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Parshat Tetzaveh - The Korban Tamid
In this week’s Parsha, we read about the Korban Tamid. What is the meaning of this Korban? Why is it that after this Korban, Hashem reiterates His promise that He will dwell amongst us, that His Mikdash will be filled with kedusha? What is the eternal message of the Korban Tamid?
We can perhaps gain a deeper insight into this topic by looking at the person in the Torah who resembles a Korban – Yitzchak. Not only does the akeidah take place on the future site of the Beit Hamikdash, but also the Zohar says that the time of the Akeidah was “bein Ha’arbaim” - the same time as the afternoon Tamid. At the Akeidah, Yitzchak became a human Korban and is described as an “Olah Temima”. What does it mean that Yitzchak is perfect, Temima?
We are given the consequence of his perfection in Bereihit Raba on the words “dwell in this land” (Bereishit 26:3): “You are an olah temima. You are unable (“nifselet”) to go to chutz la’aretz.
Yitzchak, the embodiment of kedusha, cannot leave the place of kedusha,Eretz Yisrael.
But what causes Yitzchak to be “perfect”?
I would like to suggest that the root of his being temima is the very same thing that makes him unique. This is typified in the following passuk (Bereishit 26:18):
And Yitzchak digged again the wells of water, which they had digged in the days of Avraham his father; for the Plishtim had stopped them after the death of Avraham; and he called their names after the names by which his father had called them.
Yitzchak represents the idea of continuity. He redug the wells which his father, Avraham, had dug and called them by the same names.
This very same idea is shown by the Korban Tamid, the Korban offered every day. The foundation of our Avodat Hashem is in the mitzvot we perform day in day out. Yitzchak’s strength is often our weakness, the enthusiasm and care taken in fulfilling every last detail – redigging the exact same wells and even calling them by the same names.
This message permeates our entire Parsha. The word Tamid appears seven times in all of Parshat of Tetzaveh showing that the idea of the Tamid is echoed even in the bigdei kehuna. Rashi on 28:35 says that if any of the clothes of the Kohen were missing then the result would be a heavenly punishment of death (“chayav mita bidei shamayim”). This again stresses the idea of attention to detail.
The korban tamid teaches us that what we see as mundane, Hashem sees as the root of Kedusha. It is our task to reach the level of Yitzchak, embracing every seemingly small detail of a mitzva with care and passion, so we can achieve the same consequence, never again having to leave our Holy land, Israel. In this zechit may we be able to, once again, offer the Korban Tamid as it should be offered – every day in the Beit Hamikdash, bime’heir b’yameinu!
1: Parshat Shavua