Leviticus Hizkuni: Tzav
Teach the Children, Redeem the Parents
On the Seder night, there is an eternal service that parents need to provide to their children. They must tell them about the Exodus from Egypt. Conversely, there is a potentially greater service that children provide to their parents.
In the commands in Leviticus to the Priests there is mention of either “Kohen” or “Sons of Aaron”. Directives to Aaron himself are notably absent until Leviticus 6:2: “Command Aaron and his sons…”
Rabbi Yaakov ben Manoach (Hizkuni) notes that during the sin of the Golden Calf, Aaron the priest was an unwilling but prime facilitator. This placed him on God’s bad side. According to Hizkuni, Moses intervenes on Aaron’s behalf to bring about reconciliation by referring to Aaron’s innocent children.
The argument that he attributes to Moses is intriguing:
“God! All trees are acceptable before you on the altar except for olive trees and grape vines, however olive oil lights the candelabrum and wine is brought as a libation, the trees receive a place of honor because of its fruit. And for Aaron you will not give honor because of his sons? Immediately, God commanded Aaron and his sons…”
Hizkuni indicates that children have the opportunity to be the parent’s redemption. No matter how grievous the sin, the failing, the unfulfilled dreams, children represent the eternal hope of the next generation. A child’s deeds can not only give credit to one’s parents, but even honor and redemption.
May our parents always remain a source of instruction and our children a source of hope.
Shabbat Shalom and Chag Kasher Ve’sameach,
To Michal and Rachel Nachmani. They receive well the noble teachings of their parents. And they provide great honor to their family by being their children.