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  • Writer's pictureLeann Shamash

In Seven Days

Parshat Tzav specifies the specifics of the daily sacrifices, including the sacrifice of well being, the sin offering, the guilt offering and the offering of ordination.

It serves as a service manual, much as the parshiyot that served as a building manual for the Mishkan.

I wondered once again about that one week where the period of ordination is completed and Aaron and his sons are commanded to stay put and wait for one week to complete their process of becoming priests. What was the purpose of that week? How were they transformed?

There have been so many events over the past few years where a world has been transformed over the course of one week. Storms, disease and war are among them. Seven, though is also the number of creation. This is a short poem of transitions of sevens in our lives, in the lives of Aaron and his sons and in the lives of nations.

In Seven Days

In seven days a world was created.

In seven days a country can be destroyed.

In seven days not much changes,

but in seven days everything can change.

It’s hard to believe, but

in seven days a world can shut down.

In seven days one can find love that lasts a lifetime

and in seven days a lifetime can come to an end.

For seven days we celebrate a marriage

and for seven days we mourn a death.

In seven days one can meditate and prepare

One can dress and be annointed.

One can sacrifice and one can eat.

One can pray and one can wait.

and in seven days one can still not be ready.

You shall not go outside the entrance of the Tent of Meeting for seven days, until the day that your period of ordination is completed. For your ordination will require seven days.

Everything done today, יהוה has commanded to be done [seven days], to make expiation for you.

You shall remain at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting day and night for seven days, keeping יהוה’s charge—that you may not die—for so I have been commanded.

And Aaron and his sons did all the things that יהוה had commanded through Moses.

Leviticus 8: 33-36

Translation from Sefaria

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