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Parshat VaYikra

By: Other

This week’s parsha is Parshat VaYikra, where the main topic of discussion is the korban mincha, the fine-flour offering. The pasuk says (5:11), “If he doesn’t have enough money, he should bring a korban for that which he sinned and he should not place oil on it, nor should he place frankincense on it, because he has sinned.” There are two types of flour offering: the regular one, accompanied by frankincense and oil, and the offering of the sinner, which is just flour, without the additions. What is the reason for this bare-bones offering and how is it connected to a sinner?


If you ask someone who is looking at Judaism from the outside what it is that they see, it is likely that they will answer, “It seems like a lot of restrictions and obligations”. There are always different commandments to fulfill, heavy clothing to wear, and only kosher food to eat! To someone “on the inside,” however, these same obligations are what allow us to have a close and meaningful relationship with Hashem and provide us with the framework for a happy and productive life! The Torah-true Jew knows that these obligations are the spice of life.


With this idea in mind, the answer to our question becomes clear. When a person sins, whether they realize it or not, they are taking the enjoyment out of their life. As the Mesilas Yesharim says, “Ha’adom lo nivra ela li’hisaneg al hashem…” - We are in this world to get the greatest pleasure out of life, which is connecting to Hashem. Without the connection to Hashem, the “spice of life” is missing, so the sinner brings a korban of just plain flour, an ingredient which we could survive on if that was all we had, but our meals wouldn’t be too tasty. It is only when a person is in tune with his Creator that he rises to a level of “oil and frankincense”, a level above merely surviving, a level of extra pleasure and enjoyment. It is our hope that as our students head out for their Pesach vacation, they continue to keep with them the pleasure and enjoyment they have been receiving from their Torah learning and their connections with Hashem and wecan’t wait to see them when they get back!





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