Current Issue

 

Share

Search
BeisMoshiach.org
Web
Tags
#1000 #1001 #1002 #1003 #1004 #1005 #1006 #1007 #1008 #1009 #1010 #1011 #1012 #1013 #1014 #1015 #1016 #1017 #1018 #1019 #1020 #1021 #1022 #1023 #1024 #1025 #1026 #1027 #1028 #1029 #1030 #1031 #1032 #1033 #1034 #1035 #1036 #1037 #1038 #1039 #1040 #1041 #1042 #1043 #1044 #1045 #1046 #1047 #1048 #1049 #1050 #1051 #1052 #1053 #1054 #1055 #1056 #1057 #1058 #1059 #1060 #1061 #1062 #1063 #1064 #1065 #1066 #1067 #1068 #1069 #1070 #1071 #1072 #1073 #1074 #1075 #1076 #1077 #1078 #1079 #1080 #1081 #1082 #1083 #1084 #1085 #1086 #1088 #1089 #318 #319 #350 #383 #390 #550 #560 #594 #629 #642 #776 #777 #778 #779 #780 #781 #782 #783 #784 #785 #786 #787 #820 #823 #824 #825 #826 #827 #828 #829 #830 #831 #832 #833 #834 #835 #836 #837 #838 #839 #840 #841 #842 #843 #844 #845 #846 #847 #848 #849 #850 #851 #852 #853 #854 #855 #856 #857 #858 #859 #860 #861 #862 #863 #864 #865 #866 #867 #868 #869 #870 #871 #872 #873 #874 #875 #876 #876 #877 #878 #879 #880 #881 #882 #883 #884 #885 #886 #887 #888 #889 #890 #891 #892 #893 #894 #895 #896 #897 #898 #899 #900 #901 #902 #903 #904 #905 #906 #907 #908 #909 #910 #911 #912 #913 #914 #915 #916 #917 #918 #919 #920 #921 #922 #923 #924 #925 #926 #927 #928 #929 #930 #931 #932 #933 #934 #935 #936 #937 #938 #939 #940 #941 #942 #943 #944 #945 #946 #947 #948 #949 #950 #951 #952 #953 #954 #955 #956 #957 #958 #959 #960 #961 #962 #963 #964 #965 #966 #967 #968 #969 #970 #971 #972 #973 #974 #975 #976 #977 #978 #979 #980 #981 #982 #983 #984 #985 #986 #987 #988 #989 #990 #991 #992 #993 #994 #995 #996 #997 #998 #999 10 Kislev 10 Shvat 10 Shvat 10 Teives 11 11 Nissan 112 Tammuz 119 Kislev 12 Tammuz 13 Iyar 13 Tishrei 14 Kislev 15 Elul 15 Menachem-Av 15 Shvat 17 Tammuz 18 Elul 19 Kislev 2 Iyar 20 Av 20 Mar-Cheshvan 20 Menachem-Av 20 Teives 22 Shvat 24 Teives 25 Adar 27 Adar 28 Nissan 28 Teives 29 Elul 3 Tammuz 33 Tammuz 352 5 Teives 6 Tishrei 7 Adar 770 864 865 881 9 Adar 9 Av 9 Kislev 903 Acharei-K'doshim Achdus Adar Ahavas Yisroel Alef-Beis Alter Rebbe Amalek Argentina Arizal army Artwork Aseres HaDibros Australia Avoda Zara B’Chukosai B’Shalach Baal Shem Tov baal t'shuva Balak BaMidbar bar mitzva Basi L'Gani B'Chukosai be Bein HaMeitzarim Beis HaMikdash Beis Nissan Beth Rivkah B'Haalos'cha B'Har B'Har-B'Chukosai Birthday Bitachon