Tzav – command! The word is a sticky, fricative syllable that in one iteration or another crosses our lips daily as we perform a mitzvah.
Reflecting again, back to the final readings in Exodus, the Book of Shemot, we read about the construction of the Sanctuary, the Mishkan– and we read about fire. Fire is an element that follows us throughout Torah: God appeared to Moses in a burning bush; the Golden Calf “appeared” to Aaron and the Israelites out of fire; fire was carefully modulated to create the golden Chrubim, Keruvim and other elements of the Mishkan, and now we read about fires consuming sacrifices. In Hebrew the word for sacrifice is korban, plural, korbanot, and implies a coming closer, nearer to God. We are also taught to not make fire on Shabbat and on Festivals. Fire, then, is both a negative and positive element as are our mitzvot, and fire follows us from Shemot into Leviticus, Vayikra, and this week, into Tzav.