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"What's for breakfast, Imma?"
"Toast and eggs, Avi."
"Mmmmm. Sounds delicious, Imma. Your breakfast always gives me the energy that I need to learn well."
"Thank you Avi dear. How did you pray this morning?"
"Great, Imma. I started a little earlier than usual. I was able to say all of the korbonos."
"Fantastic! That is quite an accomplishment, Avi. It is so important to say korbonos every day. In the times of the Beis HaMikdash, the korbonos were the focus of our avodah. They brought blessing down to the entire world, and served as a kapora (atonement) for our sins. Nowadays, we no longer have a Beis HaMikdash. However, we can offer up our own version of the korbonos by learning about them and reciting the sections of tefillah which describe them." "Imma, this week's parasha details many of the korbonos. I saw a wonderful Devar Torah in the Sefer HaChinuch which ties together the Korbon Tomid and your delicious breakfast."
"Please share it with me, Avi dear."
"There were two tomidim brought every day. One early in the morning, and one in the afternoon, shortly before sunset. The Sefer HaChinuch points out that these two times of day correspond to the times that a person eats his two main meals. He must trouble himself to prepare the food to eat. We are all servants of Hashem. Is it fitting that the servant should work harder for himself than for his master? Of course not! Therefore, at the same time that we are preparing our own meals, the Kohanim are preparing and offering the tomidim to The Almighty."
"That is beautiful, Avi. However, what is the function of the Korbon Tomid?"
"The Sefer HaChinuch gives two answers to the question. Firstly, it increases our awareness of Hashem. We ultimately want to think about Him all of the time. The tomidim help us to remember Him during mealtimes, when we are benefiting from His goodness. Secondly, offering the korbonos is a big chessed (act of kindness) to Hashem."
"How can that be? He does not need our korbonos. He is perfect without them. He does not need anything from us, or anyone else."
"True, however, Hashem wants to give to us. He wants to give us blessing in this world, and reward in the world to come. We allow Him to do this by fulfilling His will. Offering korbonos and their equivalent prayers nowadays, are an important way to serve Him and do His will. They give Him nachas ruach, as the verse states, 'A pleasant aroma to Hashem' (Bamidbar 28:8)."
"Avi, you have turned breakfast into a truly spiritual experience."
"Imma, the delicious smell and taste of your toast and eggs serve as a wonderful reminder of the 'pleasant aroma' of the Korbon Tomid."
"May we merit offering it up speedily and in our days."
Kinderlach . . .
We are now in the period of mourning for the Beis HaMikdash. We have lost the Mizbeach. The Kohanim no longer have their avodah. The Leviim no longer have their songs. We no longer offer our daily offerings, our sin offerings, or our thanksgiving offerings. We no longer go up with our korbonos on the Shalosh Regalim. Oh, what can we do to replace what we have lost? Teshuva and maasim tovim (good deeds) will help bring back the Beis HaMikdash. Kinderlach, we can each do a small act which will have a big effect. We can recite the Korbon Tomid twice each day - before breakfast and before sunset. This will remind us that we are here in this world to serve Hashem, and give Him nachas ruach. This will allow Hashem to shower His goodness upon us. This will show Him how badly we want the Beis HaMikdash. And with His help it will be rebuilt speedily and in our days.
"Hashem said to Moshe, 'Go up to this mountain…and see the Land…You shall see it, and you shall be gathered unto your people (die)…because you rebelled against My word in Midbar Zin…to sanctify Me'" (Bamidbar 27:12-14). Moshe Rabbeinu was being shown the land that he longed to enter. He went up to Har Avarim and could actually see Eretz Yisrael. Yet he was not allowed to enter. He was fated to die here in the desert.
What did he do when he was informed that his life was about to end? Did he pray for himself? Did he beg Hashem to allow him to enter Eretz Yisrael? No. Moshe Rabbeinu worked to bring a successor to lead the nation after he was gone. "May Hashem…appoint a man over the community, who will lead them out and bring them in (safely)…so that Hashem's congregation will not be like sheep without a shepherd" (Bamidbar 27:16-17). Rashi extols this action, "This shows how praiseworthy are the tsaddikim! When they are about to leave this world, they set aside their own needs, and they work for the needs of the community."
What type of person can put aside his own affairs at the end of his life? What selflessness! What an expression of love and concern for others! To get to this level, one must start at a much younger age. Working for others is a middah (character trait) that is cultivated over a lifetime. It begins with small acts of chessed (kindness) - giving tsedaka, helping someone with their packages, or giving up your seat on the bus. One can then expand his chessed to helping the family - helping with the housework or taking care of younger siblings. He can then move on to helping in the Beit HaKinesset - putting away the sefarim (books) or straightening the benches and tables. He may decide to buy treats for a Tehillim group, or organize a time for the boys to learn Mishnayos.
And so it goes, on and on, bigger and bigger. Someone who is accustomed to caring for the needs of the tsibbur (congregation) will always find ways to help them. He will merit the bracha that we say before the Mussaf prayer on Shabbos. "And all of those who faithfully toil for the needs of the tsibbur, The Holy One Blessed Be He will pay their wages. He will remove from them all sickness, He will heal their entire body, and He will forgive all their sins. And He will bring blessing and success to everything that they do, along with all of Israel their brothers, amen."
Kinderlach . . .
The community needs you! There is work to be done! Imma needs your help at home. Abba could use a helping hand. The neighbors are always happy for assistance. The Beit Kinesset, the school, the Rav, will all be grateful to receive your chessed. Get into the habit of caring for the needs of others. You will then merit the title that Rashi gives Moshe Rabbeinu: tsaddik. And you will merit Hashem's blessings in this world, and His reward in the next world, amen.
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