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    Standing at the entrance – Tzav

    tabernacle mishkanIt sounds like a strange command: “Assemble all the congregation at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting” (Lev. 8:3).

    To assemble the congregation, that we can understand. To assemble them at the sanctuary is no problem. But at the entrance? Why not inside?

    The command recalls a custom in many cities, to say, “Let’s meet outside the train station” – a convenient rendezvous, whether or not one intends to go into the station and catch a train.

    But a mere rendezvous doesn’t seem to be what the Torah has in mind.

    Another memory: in the last years of the Soviet regime, Jews would gather outside the synagogue in Moscow to sing and dance on Simchat Torah. Why outside the building? One reason is that most people didn’t know what to do inside a place of worship.

    How about this as an explanation of the Torah verse, that even being in the vicinity of the sanctuary enriches one’s feelings?

    Maybe the situation is this: since Ibn Ezra says it was the kohanim and levi’im who as representatives of the people entered the sanctuary, the rest of the people waited outside to hear the word of God which the leaders brought back.

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