Parshas Tzav

Words in bold represent changes to the traditional translation based on the Aramaic translation/commentary attributed to Onkelos the Ger.

Parshas Tzav

Chapter 6


1. Hashem spoke to Moshe, saying:

2. Command Aharon and his sons, saying: This is the law of the burnt offering; it is the burnt offering that is burned[1] on the altar all night until the morning, and the fire of the altar will burn with it.

3. The kohein shall put on his linen garments[2] with linen pants on his flesh. He shall raise the ash that the fire consumed of the burnt offering on the altar and place it next to the altar.

4. He shall remove his garments and put on other garments, and bring out the ashes to outside the camp, to a pure place.

5. The fire on the altar shall burn on it; it shall not be extinguished. The kohein shall burn wood on it every morning.[3] He shall arrange the burnt offering on it and smoke on it the fats of the holiness offerings.[4]

6. An eternal fire shall burn on the altar; do not extinguish (it).

7. And this is the law of the flour offering that Aharon’s sons shall offer[5] before Hashem, in front of the altar.

8. They shall remove from it in a handful of the fine flour of the flour offering and of its oil, and all the frankincense that is on the flour offering, and smoke (it) on the altar – to be accepted with favor,[6] a remembrance before Hashem.

9. The remainder from it shall be eaten by Aharon and his sons; unleavened bread it shall be eaten, in a holy place. They shall eat it in the courtyard of the Tent of Meeting.

10. It shall not be baked with leaven. (As) their portion I have given it from My offerings;[7] it is most holy, like the sin offering and like the guilt offering.

11. Every male among Aharon’s descendants may eat of it; it is an eternal statute for your generations from Hashem’s offerings. Anyone who touches them must be sanctified.


12. Hashem spoke with Moshe, saying:

13. This is the offering of Aharon and his sons that they shall offer before Hashem on the day they elevate him:[8] a tenth of three seah[9] of fine flour as a perpetual flour offering, half in the morning and half in the evening.

14. It shall be prepared on a griddle with oil. Scalded you shall bring it, baked, a flour offering of pieces you shall offer (it) – to be accepted with favor before Hashem.

15. And the priest who will be elevated[10] after him from his sons will make it. It is an eternal statute before Hashem; it shall be completely smoked.

16. And every flour offering of a priest shall be complete;[11] it may not be eaten.

17. Hashem spoke with Moshe, saying:

18. Speak with Aharon and with his sons, saying: This is the law of the sin offering. In the place where the burnt offering is slaughtered the sin offering shall be slaughtered before Hashem; it is most holy.

19. The priest who atones through the blood[12] shall eat it; in a holy place it shall be eaten, in the courtyard of the Tent of Meeting.

20. Anything that touches its flesh shall be sanctified, and if someone sprinkles[13] from its blood is on a garment, that which on which he sprinkles you shall wash in a holy place.

21. An earthenware vessel in which it will be cooked must be broken; if it will be cooked[14] in a copper vessel, (it) must be scrubbed and rinsed with water.

22. Every male among the kohanim may eat it: it is most holy.[15]

23. Every sin offering of whose blood is brought into the Tent of Meeting for atonement in the sanctuary may not be eaten; it must be burned in fire.

Chapter 7

1. This is the law of the guilt offering: it is most holy.

2. The guilt offering shall be slaughtered in the place where the burnt offering is slaughtered, and its blood shall be thrown on the altar all around.

3. All its fat shall be offered from it – the fat tail and the fat that covers the entrails,

4. the two kidneys and the fat that is on them that is on the loins, and the lobe on the liver shall be removed with the kidneys.

5. The kohein shall smoke them on the altar, an offering before Hashem; it is a guilt offering.

6. Every male among the kohanim may eat it; it must be eaten in a holy place; it is most holy.

7. The guilt offering is like the sin offering: they have the same[16] law. It will belong to the kohein who makes atonement through it.

8. And the kohein who offers a man’s burnt offering, the hide of the burnt offering that he will offer[17] will be his.

9. And every flour offering that is baked in an oven, and every one that is made in a pan and on a griddle, will belong to the kohein who offers it.

10. And every flour offering, mixed with oil or not mixed,[18] will belong to all of Aharon’s descendants,[19] a man like his brother.


11. And this is the law of the holiness sacrifice one offers before Hashem:

12. If he offers it for gratitude, he shall offer with the gratitude sacrifice unleavened bread mixed with oil, unleavened wafers spread with oil, and loaves of scalded fine flour mixed with oil.

