Last week chaver Richie came to shul with a complaint about the Oisvorfer’s Toirah. His gripe: “what’s going on this week? You didn’t have an opening tidbit and I, thinking that maybe you moved it further into the review, was therefore forced to read the entire 6 pages looking for it.”Oy, what it takes nebech for some of the readers to learn a shtikel Toirah. The bottom line: you are still an oisvorf!
Ober this week we begin with two mazel tovs and the opening tidbit is back; it’s mamish gishmak.
Ershtens (firstly) a very hearty and heartfelt Mazel Tov to Norman Dachs who celebrated a big birthday this past Wednesday. May he and his eishes chayil live, in good health of course, to enjoy many such occasions. A finer gentleman is hard to come by.
And a big mazel tov to our friends Mati and Tuli Goldstein on the engagement two weeks back of their daughter Rivkie to Shmuli Adler. So happens that Tuli was the true inspiration for the Oisvorfer to learn many, many tractates of the heylige Gemora. Though we fought like cats and dogs over whether or not certain parts of the heylige Gemora are to be taken literally vs. metaphorically, the learning went on daily.
Raboyseyee and Raboyseyettes:
Don’t judge me because I sin differently from you and, will Moshiach put the koihanim out of business?
The Oisvorfer has a chaver by the name of Ben whom he sees kimat every morning in shul at the 7:30AM minyan. Nu, just about now, many are wondering which Ben is being referred to ober that one clue eliminated most of the Bens we all know. Mistama they go to other minyonim or other gatherings, if you chap. Nearly 100% of the time, he walks into shul holding a large coffee cup. Curious as to why he comes to shul daily sipping coffee, the Ruv asked Ben about this oddity. He answered azoy: Each and every weekday morning his eishes chayil writes an inspirational quote either directly on the cup or on a sticker which she then places on the cup and he, Ben, brings the cup, stares at the cup, holds the cup, fondles the cup, sips from the cup, all during davening. He also says a few words of thanks to the RBSO for giving him such a dedicated wife. Lucky is he. Romantic and more ober why is the ruv leading with this tidbit?Because earlier this week, Ben’s coffee cup had this written on it. “Don’t judge me because I sin differently than do you”. As expected, there are several girsas (iterations) of this quote all over the internet. And raboyseyee, no truer words have ever been written!
Taka these words are insightful, beautiful, profound and above all, emes (true). It so happens that sinning, categories of sinning, sin offerings and other korbonois (sacrifices or offerings) are discussed in this week’s parsha as we begin Sefer and parshasVayikro. In fact, next week, the heylige Toirah will discuss the thanksgiving offering (korbanToidah); we will however cover it this week. Korbonois in greater detail will be discussed again next week ober don’t go to sleep just yet. Some of the offerings zicher apply to you and had you been around in the days of the BeisHamikdash, you would zicher, due to you errant behavior, as we will soon learn, have been obligated to bring a series of these offerings. Sadly, without the structure of the Beis Hamikdash (Temple) and until it falls out of the sky, fully built, made out of gold, according to some, we cannot bring these offerings. Ober will they come back?Taka an excellent question.
Every so often the Oisvorfer and his next door neighbor discuss this very topic of korbonois (sacrifices): will they or won’t they make a comeback when the Moshiach arrives? And the answer; ver veyst. Says chaver Andrew that there is no question in his mind that they will be back and that technology will pay a role. The Oisvorfer is still on the fence. A similar conversation takes place every so often at our shabbis tish with similar results. On the one hand it’s hard to imagine the Yiddin going back to what appears as an almost primitive practice of shechting (slaughtering) and sacrificing animals to atone for our sins and thoughts. Is there a special korban for bad thoughts? There sure is and likely, as we will soon learn, it was the most popular of all sacrifices. On the other hand, smart-phones, iphones and even blackberries may enhance and speed up the process and also help innovate and modernize the entire mikdash service. Says Andrew: smart-phone technology will be put to good use and will have the Yiddin scanning images of their proposed offerings for Koihain inspection. This will zicher speed up the assembly line of sinners and other offerers and also allow the Koihain to visually inspect each animal for a mum (blemish). And since the Koihain gets to keep portions of certain offerings, he will zicher want to see its size in advance. Seemingly, size does matter, if you chap. This way, he will be able to move those with larger offerings up the line. One thing is zicher; if he’s right, productivity from the koihanim will zicher increase.
On the other hand, why would we need korbonois altogether when the Moshiach arrives? Doesn’t his arrival suggest that man will finally be free of sin and therefore, eliminate the need for kimat all korbonis? Taka an excellent kasha (question)onchaver Andrew. And taka says the Nitziv (VayikraRabba) azoy:
כל הקרבנות בטלין לעתיד לבוא חוץ מתודה –And now in English for most you that valgered (roamed) years in yeshiva without learning how to read a few words in Hebrew: ‘All korbonis will be annulled with the coming of Moshiach, except for the korban Toidah (thanksgiving offering).’ Why that one? Soon we’ll address that.