Bo B'rachos Brazil brit milah Brussels B'Shalach chai v'kayam Chanuka Chassidic Rabbis Chayei Sara Chevron children chinuch Chitas Choshen Chukas Churban controversy convert Dan Diary of the late R’ Saadya Maatuf Dollars dreams D''varim Editor's Corner Eikev Elul Emor Europe fire France free choice Gaza Gentiles Georgia Gulf War Gush Katif Haazinu Hakhel HaYom Yom Hebron hiskashrus Holy Temple Honoring Parents Hospitality IDF Igrot Kodesh India Intermarriage Internet Iran Iron Curtain Japan Jewish Refugee Crisis Kabbala K'doshim Kfar Chabad Ki Savo Ki Seitzei Ki Sisa KIDDUSH LEVANA Kiryat Gat Kislev kKi Sisa Kohen Gadol Korach korbanos KOS SHEL BRACHA Krias Shma K'vutza Lag B'Omer lashon ha'ra Lech Lecha letter Litvishe maamer Machatzis HaShekel mahn Mar-Cheshvan marriage Massei Matot Mattos Mattos-Massei Menachem Av Metzora Mexico Miami MiKeitz MIkvah Mishkan Mishpatim Mitteler Rebbe Mitzva Tank Mivtza Kashrus MIvtza Neshek Mivtza T’fillin Mivtza Tefilin Morocco Moshe Rabbeinu Moshiach & Geula Moshiach Seuda music Napoleon Naso niggunim Nissan Nitzavim Nitzavim-VaYeilech Noach Noachide North Africa olive oil painting Parshas Parah parshas re'eh Parshas Zachor Pesach Pesach Sheini Pinchas Pirkei Avos P'kudei prayer Prison Purim R’ Avrohom Schneersohn Rabbi Hillel Zaltzman Rabbi Levi Yitzchok Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu Rabbi Shlomo Galperin Rambam Ramban Rashbi Rashi Rebbe Rebbe Maharash Rebbe Rashab Rebbe Rayatz Rebbe Rayatz & Joint Rebbetzin Chana Rebbetzin Chaya Muska Red Heifer R'ei Rishon L'Tzion Rosh Chodesh Rosh HaShana Russia Samarkand seifer Torah s'firas ha'omer Shabbos Shabbos Chazon Shabbos Hagadol Shabbos Nachamu shalom bayis Shavuos Shekalim shiduchim Shlach shleimus ha'Aretz shliach shlichus Shmini Shmita Shmos Shoftim shtus Shvat simcha Simchas Torah South Africa Sukkos summer tahalucha Talmud Torah Tanya Tazria-Metzora te Tehilim Teives Terror teshuva Tetzaveh t'fillin the omer the soul tisha b'av Tishrei Toldos Tomchei T'mimim Truma t'shuva tTruma Tzanz Tzav Tzedaka Tzemach Tzedek Tzfas tzimtzum VaEira VaEs'chanan VaYakhel VaYakhel-P’kudei VaYechi VaYeilech VaYeira VaYeishev VaYeitzei VaYigash VaYikra VaYishlach Vocational Schools women Yechidus Yeshiva Yisro Yom Kippur Yom Tov Zohar Zos HaBracha. B'Reishis סיביר
Visitor Feed
Friday
Mar112011

