In Tetzaveh we’re told the details of how Aaron and his sons were to sacrifice animals. When they killed a ram, for instance, they were supposed to toss his blood on Aaron’s clothing, and on his sons’ clothing too! Pretty gruesome, but remember, that’s the distant origin of Jewish rules on food. If you’re an Orthodox Jew you don’t eat – you guessed it – the blood of an animal.
They didn’t just sacrifice rams. Bulls and lambs got sacrificed too. And besides animals, there were offerings of bread and matzah.
But this bread and meat didn’t all go up in smoke! Aaron and his sons got the breast of the ram, for instance, to eat for themselves – a very tasty portion!
Of course, the status of priest (or kohen) didn’t end with Aaron. He and his sons were the founders of the High Priests, of which there were twelve more before the destruction of the Second Temple. They’re also the ancestors of today’s kohens, people who have certain inherited rights and responsibilities among observant Jews.
Food for Thought
How do you feel about animal sacrifice? How do you feel about eating meat?