Economists explain this behaviour via the principle of “time value of money”: since money can earn interest, money is worth more to us when we receive it sooner. The longer we need to wait, the less the money is worth to us.
Applying “time value of money” to mitzvot, one might argue that “Energetic people perform mitzvot at the earliest opportunity.” (Pesachim 4a) If mitzvot lead to additional mitzvot (Avot 4:2), then we should perform mitzvot as soon as possible, the better to trigger our next mitzvah more immediately. However, Rabbi Naftali Zvi Yehudah Berlin (a.k.a. Netziv) noted an opposite example in our parshah. Regarding the burning of the korban olah (burnt offering), taking more time is more highly valued. A korban olah that burns perpetually, throughout the night, is more desirable to G-d than a korban olah burned immediately.
Vayikra 6:2 instructs the kohanim, “This is the law of the korban olah, which ascends on the fire on the altar all night, until morning.” As the Talmud (Megilah 21a) explains, one may burn the day’s korbanot at any time during the night. However, Rabbi Berlin wrote, “The instruction to the kohanim is that they see to it that the flesh of the korban olah should be placed [on the altar] and consumed, little by little, until the morning. It should not be consumed immediately, lest the altar be empty of the offering.” (Ha’amek Davar to Vayikra 6:2) Rabbi Berlin explained that this is why G-d told Moshe that he must not only relate these laws to the kohanim, but he must command them – because this process requires great care and attention. (Ha’amek Davar ibid.) So here we see an inverted sense of “time value”: this mitzvah is of greater value now, because its completion will take longer.
Why do we value this extended time? And why is this emphasis on perpetuity unique to the stage of burning, and not to earlier processes? At this stage, the gift has been given, the vow fulfilled, and any necessary atonement has been achieved. The sponsors of the korban have gone home, the instruments of the Levites are silent, and almost all of the kohanim have removed their splendid uniforms and nodded off to sleep. Even if we are concerned that a fire should remain on the altar, plenty of wood is present; why do we care about how long the korban olah burns?
Perhaps the value of spending time is actually a result of the fact that the essential service has concluded. At this stage, it is only the barefoot kohen in a darkened Temple, standing in lonely worship of his Creator, with a warm bed waiting somewhere else. G-d beckons to this kohen: stay with Me.
A similar concept is found with the mitzvah of linah, in which people who bring certain korbanot remain in Jerusalem overnight, after the ritual is complete. (Chagigah 17a-b) In another example, Shemini Atzeret is seen as one last day on which G-d asks us to remain, after the seven days of Succot are complete. (Rashi to Vayikra 23:36)
This perspective is consistent with Rambam’s relationship-based explanation of korbanot. Rambam was troubled by Yirmiyahu’s prophetic declaration (7:22-23), “For on the day I removed your fathers from Egypt, I did not speak to them and I did not command them regarding burnt offerings and celebration sacrifices. Only this did I instruct them, saying: Hear My voice and I will be your G-d, and you will be My nation.” Yirmiyahu seems to say that Hashem does not desire korbanot - but the Torah itself testifies to the contrary! Rambam (Moreh Nevuchim 3:32) explained that Yirmiyahu was teaching the importance of the relationship that accompanies, and validates, a korban. “The primary object is that you should know Me and serve no other, and I will be your G-d and you will be My nation.” As the kohen remains in the Beit haMikdash, long after the ceremonies are over, that relationship is deepened.
We are currently without korbanot, but the opportunity to experience perpetuity remains. Sitting in a synagogue to recite Tehillim privately after davening is over; singing at a Shabbat table after the meal; holding the hand of a needy person after giving tzedakah; we can be that kohen, lingering in the dark, positioning the korban olah on the altar. To us, too, Moshe commands: Give this great care and attention, all night, until morning.

Batya Americus

Former Bat Sherut, 2015-16 

Defining a Nation

Here comes Nissan, a month which is historically full of events for the Jewish people. Without a doubt the biggest one being יציאת מצרים - leaving Egypt. This event crowned Nissan as the first month in our year, therefore making it the month in which we dedicated the mishkan and later the month from which we count the years of our kings.
 “I am the Lord, your God, Who took you out of the land of Egypt to be your God; I am the Lord, your God.” (Bamidbar 41)
When we read from the Torah, the leaving of Egypt is not the first story we read, but it is the climax of a story spread out through five books. It is the epicenter of who we are as a nation. Bereshit gives us the background story: where we came from and how we came to know of God.
"We believe in the God of Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov, Who took the Jews out of Egypt with great wonders and miracles” (Kuzari 1:11)
What is it about this event that so defines the Jewish people?
This is the event that makes us into His nation. From Egypt God takes us under his wing, He gives us His Torah as a guideline and continues to help and support us as we learn to walk on our own. Nowadays, we have an annual holiday during which we appreciate the kindnesses God did for us and relive all the great miracles He performed for us. So now we have a nation. God’s nation. The Jews. What comes next? Who are we? What defines this new nation?