BRING A KORBAN, NOT A SACRIFICE!

VAYIKRA: THE BOOK OF AFFECTION

The third and central book of the Torah, VaYikra, is named after its opening word, which translates as “And He called.” At first glance, it is strange that the name of a book—the central book—should be so ordinary. All this word seems to be saying is that G-d called Moses before speaking to him. What is so significant about G-d calling Moses?

Rashi explains that G-d calling Moses was a sign of the affection He had for Moses. Accordingly, “VaYikra” reflects the love G-d has for Moses, and by extension, for His people—the Jewish people.

What is the central theme of VaYikra? Korbonot, which is usually translated as sacrifices. That these laws are prefaced by the word VaYikra, a word which connotes affection, compels us to conclude that the sacrifices were expressions of G-d’s love for us.

Now the question is why does the offering of sacrifices serve as an expression of love and affection?

AN EXERCISE IN TRANSLATION

One answer lies in the true translation of the Hebrew word “Korban”, which actually means “closeness” rather than sacrifice. The korban was G-d’s way of letting us get close to Him. And, indeed, there is no greater sign of affection for another than allowing that person to get close to us.

This is especially true with regard to getting close to G-d who is Infinite. How can a finite being get close to an Infinite G-d? The answer is that it is impossible. However, G-d, just as He transcends the finite world, so too does He transcend the limits of the infinite. And it is His love for us that motivates G-d to transcend the parameters of both the finite and the infinite. The Talmud coins an expression “Ahava docheket et ha’basar,” that love can impel the flesh and overcome the limitations of space that two people occupy. Similarly, G-d’s love for us allows the diametrically opposite realms of the infinite and the finite to meet.

One may still ask a question: Granted that the Korban is not just a sacrifice but rather G-d’s way of demonstrating His love for us, by which He allows and enables us to get close to Him. But why did we have to offer animal sacrifices? And why do we pray for the restoration of the sacrificial order in the future Temple?

There is a two-part answer to this question:

THE PROOF OF TRUE LOVE

First, our offering a Korban involves seeking to fulfill G-d’s will. It is the ultimate expression of our love and desire to get close to another when we do what the other wants of us even if we fail to understand why they want it and what is in it for us. If we only give someone that we love a gift that we appreciate, then we are not expressing true love. Only when we give them what they want regardless of how we feel about it does it represent a gesture of genuine and unconditional love.

Second, we must reiterate that a korban is not really a sacrifice. And this is not just a matter of semantics. There is a fundamental difference between a sacrifice and a korban. A sacrifice implies destroying one thing to preserve something else which we deem more important. A korban, by contrast, represents preserving the original, albeit in a different and higher form.

If we think about it, every physical object we use can also be viewed either as a sacrifice or as a korban. For example, when we eat any piece of food, we can view it as the destruction of its original beauty and form for the greater good. That would mean that we sacrificed an apple because we deem our nutritional needs to be more important than leaving the apple the way G-d made it prior to our intervention.

There is a more accurate way of looking at the consumption of that apple. The apple has now been converted into human energy with all of the benefits that ensue from human ingenuity that were nourished by the consumption of that apple. In that scenario, the apple you ate is not destroyed and thus sacrificed for a greater good. Rather the apple is now transformed into a higher life form and has assumed a new and more sublime identity.

The korban we offered in the Beit HaMikdash involved a representation of every form of existence. It required salt—a mineral; flour, oil and wine—vegetation; an animal and a Kohen—a human being. These four aspects of creation offered in the Temple represented all the inanimate, vegetative, animal and human forms that exist throughout the world. When the Kohen offered this korban he was in effect taking all of existence and elevating it to the level of the Divine. Nothing was sacrificed. Everything was elevated. Externally, it may look like a sacrifice, but the inner dynamic of the korban is the validation of all that is offered to G-d.

MATURITY: SACRIFICE OR GROWTH?

Perhaps an analogy from the human maturation process will be helpful to put the korban concept into a perspective which will also help us come to grips with the way life will be in the future Messianic Era.

When a child grows and develops into an adolescent and then into an adult he or she does not sacrifice his or her childhood to become an adult. If a child were to sacrifice his or her childhood and be compelled to mature overnight into a full-fledged adult it would be traumatic, daunting, and overwhelming. Rather, a child takes his or her childhood identity and elevates it into a higher form of life. So that while the state of child-hood remains in the adult personality, it is now an elevated child; who is absorbed and subsumed within the more sophisticated state of adulthood.

THE ENTIRE WORLD A KORBAN

The ultimate manifestation of the korban ideal will be realized in the Messianic Age. First, the Temple offerings will be reinstated as the Torah states, and we make reference to it countless times in our liturgy. Second, all of existence will undergo the process of korban-elevation, not sacrifice.

Many people fear the unknown and particularly the Messianic Age when we imagine the drastic changes which will occur. Will we recognize ourselves and the world around us? Will the Messianic Age delegitimize our Galut/exile existence?

The answer is that the changes that will occur will not destroy or negate anything that exists in the present that is positive. Gradually and seamlessly we will grow and take our present state of mind into a higher and more delightful state—the ultimate growth and validation; the ultimate korban, united with our Creator.

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.