This week we read the Torah portion of Vayikroh. At the very beginning of this portion, G-d tells Moshe to “Speak to the Jewish people and say to them, ‘When a man from among you brings a sacrifice to Hashem, from animals, from cattle or from the flock you shall bring your sacrifice.’” Rashi cites the words “when a man (from among you) brings a sacrifice,” and writes that the Torah is speaking of a voluntary sacrifice.
Why would the Torah begin teaching us the laws of sacrifices by discussing voluntary offerings? One would think that the Torah would begin telling us what we are commanded to bring. One explanation is that this comes to teach us the way in which all offerings must be brought. Every sacrifice, including those which are obligatory, must be brought in the manner of a free will offering.
What prompted our forefathers to bring voluntary offerings? They were inspired by understanding that sacrifices have a special spiritual significance. That is why they were the center of our service in the Tabernacle – Mishkan in the wilderness. Later the same was true of the Holy Temple, the Bais Hamikdosh. Obligatory sacrifices must be brought with this same feeling of inspiration.
The word Torah means a teaching; everything in Torah contains a practical lesson for all people at all times. What possible lesson can we learn from the laws pertaining to sacrifices. Since the destruction of our Temple (may it be speedily rebuilt) we do not offer sacrifices.
The explanation is that we constantly fulfill the spiritual aspect of sacrifices. The Hebrew word for a sacrifice is “Korban – קרבן.” It is derived from the Hebrew word meaning close, “Korov – קרוב.” We must draw ourselves closer to G-d. That is why the Torah teaches us that the sacrifices must be offered “from you.” We must bring offerings from our Animal Souls, “the cattle and the flock” within us. Every part of us must be dedicated to G-d’s service. We must instill within ourselves the same inspiration which prompted the Jews to bring voluntary offerings.
I wish one and all a good Shabbos and a happy and kosher Pesach!
Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn
Adapted from Likkutei Sichos Volume 32, Page 15
לזכות חיילי “צבאות השם” חיים ועדן עודד שיחיו מאריס
נדפס ע”י הוריהם הרה”ת ר’ מנחם מענדל וזוגתו מרת חי’ מושקא שיחיו מאריס
מוקדש לזכות כ“ק אדמו“ר נשיא דורנו מליובאוויטש