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Adar B, 5763

Parshat Tzav

Written by the rabbi

Dedicated to the speedy recovery of
Asher Ishaayahu Ben Rivka

In introducing the law of the chatas offering (Lev. 6:18), and the asham offering (Lev. 7:1), the expressions "Zot tora haChatat" and "Zot torat haAsham" are used. The Gemara (Menachot 110a) explains that one who studies the laws of these sacrifices is equated with one who actually brings them.

We don’t find this equation with any of the other Mitzvot? Why is it true for sacrifices?
The Maharal (Tiferet Yisrael, Ch. 70) explains that a sacrifice elevates man beyond the purely material, animalistic dimension of his existence, thus bringing him closer to G-d. The study of Torah, which is Divine wisdom, has this elevating power. So, when man is unable to actually bring a sacrifice, he can achieve similar results through the Torah study of that sacrifice.

The Maharal teaches in numerous places that Eretz Yisrael is a land which transcends the purely material dimension of existence, which is why living there brings man closer to G-d. If one is not able to actually fulfill the Mitzvah of living there, Torah study of the laws of that Mitzvah should provide some compensation for what is lost by living outside of Eretz Yisrael. And as the study of those laws elevates man above the purely material dimension of existence, he may find the barriers preventing him from living in Israel aren’t as insurmountable as they originally seemed.

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