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Haftarah: Yeshayahu 43:21-44:23

MARCH 31 – APRIL 1, 2017 5 NISAN 5777


“The Kohen shall take from the blood…and he shall cause all of its fats to go up in smoke on the Mizbeah.” (Vayikra 4:25-26)

The Torah requires that when bringing a korban, some of its blood and fats must be put on the altar. Rabbi Obadiah Yosef zt”l says that the Torah is hinting to us a very important concept. The fats represent the nature of man that is slow and lazy. The blood, which rushes through the body, represents man’s energy and alacrity. The Torah sys to place both of these on the altar to teach us that both of these qualities must be used to serve Hashem. Sometimes a person has to be quick and sometimes he has to be slow and lazy.

Rabbi Obadiah zt”l gives a parable. Once there was a businessman that loved to go learn in the Midrash. One day he spent a few hours there. That day a big customer came to his house seeking to make a big deal. The wife told the customer he was studying in the Midrash and she was lazy to go and call him. The customer got tired and left. When the husband came home, he got angry. He told her that whenever someone comes to see him, she should immediately run and let him know.

A few days later a man came to the house to collect a long overdue debt. The loyal wife learned her lesson and ran to notify him that someone came to see him. When the husband came, he was devastated. He was looking forward to a huge customer. Instead he finds his creditor waiting for him, threatening to get paid or else.

The husband nervously told his wife, when she was supposed to be quick she was slow, and when she was supposed to be slow she was quick. She caused him a great loss by switching the proper way.

Therefore, the Torah commands us to offer the blood and the fats on the altar of Hashem, to teach us that sometimes we should use the trait of alacrity and sometimes we must use the trait of laziness. Shabbat Shalom. Rabbi Reuven Semah

“When a man among you brings an offering” (Vayikra 1:2)

When the Jews were instructed on the laws of sacrifices, they were told that even a non-Jew could bring a korban, sacrifice. The only difference between his korban and ours is that we are allowed to bring burnt offerings and peace offerings, shelamim and olah, whereas the gentile may only bring a burnt offering, olah. Indeed, even if he says he’s sacrificing a peace offering, it can only be brought as an olah, burnt offering.

The lesson in this is that the non-Jewish view of religion differs from ours drastically. They understand religion to be only to G-d, only in a holy endeavor, not in the normal course of everyday life. They feel if one wants to be close to G-d, he cannot engage in the everyday pursuits such as eating or having children. Therefore, their sacrifice is a burnt offering, only for the altar. We, however, believe that one must sanctify his everyday living in line with Hashem. We eat and we make a berachah. We get reward because it’s a misvah. In business we perform many commandments. Our duty is to take the mundane and make it spiritual. Therefore we can bring a shelamim, peace offering, where part goes on the altar and part is eaten by man. Our mission is to live life the fullest in the ways of Hashem. Shabbat Shalom. Rabbi Shmuel Choueka

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