Exodus 29:26

Καὶ λήμψῃ τὸ στηθύνιον ἀπὸ τοῦ κριοῦ τῆς τελειώσεως, ὅ ἐστιν Ἀαρών, καὶ ἀφοριεῖς αὐτὸ ἀφόρισμα ἔναντι Κυρίου, καὶ ἔσται σοι ἐν μερίδι.

And you shall take the breast from the ram of completion which is Aaron’s, and you shall separate it as a separate offering before the LORD, and it shall be your portion.

ולקחת את־החזה מאיל המלאים אשׁר לאהרן והנפת אתו תנופה לפני יהוה והיה לך למנה׃


*   λήμψῃ | λήψῃ
*   completion OR perfection OR accomplishment OR fulfillment OR consecration
*   portion OR share

In Pashas Tetzaveh, Rashi understood that the word מלאים means a peace-offering. However, in Parshas Tzav, Rashi wrote that מלאים means “completion.” Why is Rashi not consistent in his understanding of this term? In Pashas Tetzaveh the Torah states, “You should take out the ram the (abdominal) fat, the tail-piece, the fat that covers the innards, the diaphragm of the lover, the two kidneys along with the fat that is upon them, and the right thigh, because it is a מלאים ram (29:22). Now, if we translated מלאים to mean “completion” in this case, the above verse would make no sense at all. For completion occurs for one reason alone: because it is the very last procedure. So it makes no sense to say that certain parts were removed from the animal and placed on the Altar because this was the ram of completion, for what do offering parts and completion have to do with one another? Therefore, in this case, Rashi understood that the word מלאים means that it was a peace-offering, for the key identifying feature of a peace-offering is that part of the animal offered on the Altar and part is eaten by the owners – and thus, in Rashi’s words, “it makes peace for the Altar, for the one who performs the service, and for the owner.” In our Parsha however, the Torah does not state that the parts were offered on the Altar “because it is a מלאים ram.” Therefore, Rashi was not forced to follow the above logic. Rashi reasoned if the Torah meant to tell us that this was a peace-offering it would have said so. Thus the term איל המלאים must mean something else here. Therefore he wrote, that “The term איל המלאים means “completion ram,” for these rams filled (ממלאים) and completed (משׁלימים) the [status of the] priests in their priesthood.” (Source: חמשה חומשי תורה: Chumash – The Gutnick Edition – The Book of Leviticus – With Rashi’s Commentary, Targum Onkelos and Haftoras with a Commentary anthologized from Classic Rabbinic Texts and the works of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, edited by Chaim Miller, 2005, page 55)


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