Steven Zvi Gleiberman

Ask or Command?


1.And Hashem spoke to Moshe, saying 2. Command Aaron and his sons, saying…

We see that Hashem “spoke” to Moshe, telling him to “command” Aaron. Why the change from speaking to commanding? Was Hashem worried that if he told Moshe to simply “tell” Aaron, he wouldn’t have listened? For goodness sake, the Parsha is called Tzav (command). Why?

Rashi on this Pasuk states that “”אֵין צַו אֶלָּא לְשׁוֹן זֵרוּז”, that the expression צַו always denotes “urging to promptly and meticulously fulfill a particular commandment”. From my (probably limited) understanding of Rashi, Aaron was going to follow the commandments of Hashem regardless, however the fact that the word Tzav was written there was to promote a sense of urgent-ness and meticulousness.

Too often, we request things from people and then get annoyed when the request doesn’t get fulfilled. As emulators of Hashem’s behaviors, the Torah may be teaching us that there is nothing wrong with (in only the correct scenarios of course) demanding or commanding things from people.

Generally, when giving a command, you are more likely to get the desired outcome compared to when making a request. This is because when you make a request, you are giving the other person the option to say no, which could result in the task not getting completed. However, when you give a command, the other person is more likely to feel obligated to fulfill the task. Additionally, giving a command can help to establish clear boundaries and expectations. When making a request, the other person may not fully understand the urgency or importance of the task, which could lead to delays or misunderstandings. However, when giving a command, you are setting clear boundaries and expectations, which can help to ensure that the task is completed in a timely and efficient manner.

That being said, it is important to note that there are situations where requesting is more appropriate than commanding. For example, when dealing with a sensitive situation, it may be more appropriate to make a request than to give a command, as this can help to maintain a positive relationship, and accomplish more.

While there are situations where requesting may be more appropriate, commanding, when used properly, is very effective.

May we “command” ourselves to victory in everything that we do and be accomplished people.

Shabbat Shalom!

About the Author
StevenZvi grew up in Brooklyn and in his professional life worked in the healthcare industry in New York City. Wishing to create additional meaning and purpose in his life, he moved to Jerusalem in November 2020, where he lives with his wife, works in the Medical Technology space and volunteers for Hatzalah. He uses his writing capabilities as a healthy outlet not to receive money, recognition or fame. It’s his hope that his articles will have some positive impact on the Jewish nation and humanity worldwide. He may not live forever, but his contributions to society might.
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