13. With loves of leavened bread he shall offer his offering, with his gratitude holiness sacrifice.

14. He shall offer from it one of each (as) a gift before Hashem; it will belong to the kohein who throws the blood of the holiness offering.

15. And the flesh of his gratitude holiness sacrifice must be eaten on the day it is offered; do not store[20] from it until morning.

16. If his sacrifice that he offers is a vow or a gift, it must be eaten on the day he offers his sacrifice and on the next day; what remains of it may be eaten.

17. What remains of the flesh of the sacrifice on the third day must be burned in fire.

18. If any of the flesh of his holiness sacrifice is eaten on the third day, it will not be accepted; it will not be counted for the one who offered it. It will be rejected[21] and the person who eats from it will incur his sin.[22]

19. Sanctified flesh that touches any unclean thing may not be eaten; it must be burned in fire. And the sanctified flesh, all who are clean for holiness may eat sanctified flesh.

20. And the person[23] who eats flesh from holiness sacrifices that are before Hashem with his impurity upon him, that person will be excluded[24] from his people.

21. A person who touches any unclean thing – human impurity or an unclean animal or any unclean detestable creature – and he eats from the flesh Hashem’s holiness sacrifices, that person will be excluded from his people.

22. Hashem spoke with Moshe, saying:

23. Speak with the children of Israel, saying: All fat[25] of an ox or a sheep or a goat you shall not eat.

24. Fat of animals that died and fat of animals that were torn may be used for any purpose; (as for) eating, you shall not eat it

25. for all who eat fat from the animal of which they offer[26] an offering before Hashem, the person who eats (it) will be excluded from his people.

26. And all blood you shall not ear in all your habitations, of bird and of animal.

27. Any person who eats any blood, that person will be excluded from his people.

28. Hashem spoke with Moshe, saying:

29. Speak with the children of Israel, saying: The one who offers a holiness sacrifice before Hashem shall bring his offering to before Hashem from his holiness sacrifice;

30. his hands shall bring Hashem’s offerings. He shall bring the fat on the chest, the chest to raise it;[27] it shall be a raising before Hashem.

31. The kohein shall smoke the fat on the altar and the chest will be for Aharon and his sons.

32. And the right thigh you shall give (as) a gift to the kohein from your holiness sacrifices.

33. The one from among Aharon’s descendants who offers the blood of the holiness offering and the fat, to him will belong the right thigh as a portion.

34. Because the breast of the raising and the thigh of the separation I have taken from the children of Israel, from their holiness sacrifices, and I have given them to Aharon the kohein and to his sons as an eternal statute from the children of Israel.

35. This is the elevation[28] (offering) of Aharon and the elevation (offering) of his sons from Hashem’s offerings, on the day they offer them to minister before Hashem,

36. that Hashem commanded to give them on the day He elevated them from the children of Israel, an eternal statute for their generations.

37. This is the law of the burnt offering, of the flour offering, of the sin offering, of the guilt offering, of the offerings[29] and of the holiness sacrifice

38. that Hashem commanded Moshe on Mount Sinai on the day He commanded the children of Israel to offer their offerings before Hashem, in the Sinai wilderness.

Chapter 8


1. Hashem spoke with Moshe, saying:

2. Bring Aharon near[30] and his sons with him, and the garments, and the elevation[31] oil, and the bull for the sin offering, and the two rams and the basket of unleavened bread,

3. and gather the entire community at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting.

4. Moshe did as Hashem commanded him and the community was gathered at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting.

5. Moshe said to the congregation, “This is the matter that Hashem has commanded to do.”

6. Moshe brought Aharon and his sons near and he washed them in water.

7. He put the tunic on him, he girded him with the belt, he dressed him with the robe, he put the apron on him, and he girded him with the decorative band and he adorned him with it.

8. He put the breastplate on him and he put the urim and tumim into the breastplate.

9. He put the turban on his head and on the turban, facing the front, he put the gold plate, the holy crown, as Hashem commanded Moshe.

10. Moshe took the anointing oil and he anointed the Tabernacle and everything that was in it, and he sanctified them.

11. He sprinkled from it on the altar seven times and he elevated the altar and all its utensils, and the basin and its stand, to sanctify them.

12. He poured from the elevation oil on Aharon’s head and elevated him, to sanctify him.

13. Moshe brought Aharon’s sons near. He dressed them in tunics, girded them with belts, and set[32] hats for them, as Hashem commanded Moshe.


