Parashat Tzav

Rabbi Moshe Nourollah and the entire staff of Bait Aaron Torah Outreach  would like to   wish you a Happy Pesach V,Chag Kasher . May your Pesach overflow with happiness and may you always be blessed with peace, prosperity, and togetherness.


This week weekly parsha and the shalosh seudot is sponsored by by the pourati family leilouy nishmat Yosef Ben Avraham – a dear husband, father & grandfather 

May his neshama have an aliyah.


Everyone Needs a Push

“Command Aaron and his sons [by] saying, this is the teaching of the olah, it is the olah on its fire on the altar the whole night, and the fire of the altar will burn in it (Vayikra 6:2).”

Rashi explains that the Hebrew word “tzav,” command, implies ziruz – encouragement and urging – for that time and for all generations. Particularly when it comes to situations involving loss of money (because the Kohanim do not receive anything from a burnt offering other than the hide), is there a need to encourage and urge.

Rav Yaakov Weinberg pointed out that the above verse is discussing Aaron Ha’Kohein, one of the greatest Jewish figures of all time; so we see that even he had a need for ziruz, encouragement.

This, explains Rav Weinberg, does not mean that without the ziruz Aaron would not have put forth his full effort. It goes without saying that Aaron would have certainly put forth his utmost effort despite any lack of external ziruz. Rather, what it means is that every person has untapped strengths that are often only manifest as a result of the prodding pressure of ziruz.

“One time”, recounted Rav Weinberg, “I was arranging chevrusot (study partners) at the beginning of the zman (semester), and there was one student for whom I just could not manage to work out an appropriate chevrutah. I tried numerous different ideas, but nothing worked. Unfortunately, he began the zman having to learn on his own without a chevrutah.

About two weeks into the zman, I received a desperate phone call from his father. He said, ‘Please! Please find a chevrutah for my son! He is suffering so much from not having a chevrutah!’

So, I tried again and, lo and behold, this time I managed to find a suitable chevrutah for him!

Don’t think that I didn’t try my hardest the first go-around. I can assure you that I truly did. But the desperate urging of the boy’s father extracted a latent energy without which just would not surface.” We all need and can benefit from ziruz, concluded Rav Weinberg, no matter how great we are or how hard we are trying.

What is very interesting to note, is that we see from Rashi’s explanation that in situations where the individual stands to gain some monetary benefit there is not nearly as much of a need to have other people providing the ziruz. The monetary gain in of itself provides the lion’s share of the external push that is needed.

Now, obviously, Aaron Ha’Kohein (or any of his sons, or other tzaddikim for that matter) were certainly not carrying out the avodah (service) for the sake of personal monetary gain. To even suggest such a thing would be absolutely unbelievable; it is safe to assert that the thought of monetary gain did not enter his conscious thoughts at all, even for one moment. Certainly, his sole motivation for carrying out the avodah was his drive to fulfill the Will of God. Nevertheless, we see that the monetary aspect would play at least a subconscious role of ziruz even for an Aaron Ha’Kohein. And, for people of a much lesser stature, it could very well occupy a place in the conscious thought process. However, it is still just a ziruz, not the main motivating factor.

As an illustration of this idea, imagine an athlete competing for the gold medal. In the midst of the race, he begins to feel tired and weak and his pace begins to slow down a bit. Upon seeing this, his fans start cheering him on to give him a boost. And it works! He surges forward with newfound strength and achieves his goal of winning the medal.

Now, would you say that his primary motivating factor was the momentary cheering that occurred in the middle of the race? Of course not! What was motivating him from beginning to end was the accomplishment itself of winning the gold. So, what function did the cheering fulfill?

Ziruz. Ziruz is that external push that helps propel us towards our goals without supplanting the actual motivation of our actions.

That is why it is not inappropriate that monetary gain act as a ziruz in the realm of Torah and mitzvot. One may wonder why there are many monetary incentives involved with various learning programs and endeavors, whether in the Kollel system or otherwise. Based on the above, though, it should become perfectly clear that there is in fact nothing negative about this whatsoever. On the contrary, we see that using monetary incentives as a ziruz is actually a positive thing to do. Those that are engaged in serious learning are clearly not doing so for the sake of money, God forbidThey are motivated to learn for the sake of carrying out the loftiest endeavor that Hashem charges us with. The paltry bits and pieces of monetary incentives that they receive here and there are merely a ziruz. And ziruz, as we have learned, is a very positive thing!

