Jeremiah and the Problem of Religious Hypocrisy

Parashat Tzav

Did God command Israel to offer sacrifices—as said explicitly in parashat Tzav—or not—as Jeremiah says in this week's haftarah? Although these two passages appear contradictory, they are not. Jeremiah is not opposed to the sacrificial system laid out in parashat Tzav, or to ritual in general. But he is intensely worried that sacrifice and ritual can be used in hypocritical, counter-productive ways. (5775)