14. He brought the bull for the sin offering near. Aharon and his sons laid their hands on the head of the bull for the sin offering,

15. It was slaughtered; Moshe took the blood and put (it) on the horns of the altar all around with his finger and he purified the altar. He poured the blood on the base of the altar and he sanctified it in order to make atonement on it.

16. He took all the fat that was on the entrails, and the lobe of the liver, and the two kidneys and their fat, and Moshe smoked them on the altar.

17. The bull, its hide, its flesh and its dung, he burned in fire outside the camp as Hashem had commanded Moshe.

18. He brought the ram of the burnt offering near. Aharon and his sons laid their hands on the ram’s head.

19. It was slaughtered; Moshe threw the blood on the altar all around.

20. He divided the ram into its limbs;[33] Moshe smoked the head, the limbs and the fat.

21. He washed the entrails and the legs in water and Moshe smoked all the entire ram on the altar; it was a burnt offering to be accepted with favor, an offering before Hashem as Hashem commanded Moshe.


22. He brought the second ram near, the ram of the offerings. Aharon and his sons laid their hands on the ram’s head.

23. It was slaughtered. Moshe took from its blood and placed it on the tip of Aharon’s right ear, and on the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe of his right foot.

24. Moshe brought the sons of Aharon near and put from the blood on the tips of their right ears, and on the thumbs of their right hands, and on the big toes of their right feet. Moshe threw the blood on the altar all around.

25. He took the fat – the fat tail, all the fat on the entrails, the lobe of the liver, and the two kidneys and their fat – and the right thigh.

26. And from the basket of unleavened bread that was before Hashem, he took one loaf of unleavened bread, one loaf of oil bread and one wafer; he placed them on the fats and on the right thigh.

27. He placed everything on Aharon’s hands[34] and on the hands of his sons, and he raised them as a raising before Hashem.

28. Moshe took them from upon their hands and smoked them on the altar with the burnt offering. They were offerings to be accepted with favor; it was an offering before Hashem.

29. Moshe took the chest and raised it (as) a raising before Hashem; from the ram of the offerings was for Moshe as a portion as Hashem commanded Moshe.


30. Moshe took from the elevation oil and from the blood that was on the altar and he sprinkled it on Aharon, on his garments, and on his sons and on their garments with him, and he sanctified Aharon and his garments, and his sons and their garments with him.

31. Moshe said to Aharon and to his sons, “Cook the flesh at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting and eat it there with the bread that is in the basket of the offerings as I commanded saying, ‘Aharon and his sons shall eat it.’

32. And what remains of the flesh and of the bread burn in fire.

33. Do not go out from the entrance of the Tent of Meeting (for) seven days, until the day that your days of the offerings are completed, because he[35] will offer your offering[36] (for) seven days.

34. As was done on this day, Hashem has commanded to do, to atone for you.

35. Dwell at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting day and night (for) seven days; keep the watch of Hashem’s word and you will not die, for so have I been commanded.”

36. Aharon and his sons did all the things that Hashem commanded by the hand of Moshe.

[1] Rather than “on the hearth.”

[2] Onkelos changes this word from singular to plural.

[3] Literally, “in the morning, in the morning.”

[4] Rather than “peace offerings.”

[5] Onkelos deletes “it.”

[6] As opposed to “a pleasing aroma.”

[7] Rather than “fire offerings.”

[8] As opposed to “on the day of his anointing.”

[9] Rather than “an ephah,” an equivalent measure.

[10] Again, rather than “anointed.”

[11] i.e., completely burned.

[12] Rather than “who offers it as a sin offering.”

[13] Onkelos changes this from the passive to the active.

[14] Onkelos changes this from past to future.

[15] Literally, “holy of holies.”

[16] Literally, “one.”

[17] Rather than “offers.”

[18] As opposed to “dry.”

[19] Literally, “sons.”

[20] As opposed to the more passive “leave over.”

[21] Rather than “detestable.”

[22] As opposed to “bear his sin.”

[23] Rather than “soul.”

[24] Ather than “cut off.”

[25] All references to fat in this parsha refer specifically to cheilev, i.e., forbidden fats.

[26] Onkelos changes this phrase from singular to plural.

[27] Rather than “to wave it.”

[28] As opposed to “anointment.”

[29] The Hebrew miluim is generally translated as “the ordination offering.”

[30] Rather than “Take Aharon.”

[31] Rather than “anointing.”

[32] As opposed to “wrapped,” as in the style of a turban.

[33] As opposed to “cutting” it into “pieces.”

[34] Rather than “palms.”

[35] i.e., Moshe.

[36] Chumash: “fill your hands”

© Copyright 2021 Rabbi Jack Abramowitz