So, for others and for oneself, find that positive, encouraging, and urging force of ziruz. As we have seen, ziruz can take the form of cheering someone on, a desperate plea, or a monetary incentive. The truth is that it doesn’t really matter what particular form the ziruz takes, as long as it will have a beneficial, positive effect given the situation. So, for others and for oneself, find the one that works. Source:


15 Steps To Freedom

10. Korech

The Hillel Sandwich is “bricks-and-mortar:” broken matza held together by bitter herbs and charoset. The matza was once whole. So too, the Jewish people can become crushed and divisive. But we are held together by our common links to Torah and our shared historical experiences. The Talmud says that as Jews in Egypt, we were redeemed only because of our unity. We were unified in our commitment to each other and to the future of our people. Weeks later at Mount Sinai, we stood together and accepted the Torah with one heart and one mind. Today, we are fighting amongst ourselves under the watchful eye of the world media. It is both embarrassing and discouraging. The biggest threat to Jewish survival may be from within. Our only response is to stand loudly and proclaim: Every Jew is a Jew. Period. The inclusion of the “wicked son” in the Seder expresses our conviction that no Jew is ever irretrievably lost. We are all one family, responsible to love and care for one another. The matza may be broken, but it can be restored. It is this “Hillel Sandwich” which has traditionally symbolized our commitment to glue the Jewish nation back together. On the merit of unity we were redeemed from Egypt, and it is on that merit that we shall be redeemed once again.

11. Shulchan Orech

When we think of attaining levels of holiness, it seems strange that one of the mitzvahs of Seder night should be eating a festive meal. That is because the Jewish attitude toward our physical drives and material needs is quite different from that of other religions. Our religious leaders are neither celibate nor do they meditate all day on a mountaintop. Rather than negating or denying the physical, Judaism stresses the importance of feasting and marital relations. G-d wants it that way. The proof is that instead of creating all foods bland (or in the form of “protein-pills”), G-d concocted a variety of flavors and textures – orange, strawberry, chocolate, banana and mango. Why? Because G-d wants His people to have pleasure! Adam and Eve were put into the Garden of Eden – the Garden of Pleasure. The Talmud says that one of the first questions a person is asked when they get up to Heaven is: “Did you enjoy all the fruits of the world?” On Seder night, we eat the festive meal to teach us that true freedom is the ability to sanctify life, not flee from it.

12. Tzafun

The last thing we eat all night is the Afikomen. (Matzah for dessert?! And I thought we were having macaroons!) We eat this final piece of Matzah — not because we are hungry — but because we are commanded. Physical pleasure, though an integral part of our lives, sometimes gives way to a higher value. To illustrate this concept, the Talmud compares a person to a “horse and rider.” The purpose of a horse is to take you where you want to go; but left to its own devices, the horse will get lazy and may even throw off the rider. That’s why the rider has to be in control and making all the decisions. So too, our bodies are the vehicles for moving us through life; they require care and attention — but not to the extent of assuming a pre-eminent position. There is a difference between eating healthy, and flying to Europe in order to dine on authentic Italian food. A person dominated by material strivings is anything but free. Judaism says: control the physical so it does not control you. Become a master of yourself.

It is this ability to rise above our physical selves that demarcates the difference between humans and animals. The story is told of the Baal Shem Tov looking at his neighbor eating dinner – and instead of a person, seeing the form of an ox. The man was solely in pursuit of physical pleasure, no different than an animal. Freedom is the ability to put our soul in control. “Who is the strong person?” asks the Talmud. “The one who can subdue his personal inclination.” At the Seder, we hide the Afikomen, search, find it – and win a prize! The same is true with our spiritual yearning to do the right thing. Although it might be buried inside, we can search for it find it – and the prize is pure freedom.

13. Barech

Social pressure is one thing that holds us back from taking charge and doing the right thing. Barech, the “Grace After Meals” was instituted by Abraham 4000 years ago. Abraham would invite idolatrous wayfarers into his tent for a hearty meal, and then tell them the price of admission is to bless G-d. They thought he was crazy! Nobody believed in G-d! Abraham was called “Ha’Ivri” (the Hebrew), meaning “the one who stands on the other side.” He was a social outcast and a lone voice in the wilderness. Would we have have been able to stand up to that kind of social pressure? Do we speak out today against the proliferation of media sex and violence? Against drugs and crime in our streets? Slavery is a preoccupation with self-image and social status. (“What will they think of me if I voice my objection? How will I bear the pain of isolation and rejection?”) The Hebrew word for Egypt is “Mitzrayim” – from the root “metzar,” which means narrow and constricted. When we left Egypt, we became free of the societal forces which restrict us to a narrow path of fashion, image and ideas. Freedom means doing the right thing even when it may not be socially popular. I have to live with my own conscience. The reality is liberating.