What do we do on Pesach?
We’re happy that we left Egypt, so happy that we drink and throw a party!...Just like on Purim, in fact, we put a lot more emphasis on happiness during Purim and we drink a great deal more. On Pesach we follow a regimen of how much we drink and eat, but on Purim we are supposed to eat and drink to our heart’s desire.
Pesach night is Leil Shimurim - a night that is guarded - as we sit inside our homes in our finest luxury, we unlock our doors with no fear. On Sukkot we sit outside in flimsy houses, depending on God to protect us from everything.
We begin our year, we buy new clothes and wear a kitel - a white robe, we scour our houses and try to get rid of things we don’t need. We are preparing our bodies and physical dwellings to so that we can usher in the coming year with maximum space for spiritual we do on Rosh Hashana , when the whole world is judged and starts anew.
We retell the story of yetziat mitzraim all night - as did Rabbi Eliezer, Rabbi Yehoshua, Rabbi Elazar ben Azarya, Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Tarfon - just like on Shavuot when we stay up all night learning torah.

So what is it that makes Pesach special? What aspect of our lives do we accentuate on Pesach more than any other holiday?
When I was younger, one of my favourite books was called Raizel’s Riddle. In it, Raizel, the daughter of a Rabbi and as such well-learned, tells a riddle:
“What’s more precious than rubies, more lasting than gold What can never be traded, stolen or sold What comes from great effort and takes time, but then once yours will serve you again and again”?
The answer is learning, and this had a profound effect on me and my desire to learn Torah. This is not the only nugget I picked up in my childhood, children are inquisitive and can absorb knowledge at an astonishing rate. This is why we send our children to school, the more they learn when they are young, the easier it will be for them to learn more. Their minds are like soft clay, easily molded yet hardening to retain all that information they can get.

I was recently visiting a friend for Shabbat and at the meal her mother requested that all her siblings prepare something in order to teach her baby brother about Pesach.
That is the focal point of Pesach. Teaching our children. On the night of the seder the
biggest part of the evening is when we get to maggid. There, the first thing we read is the ma nishtanah, which is sung by the youngest child who is able. We continue on to read of the four sons, of how to teach our children, and only then do we get to the story of yetziat mitzraim.

In Judaism, our focus is on the future - our children - in teaching them our ways and passing down our legacy, in building them a better world so they can thrive. In helping them and protecting them as God does for us, His children.
Chag Kasher Vesameach

Around The World
This week we held our annual spring training seminar for Bachurim!
nearly 30 bachurim spent the past 4 days learning and preparing or shlichut, including practical tools towards shlichut, hearing from former shlichim about different communities, leadership workshops (including herding a real herd of sheep), and an introduction to technological tools on shlichut. 
Soon they will be teamed up and placed in the various communities around the world. Behatzlacha!

     Arik Speaker                    In cooperation with: 

'Lilmod' Coordinator and Head of  European Desk in Torah MiTzion

A clock tower built by a Jewish architect, in honor of the half-jubilee of the Ottoman Sultan, financed by Jews and Arabs, and that looks like a European church - this is the short story of Jaffa's Clock Tower.

At the top of the tower is a copper cover, with two clocks and a bell ringing every half hour. The square where the tower is located is named after the clock till this day.

The construction works of the tower began in 1900 and lasted about 3 years. The total height of the tower, including the antenna at its head, is 27.8 meters.
The Jewish watchmaker and goldsmith, Moritz Sheinberg, led the planning of the project.

The construction of the tower marked a cultural change in the city, since until then the only bells that could be heard were those of the minarets of the churches and mosques. The establishment of a "civil" clock tower symbolized the cultural change towards the direction of civil society.

In addition, two of the four clocks on the tower were set to European time, and two to the "Arab" time.
At the top of the tower is the Tura, the Sultan's unique seal.

In 1965, the tower was renovated by the Tel Aviv Municipality, and again in 2001, when, after many years of neglect, it was thoroughly renovated and entire parts were restored.
After decades of quiet the clock moved again and the bell rang twice a day.

Today the tower is considered one of the most prominent symbols of the city of Jaffa and constitutes a kind of gateway to the city.

Yasher Koah to
Sheldon Salzberg
who provided the correct answer

  Where was this picture taken?
Please send answers to -

The answer, further information about this location, as well as the first person to recognize this site 
will be published in next week's edition. 

Torah MiTzion was established in 1995 with the goal of strengthening Jewish communities around the globe and infusing them with love for Torah, the Jewish People and the State of Israel.

Over the past twenty years, Torah MiTzion's shlichim have inspired and enriched their host communities through high impactful formal and informal educational programs.

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Our friend Benjy Singer has a very useful website,, which contains accurate and fresh information of what's going on in the Religious Anglo Community in Israel.

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