Parsha Guide: Tzav - Four Occasions for Thanks – Aleph Beta Academy

Parsha Guide: Tzav - Four Occasions for Thanks

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Four Occasions for Thanks

Think back to the last time someone did something generous for you. Your neighbor took care of your children, when you had to work late last-minute. Your friend did your grocery shopping, when you were sick with the flu. After you recovered, and thought back about what that person had done to help you, how did you feel?

You probably felt incredibly grateful. This person didn’t need to be so generous to you, but they did. And now, you want a way to show them how appreciative you are. After all, most of us, when we feel grateful, when we feel indebted -- to anyone else, be it a human or God -- are overcome with a desire to demonstrate it. We want to make some grand gesture, as symbol of our appreciation of whatever gift came our way.

The Torah lays out an avenue for us to channel that feeling, to act on that desire. It’s called a Todah, or thanksgiving, offering, and we find its laws in this week’s parsha. According to the Talmud1 , there are four types of people who are obligated to bring a Todah:
הים יורדי – One who survived an ocean journey
מדברות הולכי – One who survived the desert
שנתרפא חולה – One who survived a terrible illness
האסורים בית חבושי – One who was freed from a dungeon


When you look at this list of four different types of people, is there one which stands out as categorically different? 

Get the guide to find out what we think. 

Most of the material within – although not the particular language contained in this guide - was first developed and taught by Rabbi David Fohrman, founder and CEO of Aleph Beta, and is presented in his video, “Parshat Tzav: What Does It Mean To Survive?” (available for viewing at www. This guide was written by Beth Lesch, edited by Rivky Stern, and arranged by Laura Schembre.