14. Hallel

As the feeling of freedom inebriates our souls (helped along by the four cups of wine!), we sing aloud in joy. When the Jews came out of Egypt and crossed the Red Sea they broke out in song (Exodus chapter 15). When we see the upending of evil, the Egyptians drowning at the Sea, we are instinctively grateful to the One who orchestrated the turnaround! G-d delivers us from slavery unto freedom — and we are amazed at the beauty and swiftness of it all. The Jews in Egypt had sunk to the 49th level of spiritual impurity, and only when they hit rock-bottom did they turn to G-d and cry out. It was at that moment that they were redeemed. Redemption can be as quick as the blink of an eye. Our Egyptian experience began with Joseph sitting in the dungeon prison – and rising to the position of Prime Minister in the span of one day! The Seder is the only one of the 613 mitzvahs that is performed specifically at night, for on Passover, we turn the darkness into light. With “Hallel,” we abandon all intellectual posits, and experience the emotional joy of freedom. Song is the expression of an excited soul. It is the way to break out of oneself and reach for freedom.

15. Nirtzah

We conclude our Seder with the prayer, “Next Year in Jerusalem.” Every synagogue in the world faces Jerusalem. It is the focus of our hopes and aspirations – not merely in a geographic sense, but in a conceptual sense as well. The Talmud says creation began in Jerusalem, and the world radiated outward from this spot. Medieval maps show Jerusalem at the epicenter of Asia, Europe, and Africa. The world flows into this place, and all life’s forces resonate here. From here, the whole world is cast into perspective. The name Jerusalem means “city of peace.” Peace, “shalom,” is more than the absence of conflict; it is the seamless harmony of humanity genuinely embracing a common vision. Jerusalem is a vision of G-d in our lives, a metaphor of a perfected world. Jerusalem gives us hope to achieve what we as a people must do, to sanctify this world. In Egypt, we hadn’t yet absorbed this lesson: we were too burnt out from hard work (Exodus 6:9) and had become immersed in the spiritual abyss of Egyptian society. When we finally were redeemed, it happened so quickly and hastily that even then we were unable to grasp its full significance. What this means is that year after year, each successful Seder adds meaning to the original events, and brings us closer to the final redemption. As the Seder draws to a close, we sense the process of redemption is under way. We shout aloud: “Next Year in Jerusalem!” We’re on our way back home.

pesach: the seder night

The Seder night is a unique moment in the Jewish calendar for many reasons. Most positive Mitzvot in the Torah are performed during the day, such as the Arba Minim or the Shofar, with some being performed both by day and at night, such as Succah. It is almost unheard-of to have a mitzvah that is only performed at night. Yet, on Seder night most of the main Mitzvot are indeed restricted in time to night-time performance.

Seder night also has a special characteristic of (leil shimurim), a night of enhanced divine protection for the Jewish People. On this night, we have nothing to fear from our enemies, whether spiritual (the yetzer horo or tumoh (spiritual defilement)) or physical. Further, the Vilna Gaon and the Shelo Hakodosh both ascribe a very special status to the night of the Seder. In Jewish thought, night-time is generally considered to be a period of spiritual choshech (darkness), a time when tumoh, spiritual impurity, and the yetzer horo, the evil inclination, have the upper hand. Yet Seder night is described as leilo kayom yo’ir, illuminated with the spiritual attributes of daytime. This imbues Seder night with a tremendous degree of spirituality and holiness – if we can only feel it and focus on it during the Seder, we have the capacity to attain a high spiritual madreigo (level). One of the reasons why there is some Ashkenazi  custom to wear a kittel(White Robe) at the Seder is that, just as on Yom Kippur the Kohen Godol achieved lofty spiritual heights whilst ministering in his special white garments in the Kodesh Kodoshim (Holy of Holies), we have the potential on the holy night of Pesach to reach the most elevated levels of sanctity and closeness to Hashem. The challenge for us is to make the most of this opportunity and then to carry over the experience into the days, weeks and months that follow.

