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  KD MAGAZINE!         ב"ה              
 
 
  PARSHAT VAYIKRA  
 
Dignity
By Rabbi Chaim Lobel

 
RABBI CHAIM LOBEL הרב חיים לובל

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

  

 

 

   

(Leviticus; Chapter 1, Verses 14 & 17) “If one's offering to G-d is an Olah offering from the fowl, he shall bring his offering from turtledoves or young doves... He (Kohen – Priest) shall tear it apart, with its feathers, he need not divide it, the kohen shall cause it to go up in smoke on the Altar, on the wood on the fire – it is an Olah offering.”
 
Nachmanidies (1:4) explains that an “Olah” was brought to forgive violations of positive commandments. An individual had the option of bringing from bulls, sheep, goats, fowl, or fine flour. Generally, if the individual was affluent he was able to choose a more expensive sacrifice (bull). On the lower end, there was the fowl offering or a meal offering of fine flour.
 
Rashi (1:17) comments, based on the Medrash Rabba (3:5), that the Kohen removed the crop and innards of the dove, however the feathers were left on the dove. The Medrash asks, “But is it not true that no ordinary person can smell the burning feathers without becoming nauseated by it?” Rather, the reason the Olah needs to be burned with its feathers is in order that the Altar should be “full and beautified with the sacrifice of a poor man.” Commenting on the Medrash, The Yefe Toar explains, removing the feathers would reduce the physical size of the offering – it would not appear as beautiful.
 
At the conclusion of each procedure for each type of “Olah” sacrifice, the Torah states “a fire offering, a pleasing fragrance to G-d.” (Chapter 1: verses 9,13,17; Chapter 2: verses 2,9)  According to Rashi (1:17), the repetition teaches us that “one who gives an expensive offering is the same as one who gives a modest offering as long as his heart is directed towards Heaven.”
 
The Torah is concerned a poor man might feel ashamed of his sacrifice (Baal Haturim 2:1). Therefore, the Torah strives to make the poor man feel dignified, as if he brought the richest sacrifice. This is evident not only in the procedure of the services done to the sacrifice, but also in the way the Torah equalizes all levels of “Olah” sacrifices by describing each offering as “a fire offering, a pleasing fragrance to G-d.” Credit is not given for expensive contributions but to those whose hearts are “directed towards heaven”.
Shabbat Shalom
 
For more Divrei Torah on the Parsha
 

 
Rabbi Chaim Lobel is the Rabbi of Young Israel of Aberdeen, Congregation Bet Tefilah, Aberdeen, NJ. http://www.yiaberdeen.com/index.html

 
   
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