Thought of the Week: Tzav

And the remainder of the offering shall be eaten by Aaron and his sons. in a holy place. I have given it to them as their portion of my fire-offerings; it is holy. (6:9-10)

Today, a person's table is comparable to the altar in the Holy Temple.

- The Talmud, Chagigah 27b

Before Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov went public with his teachings and established the chassidic movement, he served as a shochet(ritual slaughterer) in a small village in the Ukraine. After he left his post, the village hired another shochetto slaughter their cattle and fowl.

One day, a villager sent his one of his non-Jewish laborers with a chicken to the shochet. But the messenger returned with the bird still very squawkingly alive. "This new fellow you got," he explained, "is no good."

"Why?" asked the villager.

"Oh no," said the peasant "From me he'll get no chickens to slaughter. He stands there with a pitcher, and uses ordinary water from the well to sharpen his knife! Yisrolik would sharpen the knife with his tears."