So Here are some ideas:

1. Preparation and Effort:

2. Ask Questions:

3. Treat each child differently:

4. Tell Stories:

5. Make It Fun:


Pesach: ואתא שונרא

And the cat came…

For one Rav living in Eastern Europe, his daily routine consisted of him serving as a judge for the local Jewish court, returning home for supper for an hour and then heading off to shul to be available for answering questions. On one occasion, though, as his wife prepared fish for supper, she wished to cool it off before he returned home. Stepping outside, she placed a plate of fish just next to the back door.

As it turned out, the rabbi was not the only hungry one that day. Helping himself to the delicious smelling fish was the neighborhood cat. When the Rebbetzin returned only a few minutes later and noticed what had happened, she began to panic. “What is my husband going to eat? He needs his supper!” Hearing the cries of the Rebbetzin from the front of the house was Yankel. Concerned that something had happened, Yankel knocked on the door and stood waiting. When the Rebbetzin opened the door, Yankel reassured her that she had nothing to worry about. He would go to the shul and gently relay the news to the Rebbe. In this way, he would not enter the house unprepared for a surprise.

Entering the shul, as soon as Yankel caught sight of the Rebbe, he walked over to him. Noticing that he was being approached during the time he usually headed home for supper, the Rebbe asked Yankel if he could return later. “Rebbe, I have a very important question.” “Is it life-threatening?” “It is much more important than that,” said Yankel. “I am having doubts in emunah(belief). I can’t be left for even an hour with such doubts!” Hearing that Yankel was bothered by something of such great import, the Rebbe listened carefully.

“I have been learning the Haggadah,” Yankel began, “and I came across the passage of Chad Gadya. But I don’t understand; something doesn’t make sense. As it appears from the story, the goat did nothing wrong. But if so, following the sequence of the passage, the cat who ate the goat was therefore wrong, the dog was right, the stick was wrong, the fire was right, the water was wrong, the ox was right, the slaughterer was wrong and the angel of death was right. But if that is true, it must be that Hashem was wrong. How can that be?”

Listening to Yankel’s concern, the Rebbe explained, “Yankel, you have to start the other way. Hashem was right, the angel of death was wrong, the slaughterer was right, the ox was wrong, the water was right, the fire was wrong, the stick was right, the dog was wrong, the cat was right…”

“Rebbe!” immediately interrupted Yankel, “if the cat was right, you have no supper.”

The Slonimer Rebbe (Sefer Nesivot Shalom) writes that the month of Nissan is the month which launches our emunah for the whole year. It is the crucible in which we solidify and anchor our faith. Even though we may sometimes drift off course and struggle throughout the coming months, Pesach night is the time when we calibrate and get into sync. Questions and doubts only begin when our emunah is not firmly grounded and starts off on the wrong foot. When that is the case, its entire trajectory will be skewed. But if our emunah starts off from the right position and is firmly grounded, it will carry us throughout the entire year and keep us heading exactly where we need to be. By Rabbi Dovid Kaplan


Please take advantage of this chag by using our beautiful bait midrash  and lots of sefarim & daily minyanim.


Parsha Summary 

First Aliyah: Additional instructions regarding the Olah – ascent offering, and the Mincha – meal offering are detailed.

second Aliya: The special meal offering of the Kohain Gadol and the special inaugural meal offering of the regular Kohain is described. This was the same offering in both cases; however, the Kohain Gadol brought his offering every day while the regular Kohain did so only on the day of his inauguration into the service of the Bais Hamikdash. Additional laws of the sin offering, and the guilt offering are detailed.

third Aliya: Additional laws of the peace offering are detailed along with those portions of the offering that must be shared with the Kohain.

fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh Aliyot: The remainder of the Parsha describes the first seven days of the inaugural process for Aharon and his four sons. Moshe functioned as the Kohain Gadol to officiate over the inaugural process, and Aharon and his sons were forbidden to leave the Mishkan the entire time.


simcha corner

 Shoshana was jealous of her friend Shira. All of Shira’s young children sat quietly with her in shul during the rabbi’s sermon while her 7 year old twins Shimi and Shmueli couldn’t sit still.

About halfway through the speech, Shoshana leaned over to Shira and said, “How do you get your kids to sit so quietly?”

“Before shul I tell them, ‘Remember, if you aren’t quiet Rabbi Goldman will lose his place and will have to start all over again’”!