Sav-Shabbat HaGadol – Perasha Synopsis

Perashat Sav describes different types of offerings given in the Tabernacle, as well as the different flames and fires used on the altar. The Torah explains the process of giving four specific offerings; the Meal Offering, the Sin Offering, the Guilt Offering, and the Thanksgiving Offering.

A Meal Offering consists of finely ground wheat flour, and olive oil. This is specifically made for people of lesser means so they could participate in the offerings.

A Sin Offering is required to atone for sins that were committed accidentally, but not for sins committed intentionally. A Guilt Offering is not the same as a Sin Offering.

A Guilt Offering is for brought by someone who realizes that he committed a sinful action.  Another concept discussed in the Perasha is Pigul; the implication being that a person who brings an offering, and has an impure thought, will disqualifies the offering.

A Thanksgiving Offering is given when someone survives a life-threatening situation to express his gratitude to G-d and his recognition that, it is G-d who saved him. Nowadays, we have the blessing of “HaGomel” that people recite after having experienced four categories of situations. These are: those that survived a journey through the desert, a sea voyage, an imprisonment and a serious illness.

The Perasha describes what portion of the offering is left for the Cohen, and what to do with the left over portion of a Feast Offering made for a vow or donation. There are regulations regarding eating in a state of contamination, and what to do with the fat and blood of the animal used for the sacrifice. The Perasha describes the ceremonial consecration of the Kohanim, and the special offerings given in honor of their inauguration.  Aharon and his sons carried out all the commandments given to them by Hashem.

This Shabbat is known as Shabbat HaGadol – Great Sabbath.  It is the name given to the Shabbat before Pesah in remembrance of the “great” miracle that occurred to the Israelites on the Sabbath before they left Egypt. It was their last Shabbat on Egypt, and they were already free to observe it and prepare for the Pascual Lamb Offering.


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