Simcha's Torah Stories - Tzav

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Parshas Tzav


Here it is, Chaim, that time of the year again.

What time, Avi?

The time of the year when we study the Book of tzav, the third book of the Bible.

You don't sound too excited about it, Avi.

Chaim, it is such an effort to read the weekly parsha.

Why is that?

It's all about korbanos, offerings brought to the Holy Temple. Two sheep, one cow, two doves, flour, oil, wine,'s so confusing to me. In the other books of the Bible, we learn about the lives of our forefathers, or the laws that we need to know for daily living. Korbanos seem far off and unrelated.

I also felt the same way, Avi, until I started looking into the deeper meanings behind some of the korbanos.

What did you learn, Chaim?

I learned about a whole new world that is very exciting and relevant to our lives.

Really? Can you share it with me?

Sure, Avi. Just sit back and close your eyes. We're drifting back in time to the days of the Beis HaMikdash (Holy Temple).

Chaim begins to narrate his story...

Shmully, come with me to the flock of sheep.

Sure thing, Abba. What are we going to do there?

We're going to pick out a nice, young, one-year old sheep to be our Korban Pesach (Passover Offering).

Wow Abba, I almost forgot. Pesach is drawing near.

That's right Shmully. This year you are old enough to go with me to the Beis HaMikdash!

Really? I'm so excited! I've been looking forward to this my whole life!

Now is your chance, Shmully. First, let's pick out our nicest sheep to take with us to Jerusalem.

After days of packing, the family is ready to make their trip to Jerusalem.

Okay, have we packed everything?

I think so Abba.

How about our Korban Pesach?

He's right here.

Good, let's get going.

Come sit near me, Shmully. I'll tell you all about what you will see when we get to Jerusalem.

Abba, there are many families traveling the roads with us.

Shmully, all the Jewish families from all over the Land of Israel are converging on Jerusalem to celebrate the festival of Pesach together.

But Abba; isn't that dangerous? Can't enemies attack our borders?

G-d gives the Jewish people special protection this time of year. No danger has ever befallen us as a result of going to Jerusalem for the festival. Now, let's review what you learned about the Korban Pesach, Shmully. First, where and when is it slaughtered?

In the courtyard of the Beis HaMikdash, after mid-day on the eve of Pesach.


Abba, how are all of these people, each with their sheep for a Korban Pesach, going to fit into the courtyard of the Beis HaMikdash in one afternoon?

That's a great question, Shmully. When we get to Jerusalem, you will see miraculous things. Everyone will squeeze into that small area in three shifts. The kohanim will work super-fast, doing their part to help each one with his korban. The Leviim will be singing Psalms of praise to G-d and playing trumpets the entire time.

Abba, I am so excited.

And so it went. Shmully and the family arrived in Jerusalem and made their preparations for the big day. On the eve of Pesach, they all went to the Beis HaMikdash and were in awe of the miraculous events there.

Now, Shmully, it's time for us to roast our Korban Pesach.

Why do we roast it on the fire instead of cooking it in a pot Abba?

Very good question, Shmully. The Korban Pesach, like the other mitzvahs of the night of Pesach, reminds us that tonight we were freed from slavery in Egypt. We left Egypt very quickly and suddenly. Therefore, we cook the Korban Pesach in the quickest possible way, which is roasting. We eat the Korban Pesach like noblemen. Wealthy people roast their meat. Although it shrinks, it is very tasty. Poor people boil meat. Although it does not taste as good, it absorbs water and expands, so there is more meat to eat. But a rich man doesn't worry about having enough to eat. Tonight, we eat like rich men.

Now, Shmully, when we eat our Korban Pesach, make sure you do not leave any leftovers. If any meat is leftover the next morning, we must burn it.

Why Abba?

Because a rich person knows that he will have enough to eat tomorrow. Therefore, he does not save leftovers. If he leaves over any food, he destroys it and eats fresh food the next day. There is one more thing you must be careful about when eating from the Korban Pesach Shmully.

What's that Abba?

Do not break any of the bones while you are eating the meat.

There are so many rules, Abba. How will I remember them all?

Don't worry Shmully. You do your best, and G-d will help you.

I'll bet you know what I am going to ask Abba.

Let me guess. Why don't we break the bones of the Korban Pesach?

Right, Abba!

Poor people, who are very hungry, break the bones of the meat and eat the marrow. However, tonight we are noblemen. We would never dream of breaking the bones of the Korban Pesach.

Abba, now that I have learned so much about the Korban Pesach, I can't wait to eat it!

We now drift back to our friends, Chaim and Avi.

Wow, Chaim! That is so interesting. I never dreamed that korbanos could be so fascinating.

Sure, Avi. You know, we can also have some of the feeling that Shmully had when eating from his Korban Pesach.

How's that, Chaim?

The afikomen, the last piece of matzah that we eat at the Seder, represents the Korban Pesach. When we eat it, we can think of the many ways that it represents freedom. Just like Shmully, we can enjoy the feeling of being free men.

Simcha's Quiz

A problem which crops up quite often in puzzles is that of inserting mathematical signs wherever one cares to between the digits 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8, and 9 to make the resulting expression equal in value to 100. The digits must remain in the same sequence. One of the numerous solutions to this problem is:


The problem becomes slightly more difficult if only plus and minus signs are allowed. A typical solution to the problem now is this:


In this solution, six plus and minus signs were used. Can you find a solution to this plus-and-minus-only problem using as few signs as possible?

Write Simcha with the correct answer to

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