Seemingly most agree that many, if not most korbans and specifically the Chatos and Ohom offerings, which were brought by sinners mamish, will be nonexistent when Moshiach arrives. Why? Because with his arrival, man will not sin anymore. Shoin, no more need for sin offerings. And why won’t man sin? What will happen to sin and the very mighty yetzer horo (evil inclination) when Moshiach comes? Ver veyst! Seemingly, Moshiach will have killed off, once and for all, that minuvil swine of a yetzer horo. And if not completely dead, he will be mortally wounded and unable to get us to sin as we have in the past. Shoin, even in you believe in the concept of Moshiach and avada you should, the concept of man no longer sinning is a shtikelshver to accept.
Efsher you’re wondering why, in a time when man no longer sins and Moshiach is here and all is good on this earth, and there is no suffering of any sort, we would need a korban Toidah. And that’s taka an excellent question. So good, that Chazal (our sages) ask azoy: we are taught that “לעתידלבואאיןעודצרותבו” (in the future, upon his arrival, we won’t have any more worries.) And if we have no worries, why then bring the korban Toidah which is officially proscribed for those whoovercame illness, crossed the midbar (desert) or high seas, and had severe aggravation (captivity, prison, etc). And if none of those factors will be challenging the Yiddin, why and when would a Toidah be called for?
And taka the Nitziv addresses this very question by asking one of his own. Next week (parshasTzav) we will learn that the Toidah was a rather large korban and one made up of both chometz and matzo. One had to eat the entire animal plus thirty six loaves of matzo and challah in a limited time span of 24 hours. How then was it possible to expect someone to eat all this food within twenty four hours? Nu, if you’ve seen Yiddin at a shul kiddish, shmorg or Pesach program this really isn’t a kasha.
Ober answers the Nitziv with the following yesoid (principle): it’s virtually impossible for someone to eat all this, even with his family, within twenty four hours. He cannot! He has no choice but to publicize his thanks and to make a large meal and invite everyone he knows to come help him finish eating this korban. There, he will publicly acknowledge the good that the RBSO bestowed upon him. He will retell just how he was saved from his life-threatening situation. People will hear first-hand about the miracle this person experienced and hear about the kindness that the RBSO bestowed upon him through his ordeal and during the speeches, as people are trained to do, will consume the korban timely.
Nice ober what has this to do with Moshiach? Let’s learn pshat, it’s mamish gishmak and shabbis tish worthy. Life is difficult at times and as life spins out of control, it’s hard for us to chap what the RBSO has in mind. Of course man cannot fathom that bad things may in fact retrospectively have been good. Seemingly it may take the arrival of the Moshiach, when life’s daily stresses are removed, that a person will be able to look back and see that the RBSO had a master plan and that all that happened to him was for his own good,. The RBSO had his back. Accordingly, the Toidah would then seem appropriate even in the times of Moshiach in order to show and give thanks for all the good He did throughout our entire lives and for all the good that He did to the generations that preceded ours. Of course, this assumes that we will be around when Moshiach gets here; will we?
Welcome to Sefer and parshasVayikra where the first few parshas will focus on the various korbonis that people were to bring for myriad reasons. We have previously discussed this topic in 2011, 2013 and 2013 and avada you are urged to log onto the archives (www.oisvorfer.com) for givaldige insights into this entire sugya (topic) of korbonis.
As we begin Vayikra we are overwhelmed by the intricate detail with which the Toirah describes the procedure of bringing korbonis. As a result, we typically tune out, daydream, wish we had sinned so that we could bring a korban, fall asleep, talk during laining, read handouts, stare at the ezrasnoshim (ladies section), skip shul altogether or make kiddush much earlier. Why? Because we can’t stand listening to this, even the koihanim are bored stiff. Korbnois are long gone and as we said earlier, their comeback is questionable.
Why do we need to learn all about korbonis? Ver veyst. Ober the emes is that korbonis mamish follow where Sefer Shmoisleft off. For the greater part of that Sefer, Moishe was exhorting Paroy to let the Yiddin leave his country. Moishe kept hammering away the RBSO’s message: “Release My people and they will serve Me”. Shoin, finally they were free and we’re about to find out that ‘serve Me’ meant through korbonis, animal sacrifices in the Beis Hamikash.
And why do we bring korbonis in the first place? Nu, a unified answer is hard to come by ober here is what a few had to say. Said the RambaN (Vayikra 1:9) quoting the RambaM in MoirehNevuchim azoy: the RBSO gave us korbonis because animal sacrifice was necessary for the Yiddin! It was? Seemingly, they needed a physical method of worship, having been a part of the pagan culture in Mitzrayim and other such places along the way. In other words: the Yiddin of previous generations, with the exception of a few good men and zicher also women, were pagan worshippers, oy vey! And to battle and rectify this avoido zoro worship, the Yiddin were now directed and commanded to do a similar action. Going forward, these rituals would be for a sacred purpose. Let’s read that one more time, maybe we can chap why the Yiddin were chosen. Sacrifices were seemingly only implemented in order to imitate the foreign style of worship that the Yiddin had become accustomed to while in enslaved. Korbonis then were instituted in a familiar manner. And says the RambaM(MoirehNevuchim 3:46) this bombshell: Since animal sacrifices are no longer a feature of daily religious worship in most of the world, it is conceivable to suggest that the RBSO will do away with korbanois when the Moshiach arrives. OMG!
