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צו את אהרן ואת בניו לאמר זאת תורת העולה

Command Aharon and his sons, saying: This is the law of the Elevation/Burnt offering. (6:2)

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Previously,commandment/instructions concerning the korbanos, offerings, were introduced with the less-emphatic term, emor, “say,” or dabeir, “speak.” The word, tzav, command, implies that the Kohanim are being urged to be especially ardent in performing the service of the Korban Olah with alacrity. Chazal teach that this exhortation (tzav) must be repeated constantly to future generations. Furthermore, this introduction is especially relevant whenever a monetary loss (such as the Korban Olah in which the Kohanim receive nothing of the korban, since all of the meat is burned) is involved. If money (or the loss thereof) plays such a significant role in the execution of a mitzvah, one wonders why such mitzvos as Bris Milah and Limud haTorah are not rightfully included. While the monetary expenditure may not be that pressing, the pain incurred certainly is. Likewise, Torah study involves time, a commodity during which one could be earning money. Certainly, these two mitzvos apply sufficient pressure on the mind of the executor that an extra ziruz, sense of urgency, be applied to the mitzvah.

Horav Moshe Feinstein, zl, explains that milah, circumcision, is such a defining principle in Judaism, and Jews carry out this mitzvah with such a sense of inner and external joy that no added ziruz, encouragement, is necessary. Simchah, joy, is the term best related to the performance of the mitzvah of Bris Milah. Indeed, Chazal teach that any mitzvah (such as milah), which the Jewish people originally accepted joyfully, is still performed today even under the greatest mesiras nefesh, self-sacrifice and devotion. In other words, when simchah is involved, chisaron kis, monetary loss, has no bearing on the performance of the mitzvah. One does not have to be urged to perform an activity/mitzvah which gives him great joy.

A similar idea applies concerning Limud haTorah. One who learns becomes happy. Pikudei Hashem yesharim mesamchei lev; “The orders of Hashem are upright, gladdening the heart” (Tehillim 19:9). Money means nothing to the one who is truly happy; and to the one who is unhappy, no money in the world can buy him happiness. To understand this verity, one has to have been privy to the remarkably awe-inspiring scene of unbridled joy evinced at the recent Siyum HaShas. One snapshot of the looks on the participants’ faces when the Siyum was held expresses it all. The inner joy experienced through the vehicle of Limud haTorah is indescribable. It must be experienced.

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