• Maverick (Avigdor) Peters

Parshas Tzav 2018: Hidden Strengths

Often times, Hashem gave us hidden qualities or abilities that need our actions to bring them out. We can find inner strengths that we never knew about and use them in time of need.

“Moshe said to the community: “This procedure is what G-d commanded [me] to do.” (Leviticus 8:5)

Ahron and his sons were inaugurated as the kohanim (priests).

Rashi says, when Hashem told Moshe to “take Ahron” He was actually telling Moshe that he had to persuade Ahron (with words) to take on the position as Kohain Gadol. Ahron felt unworthy. It was Moshe’s job to now convince his brother.

The entire nation witnessed their inauguration. Ramban explains that Hashem specifically wanted it this way; that the whole nation watch as Ahron and his sons assume their roles as kohanim.

The process included, cleansing from the water of the kior (tabernacle’s water basin), donning the priestly garments, anointing with oil, and bringing korbanos (offerings).

Once the Mishkan (tabernacle) was established, Moshe brought korbanos on behalf of the kohanim for one week. Aside from those offerings, the kohanim themselves were to bring a grain-offering. In fact, every time a kohen was anointed, he was was required to bring this grain-offering and the kohen gadol himself was to bring this grain-offering twice a day.

The purpose for the grain-offering was to awaken the qualities that would make the kohanim worthy as representatives between the people and Hashem. Either by atonement for their sins or by raising them to a higher level of divine awareness.

Lekutei Sichot teaches another reason for the kohanim’s grain-offering.

The grain-offering was meant to bring out abilities from within the kohanim to make them fit and worthy for the job as intermediaries, yet it was also meant to show us that we too have inner qualities that need to be surfaced.

There is a specific “power” within each individual that was given to him/her to be used to overcome spiritual darkness and to in fact, change “dark” into “light”. This strength is not immediately accessible, for a number of reasons. A way for us to access that quality is to seek out those individuals who are well versed in the Torah. Go to them for inspiration and guidance.

Every person faces their own form of darkness. Yet every challenge put in our path we are able to conquer and grow from. Hashem doesn’t give us tests we cannot handle. Some however, need more exertion. A spiritual leader, rabbi, can inspire you to unlock your inner ability to not only surpass your struggle(s) but to actually change that darkness into light.

It the case of the kohanim it was offerings, for us one way to find inner strength is to connect with a spiritual leader. Both of these bring out a supreme quality.

As we transition from the increased darkness of the winter and go into the spring and summer, let’s take our cues from our leaders/rabbis to uplift ourselves so that we may blossom into more observant and elevated Jews!

Have a wonderful Shabbos and weekend!

Maverick V. Peters

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