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Parashat Tzav - 5776

My friends,

This week's parasha continues the instructions to the Kohanim for the various offerings that individuals may bring to the Temple. It concludes with the seven days of rehearsal by the Kohanim before the big day when the Tabernacle will officially be dedicated.

The reading from the prophets is taken from the Book of Jeremiah. Jeremiah emphasizes that the true meaning of an offering is when a person submits to the will of God and fulfills the commandments.

In the past few weeks, we have witnessed undignified talk in the media by some political candidates. Jeremiah states:

"Thus said the Lord:
Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom;
Let not the strong man glory in his strength;
Let not the rich man glory in his riches.
But only in this should one glory:
In his earnest devotion to Me.
For I the Lord act with kindness, justice, and equity in the world;
For in these I delight - said the Lord." (Jeremiah 9:22-23)

It would be great if we could hear some humility in our candidates and especially expressions of respect for other human beings. There is never justification for shaming another person in public.

In the Talmud, our sages state that the guilty of such acts have no share in the world to come. We hope for a world where our leaders show kindness and menschlichkeit.

Shabbat Shalom,