Friday, March 23, 2007

Vayikra by Reb Jay

Vayikra is the third section of the Torah. Most of this section deals with the laws of korbanos—sacrificial offerings.
Karbon—the singular form of the word karbanos— means to get close. When we offered sacrificial offerings we were getting close to Hashem.
In a person there is a physical side (guf) and a spiritual side (neshama). The connection between these two parts is made through eating and drinking. As Jews we are commanded to eat only kosher food. We receive sustenance from our eating, not merely physical sustenance, but energy that enables us to engage in spiritual acts using both our physical and mental capacities. Therefore we must be careful about what goes into our bodies.
Similarly when we offer a korban to Hashem, we are offering sustenance to Him. In fact our offerings are found to be before Hashem as a “rayach nichoach—a smell of satisfaction” (Vayikra 1:9). Obviously this does not mean that Hashem needs to eat, as He has no physical attributes whatsoever, but what it does mean is that just as food sustains us and enables our bodies and souls to connect, allegorically we are able to connect with Hashem through our giving Him sustenance (Nefesh Hachaim; Rav Tzadok HaKohen).
This is why in certain types of korbanos we are allowed to partake of the meat because our eating further strengthens our bond with Hashem by reason of our partaking in His “meal”

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