Tzav – Volunteer Your Best
The Following is based entirely on Toldot Yaakov Yosef on the Pasuk.
This is the teachings of the burnt offering. The burnt offering shall remain on the hearth
(Vayikrah 6 -2)
One needs to understand that the word “This – Zot” serves as a limitation while the word “teaching – torat” serves as an amplification. “The burnt offering shall – Olah” further serves as a limitation.
This confusing pasuk can be explained according the Midrash:
Rabbi Levy [explained the meaning of our pasuk as referring to] a great rule which is praiseworthy. Whoever is haughty (has his heart lifted up) is condemned to burn in a fire.
(Vayikrah Rabah 7 – 6)
This is because the burnt offering is raised up to the top of the alter and burnt to a crisp in the hearth. (Maharzu on the midrash)
Toldot Yaakov Yosef says that this is difficult. We can explain it by first clarifying a pasuk in the perasha (Vayikrah 2 – 11) “You can not bring any leaven or honey as a sacrifice to G-d”
The Kli Yakar said in referring to the pasuk (Vayikrah 1 – 2) “A man who brings a sacrifice from among you … you (plural) should bring your sacrifices.” This is difficult since the pasuk starts in the singular “A man” then concludes with the plural “You will Sacrifice – Takrivu Korbanchem.”
The limitations of this Pasuk teach us that one should be careful not to fall into the two mistakes of Adam’s children Cain and Hevel: Do not give your sacrifice from inferior materials like Cain mistakenly did. Also, do not give a sacrifice because others gave. Even though Hevel brought a superior sacrifice he only did this after seeing his brother bring a sacrifice. Hevel wanted to be at least equal to his brother. By giving a superior sacrifice he wanted to show others how great he was.
From this we can understand that, “A man who brings a sacrifice from among you” is acceptable when he does this out of his own volition. A man who brings a sacrifice because of others is unacceptable.
….From the above we learn that the pasuk “You can not bring any leaven or honey as a sacrifice to G-d” refers to people who want to give a sacrifice because they have seen others do the same.
Leaven cause causes bread to rise. A bread does not rise without it. Leaven may be brought in the alter as a sacrifice. Similarly, a person who has been risen by others should not give a sacrifice.
…. We can now return to our original pasuk. “This is the teachings of the burnt offering.” Not all offerings to G-d are the same and acceptable. There are two limitations which we discussed above. First, this voluntary sacrifice is unacceptable if it is brought from an inferior animal in one’s flock. Secondly, One should not bring a sacrifice because he has seen others. He would be doing this so that others will think that he is a wonderful, great person.
A person who brings a sacrifice in order to show how great he is is a haughty person who has wrongly raised himself up to the hearth of the alter. Anything in the hearth is burnt to a crisp. Therefore, whoever is haughty is condemned to burn in a fire.