Parshat Tzav by: Rabbi Moshe Goodman, Kollel Ohr Shlomo, Hebron בס"ד
Discover the Holy Presence in the Holy Land
In the past few weeks, we have discussed the theme of “the crown” in various respects in the background of the pandemic corona, which means crown. We can sum up the different viewpoints/spiritual “treatments” we presented, and perhaps much of viewpoints presented by others, i.e rabbis, educators, etc. of the world, by the Mishna of Avot: “There are three crowns: the crown of Torah, the crown of priesthood, and the crown of kingship, and the crown of the Good Name surpasses all of them.”
In the week of Parshat Ki Tisa we discussed studying the thirteen attributes of mercy presented in the book Tomer Devora, which are attributed to the kabbalistic sefira “Keter” or crown. The idea presented was that by studying these attributes and making effort to practice them, God willing there will be Divine compassion brought upon us, according to the principle of “measure for measure.”
In Parshat Vayakhel-Pekudei we discussed the spiritual ïngathering””of the People through time and space. Ingathering the People is a national endeavor associated strongly with the king, as the mitzvah of Hakhel – “The Ingathering” – conducted by the king, suggests. Also the book of Kohelet, its name meaning ïngathering”, begins with the emphasis on that its words are authored by the King of Israel. Therefore, this piece represents the “crown of kingship.” Here we may add that the verb root “Katar”, crown, in Hebrew also can mean to surround. Something that surrounds is considered to ingather the matters that it surrounds, as can be seen in the halachic concept of “mukaf” which means both to surround and that the matters “surrounded” are considered together, in the laws of Terumot and challa for example when the challa taken must be “together” with the produce for which it is meant to be pertainable.
In last week’s Parsha, Vayikra, we discussed the saying of the incense section in the siddur, which is considered a solidly based spiritual “treatment” for epidemics. We discussed the ingredient of the incense associated with the kabbalistic sefira “keter”- “crown.” Here we should add that saying this section does not stand in of its own, but is rather part of our prayers and an expression of our will for the rebuilding of the Beit Hamikdash. In the time of King David a plague occurred due to the fact that the Beit Hamikdash was not adequately sought and requested, according to commentators. When King David bought the Temple Mount for Aravna the Jebusite the plague ceased (see end of Samuel). By saying this section with the will that this incense will be renewed may Hashem have mercy upon us and remove plague from us, and also rebuild our Temple. The incense in the Beit Hamikdash is offered solely by the priests and therefore this represents the “crown of priesthood.”
The last crown, “the crown of the Good Name” is somewhat enigmatic, since it is not enumerated as one of the three ”crowns” mentioned in the preface of the Mishna in Avot. We may say that while the other crowns are more closely associated to the person who “possesses” them, the Crown of Good Name somewhat comes in opposition to personal possession, for it hints to God’s Name, the Ultimate Good Name, which may rest upon a person but it is yet obviously aloof from the person. In the past we have shown how God’s Name in Shemot (21, 22) is translated by Onkelos to mean the Holy Presence. We also find the concept of the “good name” in the verse (Kohelet) “better is the good name more than the good oil.” The fact that the “good oil”is associated with the “good name”shows that there is a linkage between them. In Tehilim the term “good oil” is used in the context of the holy anointing oil used to anoint the priests, which is mentioned in this Parsha in the context of the inauguration of the Mishkan. This oil is also used to anoint the Davidic line of kings, and it is from this oil that our future savior will receive his name – “mashiach” – meaning the anointed one,” who we read about, coming with Elijah, in this Parshat Hagadol – the Shabbat before Pesach – the Holiday of Redemption. In regard to the holy anointing oil it is forbidden that it be used for personal self and possession, just like we mentioned above in regard to the concept of the “Good Name.” On the contrary, it is by the humility of man and his self-abnegation that this öil”and this “Good Name” rest, as the prophet says: So mankind will be brought low, and each man humbled; the arrogant will lower their eyes, and Hashem the LORD of Hosts will be exalted by His justice, and the holy God will show Himself holy in righteousness.…” Similarly it says (Yehezkel 36, 22-23) It is not for your sake, people of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy Name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone. I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am Hashem, declares the Sovereign Lord, when I am proved holy through you before their eyes. “ This is the vision of the End of Days, the days of redemption, may we see them speedily, upon which it also says: “At that time (the “end of days”) the three Patriarchs will adjoin with might, and Truah, Shvarim, Tkiah will be sounded, and with them, the “the earth shall shake”, and this will be in the “end of days”, and all these miracles will be in the Land of Israel, for there is located Hebron where the Patriarchs are buried.”(Tikunei Zohar 13, 28b)
Miracles From the Holy Land:
The Battle of Tzfat: In 1948, as their sovereignty over Palestine was coming to an end, the British were handing over the strategic high points of the city to the heavily armed Arab troops. Outnumbered and outgunned, the Israeli forces struggled battling over Safed for months. In late April, an artillery piece nicknamed “The Davidka” was delivered to the Jews. Surprisingly ineffective, the most notable feature of the Davidka was the tremendous noise it produced. A rumor quickly spread through the Arab ranks that the Jews had acquired an atom bomb, and the entire Arab community left that night. With their exit, morale deteriorated among the Arab troops, and the Haganah was able to secure the city.