Torah E-Thought: Selflessness

ב״ה

 
This Week at Lubavitch Centre of Leeds
Candle Lighting Times for Leeds:
 
Friday,  27 March 6:15pm
 
Shabbat Ends:
28 March 7:24pm 
 
Torah Portion:  Vayikra
 

Lubavitch Centre of Leeds   Email: office@judaismlive.com   Phone: 0113-2663311www.JudaismLive.com

 
 
Message from the Rabbi
 
 
Dear Friend,

 

It is with great sadness that we heard the news of the passing of Dayan Yehuda Refson, one of the elder Shluchim of Chabad Lubavitch UK, Av Beis Din of the Leeds Beth Din and Principal of the Leeds Menorah School. We are broken hearted from the news and our sincere condolences are extended to his wife Rebbetzen Etty and family.


The levaya took place on Tuesday. As we are unable to comfort the family in the traditional manner at this time we would like to suggest that people take on a resolution to do a good deed in his memory, particularly in the fields of Torah Study, Prayer and Tzedokah.

 

If you would like to participate in the study of a volume of the mishna in memory of Dayan Refson – Horav Yehuda Yaakov ben Reb Avrohom Abba you may do so by clicking this link.


Today, Hebrew’s Cool Club moves online. If you know of a child aged 3-6 who would benefit from it, please ask them to be in touch for the Zoom login. All our coronavirus support is online here.
 

Stay safe and stay well!

Wishing you a Good Shabbos,


Rabbi Eli Pink
Director of Education
Chabad Lubavitch Leeds

......................

 

The word mincha means“a grain-offering,” which makes the phrase in this week’s parshah “korban mincha” -  “a grain-offering offering” seem redundant. The Midrash therefore interprets the additional word korban to allude to another genre of offerings that a person may donate and offer upon the altar; namely, stand-alone offerings of oil, wine, incense or wood, which are typically components of a larger korban, but may also be offered individually.

The Midrash’s view that wood is among the components of a sacrifice is somewhat puzzling. After all, the purpose of the wood is simply to fuel the altar’s fire. Why does the Midrash regard it as part of the sacrifice?

In a certain sense, however, the wood accompanying the sacrifice represents the underlying theme of all sacrifices, even more than the sacrifices’ other components.

Maimonides explains that the objective of the sacrifices in the Temple was to arouse the individual to offer themselves - their inner qualities and character - to G-d. The animal that was burnt on the altar was a substitute for the person physically, but a spiritual offering was still expected of them.

The purpose  of each sacrifice was to draw attention to a unique aspect of the person’s character that they needed to channel in the service of G-d. Common to all sacrifices, however, is the underlying readiness to offer oneself - ultimately, our entire being - to G-d.

This self-sacrifice required for every offering is represented by the one component that all the sacrifices have in common: the wood used to fuel the fire. And for good reason, because the firewood is the epitome of selflessness and abnegation. Unlike the other components of the sacrifice, the firewood is not said to arouse “a pleasing fragrance for G-d.” Nevertheless, in order to facilitate that arousal of Divine favour which will ultimately be attributed to “someone else” the firewood is entirely burned and consumed.

Thus, it is truly the firewood alone that meets the definition of korban, a sacrifice.

The analogy of the selflessness and abnegation is appropriate for the current coronavirus crisis. Our community is coming together through acts of selflessness. By staying home except for essentials and – those who are lower risk – volunteering to help others while practising social distancing, we may not be making the biggest waves, but our selflessness will help end this crisis with the coming of Moshiach now!

 
 
 
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Parshah in a Nutshell

Parshat Vayikra

G‑d calls to Moses from the Tent of Meeting, and communicates to him the laws of the korbanot, the animal and meal offerings brought in the Sanctuary. These include:

• The “ascending offering” (olah) that is wholly raised to G‑d by the fire atop the altar;

• Five varieties of “meal offering” ( minchah) prepared with fine flour, olive oil and frankincense;

• The “peace offering”(shelamim), whose meat was eaten by the one bringing the offering, after parts are burned on the altar and parts are given to the kohanim (priests);

• The different types of “sin offering” (chatat) brought to atone for transgressions committed erroneously by the high priest, the entire community, the king or the ordinary Jew;

• The “guilt offering”(asham) brought by one who has misappropriated property of the Sanctuary, who is in doubt as to whether he transgressed a divine prohibition, or who has committed a “betrayal against G‑d” by swearing falsely to defraud a fellow man.