Parshas Tzav

ADAR II, 5779

 Interpreting Artifacts

As in the gift of Manna, so it is in the memory of artifacts

After the exodus from Egypt, Hashem gifted the Jews with manna, ’heavenly bread’, to consume during their travels in the wilderness.

Hashem furthermore commanded Moshe:

וַיֹּ֣אמֶר משֶׁ֗ה זֶ֤ה הַדָּבָר֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר צִוָּ֣ה הֹ' מְלֹ֤א הָעֹ֨מֶר֙ מִמֶּ֔נּוּ לְמִשְׁמֶ֖רֶת לְדֹרֹֽתֵיכֶ֑ם לְמַ֣עַן יִרְא֣וּ אֶת־הַלֶּ֗חֶם אֲשֶׁ֨ר הֶֽאֱכַ֤לְתִּי אֶתְכֶם֙ בַּמִּדְבָּ֔ר בְּהֽוֹצִיאִ֥י אֶתְכֶ֖ם מֵאֶ֥רֶץ מִצְרָֽיִם

“Moses said, This is the thing that the Lord commanded: Let one omerful of it be preserved for your generations, in order that they see the bread that I fed you in the desert when I took you out of the land of Egypt.”

Like the saved Manna, the Torah is providing us with a template to preserve the meaning of the Holocaust artifact.



Dear Friend,

Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liady (1745 –1812) was the founder of the Chabad Chassidus. He was the author of many sefarim including the Tanya and Shulchan Aruch HaRav.


The pasuk in this week’s parsha states:  

כֹּ֛ל אֲשֶׁר־יִגַּ֥ע בִּבְשָׂרָ֖הּ יִקְדָּ֑שׁ וַֽאֲשֶׁ֨ר יִזֶּ֤ה מִדָּמָהּ֙ עַל־הַבֶּ֔גֶד אֲשֶׁר֙ יִזֶּ֣ה עָלֶ֔יהָ תְּכַבֵּ֖ס בְּמָק֥וֹם קָדֽשׁ

“Anything that touches its flesh shall become holy, and if any of its blood is sprinkled on a garment, [the area of the garment] upon which it has been sprinkled, you shall wash in a holy place.”


וְהַבָּשָׂ֞ר אֲשֶׁר־יִגַּ֤ע בְּכָל־טָמֵא֙ לֹ֣א יֵֽאָכֵ֔ל בָּאֵ֖שׁ יִשָּׂרֵ֑ף וְהַ֨בָּשָׂ֔ר כָּל־טָה֖וֹר יֹאכַ֥ל בָּשָֽׂר

“And the flesh that touches anything unclean shall not be eaten. It shall be burned in fire. But regarding the flesh, anyone who is clean may eat [the] flesh.”

The Torah states that all that is needed for a tamei (impure) animal to have a negative residual effect on the Kohen, is for him to touch the animal. Subsequently, he himself will become impure. However, in order for the Kohen to receive a positive residual effect from the Tahor (pure) animal, touching the animal is not enough. As our Sages teach us, in order for the Kohen to have the benefit of becoming Kodesh (holy) through a sacrifice, he must actually swallow the meat.

The Baal HaTanya notes that in addition to these two pesukim teaching us the laws of various karbanos, they also allude to a more general fundamental idea regarding our personal growth. We must distance ourselves from impurity and impure environments, as every little bit of impurity can have a negative effect on us. However, achieving purity requires more effort. We must imbibe pure and holy things and surround ourselves with purity in order to be affected and elevated by them.




If a survivor returns to a camp in which he was interned and managed to survive, does he make the beracha "שעשה לי נס במקום הזה" and if so, does he also mention any other places that he survived as well?


Even though he personally experienced miracles worthy of expressing gratitude for, since so many others did not have the same outcome, it is inappropriate to make the beracha. However, it is fitting to set a day of reflection and focus on the tremendous 'חסדי ה that enabled him to survive.

בשבילי ברכת הגומל / סימן יב

 Click here to read the whole Teshuvah


To schedule a school visit or to donate artifacts,
contact Amud Aish at: 718-759-6200 or


To learn more about Amud Aish, click here.