This week’s parasha continue’s the discussion of offerings brought in the Beis Hamikdash/Temple.
First we learn about the elevation offering, the olah, and then there’s a discussion about the three fires that come onto the mizbeiach/altar, followed by laws of the mincha/meal offering, chatas/sin offering, and asham/guilt offering.
The Torah goes on to talk about various gifts that we give to the Kohanim/priests, then the Korban Todah/thanksgiving offering. Next we learn about different parts of the animals used in offerings as well as the laws of eating from offerings in a state of contamination.
The second half of the parasha goes through the process of consecrating/making holy the Kohanim for service in the House of Hashem.
This Shabbos we also read Parashas Zachor which tells us about the commandment to wipe out the memory of our enemy Amaleik from the earth. Haman in the Purim story is a descendant of Amaleik, and many of our enemies throughout history are symbolically referred to as Amaleik.
The basic laws of the Korban Todah are first found in this week’s parasha as opposed to last week’s parasha which introduced all of the other offerings. Why is this one separate?
It’s easy for us to thank Hashem for big miracles, like the story of the man who was saved from the MH370 flight last Shabbos because he chose to fly on Friday instead of breaking Shabbos.
How about the small, everyday miracles that we experience all the time and don’t stop to notice? Like when my sister’s car was crashed into last week – when nobody was in the car so thank G-d all we’re dealing with is the car damage? The emergence of green grass after an incredibly long and bitterly cold winter? My friend’s triplet baby daughters who were born three months early and are thank G-d growing and thriving and are starting to fit into normal baby size clothing?
How about the fact that we wake up in the morning? That cows eat grass and produce milk? That I’m typing something that will be published in a few hours to people all around the world?
The “everyday” miracles that we all experience on a regular basis are immeasurable. You can’t count them!
How often do we stop to thank Hashem? Seriously – He gave you 86,400 seconds today! Have you used a single one of them to say thank You to Him? For one single thing that He’s done for you? (I’m talking to myself too!)
This is what the Korban Todah being in this week’s parasha is all about. In a parasha directed toward the Kohanim who witness miracles daily in the Mishkan/Tabernacle and Beis HaMikdash/Temple, the thanksgiving offering reminds them that every moment is a miracle orchestrated by Hashem Himself.
In fact, this is one of the messages of the holiday of Purim also: Hashem performed a HUGE miracle for us – He saved us from the plot of the wicked Haman and Achashveirosh, let us kill our enemies, and once again emerge victorious. In response, Mordechai and Esther instituted the holiday of Purim to thank Hashem for saving us and keeping our nation going against all odds.
After all, this is the essence of us Jews – Did you know that the word Jew is derived from the name Judah? Judah is the English of the name Yehuda, the fourth son of Yaakov Avinu and Leah Imeinu. Upon his birth, Leah Imeinu felt such gratitude toward Hashem for giving her a fourth son (“more than her share” if the twelve tribes were to be split equally among the four wives of Yaakov Avinu) that she named her son just that – Yehuda – thanks. That’s why we’re called Yehudim, because of this outstanding trait that we’ve held on to for so long. Not only do we thank Hashem for the big miracles, but we recognize and appreciate the small ones too.
(Based on ideas from torah.org and Mrs. Libber!)
What miracle are you thankful for?
Listening to Acheinu in a gorgeous kumzitz I recorded when I went to Poland with Nesivos Tours after seminary. I started listening to the kumzitz earlier, during the fast, and am now listening to it the second time through because it is so beautiful!