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  • Rav Moshe Weiss

Nahar U’Pashtei Parshas Mishpatim

Everyone Can Be Great


It must be constantly reiterated that the mishpatim that are listed by the Torah are not abstract laws, but rather are intended to teach us the way Hashem wants us to live and think. Unlike other codes of law, the Torah’s mitzvos are brimming with guidance and direction, and we must look beneath the surface of the commandments to gain this knowledge. The Torah mentions here the mitzvah of the olas re’iyah, the burnt offering each person must bring upon his appearance before Hashem three times a year, when he is oleh regel. Now, to understand the concept of korbanos, let us understand that the purpose of korbanos is to encourage a person to elevate his connection and closeness with Hashem to a higher level. The root of the word korban is karav, to draw close. How is a person drawing close to Hashem by offering a korban? When one offers an olah, he must bring his animal and have it burned entirely on the Mizbei’ach, seemingly wasting its entire value. Only the skin is permitted for benefit - the rest of the animal is burned. What is he to make of this mitzvah? How does this serve to bring one closer to Hashem’s service? The answer is that Hashem is the One who gives us everything. This animal that is being used for the olah can be replaced by Hashem in a moment, aside form the fact that it was all a gift from above in the first place. The olah is meant to teach a person how to properly perceive his worldly possessions. This new attitude will manifest itself in many areas, including generosity in giving others who need it, as well as living his own life without worries. When the person brings the olah, he must reach a level where he watches the animal being used for the mitzvah and feels no monetary loss! Truly an amazing level. Now the olas re’iyah is somewhat different than a classic, voluntary olah, in that everyone must appear before Hashem and must offer this korban. This imparts to Klal Yisroel a slightly different lesson. This olah was meant to ensure that when the masses visited the Beis HaMikdashon the Regalim there would always be a Mizbei’ach humming with activity. On the surface, this was a kiddush Shem Shamayim, but from our vantage point, we can perhaps understand something deeper to it. On each of the Regalim we find large mussaf offerings, also containing many olos. What is the message of these required communal offerings? They teach us that there is a madreigah of an olah, and we as a nation aspire to that end. We must not shy away from these levels, but rather work toward achieving them. And this message is hidden beneath the surface of the olas re’iyah as well. When a person comes to appear before Hashem, it should not be without proper focus. Each and every person can reach the level of the olah, and our offering represents that fact. Accordingly, what better way to honor Hashem than to have his Mizbei’ach in constant use, representing Klal Yisroel’s constant yearning for growth and closeness to Hashem.. This is the lesson we are to learn from the mitzvah of the olas re’iyah. Each one of us can, and should, aspire for greatness. These levels of Emunah and Bitachon are open to all, and are in fact intended for all of us. Never should one feel that it is above his or her level, or beyond his or her abilities to achieve this close relationship with Hashem. We are told to present with an olah. Hashem wants us to strive ever higher. A gut Shabbos! A Project of the YSI Alumni Association Written by R’ Moshe Weiss

https://files.constantcontact.com/c9410498701/ab5a79e1-e0cf-48f8-b207-e14260cfd2d1.pdf






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