Nu, you can only imagine how well that went over with the koihanim who saw this as a threat to their entire future business opportunity in the messianic age. In fact, many Kohanim feel that they are preparing for the arrival of Moshiach by learning the halochos (laws) of the avoidah (temple service) in the BeisHamikdash so that they will be ready for resumption of their priestly duties in the Third Temple. Of course nobody is really sure whether all of the sacrifices will resume, just a few, or none of them.Others, including the RambaN(Vayikra 1:9) weren’t too happy either and disagree with the RambaM’shypothesis vehemently. Says he, korbonis can atone for our sins.
Earlier we mentioned that the korbanOilah was designated for those who had sinful thoughts, and who among us, hasn’t? In fact, most have those daily, if not hourly. And taka says the Medrish (VayikraRabba 7:3): the korban Oilah is brought to atone for, among other things, sinful thoughts. Bad thoughts that went without follow up action. Ober are sinful thoughts all that giferlich? Isn’t that what the yetzerhoro’s job is? Isn’t that his tafkid (mandate)? And aren’t we rewarded for overcoming sinful thoughts? Why would one need to bring a sacrifice for sinful thoughts? And if that’s taka the case, one can easily chap how theOilah and the korbanchatos, the one for the real sinners, were the two most popular of all. Moreover, how are we to reconcile that Medrish with the heylige Gemora which says quite the opposite, ver veyst. And taka says the heylige Gemora (Kiddushin 40a) azoy: “machashovoro’oheinhakodoshbaruchhumetzarfala’mayseh –the RBSO does not deem the sinful thought an action.” What a relief! And good, in fact, givaldige news for most of you; the RBSO only punishes sinful acts, but not sinful thoughts that do not result in a sinful act (the only exception being the sin of avoidazoro, He abhors that.) Ober still we ask, why would a thoughtrequire akorban and if it does, wouldn’t most people go bankrupt bringing Oilahs daily?
And the bottom line: who says everything has to be reconciled? Is your checkbook reconciled? Do you reconcile your good deeds against your very bad ones? Certainly we hope that the RBSO understands human frailty; He did, after all, create us with a yetzer horo who does his job well. And as long as we don’t act upon our sinful thoughts the RBSO will typically not hold us accountable. Moreover, if sinful thoughtsremain but those, whom have we hurt except ourselves? Moreover, sinful thoughts can enhance our pleasure, if you chap and help us get by. Isn’t it in fact emes that many of you are having sinful thoughts even as you are mamish performing a mitzvah. Of course, you chap.
Ober does everyone agree? Not! And it so happens that the Marsho and the Meiri argue over this very topic. Is a person held accountable for sinful thoughts he did not carry out because he was prevented from doing so. In other words: what happened if you had sinful thoughts, were in facteager to carry them out but somehow, something got in your way and you couldn’t execute the plan? What’s pshat? Nu, let’s say you ogled your chaver’seishes chayil, you mamish wanted to do giferliche things with and to her. Ober she said no! Or a better example, you were prevented from acting out because of circumstances beyond your control. Let’s say you got pulled over on your way or had a flat tire, if you chap. Taka nothing happened ober you are held accountable for the bad thoughts? Are sinful but non-actionable thoughts, not executed because of circumstances beyond your control, still only thoughts? Or, are they considered actions and would require greater levels of atonement, if at all even possible?Ver veyst?
Ober Raboyseyee, seemingly, your sinful thoughts contain the seed for sinful actions. Nu, it’s still better than discharging your seed with those thoughts, if you chap. And such sinful seeded thoughts could avada lead to sinful acts that include real seed, if you chap. What to do?
We can now understand why a person who has sinful thoughts, while not facing divine punishment, must still bring a korbanOilah. The idea is that by going through the exertion and expense of bringing a korban, the sinner will focus on the great upheaval caused by his sinful thoughts. He will feel regret for the sinful thought and commit to elevate his thoughts in the future. That is, the actions affect his attitude towards his thoughts – i.e., sinful thought is not something to be lightly dismissed. Seemingly the korbanOilah is meant to compel the sinner to engage in a time-consuming and complex procedure that will reinforce within him the evil nature of his act and thereby hopefully cause him to refrain from repeating it in the future.
In reality, of course this doesn’t work. People have sinful thoughts kimat every hour of every day. And maybe it’s taka the case that with the coming of the Moshiach, the Yezterhora will be kaput, over and done. And so will the need for a korbanOilah no longer be relevant.
A gittin shabbis
The Oisvorfer Ruv