This week we embark upon Leviticus book three of the Torah. In a lot of ways Leviticus is what one should expect from a middle book and Vayikra (that’s holy tongue for Leviticus in case you were wondering) starts things off without any surprise twists. This week’s portion is five chapters devoted to the how, when, why, and where of sacrificial offerings.
Animal sacrifices today are just not practical. This is not because sacrificing an animal is frowned upon (lets face it most people’s diets include killed animals and sacrificing them is not that weird) it is because we display our prosperity in other ways. The ritual and reasons for sacrificial offerings are laid out in Vayikra to strengthen the relationship between Hashem and mankind. Animals or no animals it makes perfect sense Hashem created everything and by default everything is His regardless of what we may think.
In more modern times each of us has our own way of showing just how sorry and remorseful we are. My process is a heartfelt apology acknowledging my scum bagginess followed by a gift of some sort, on the other hand a close friend of mind likes to show remorse with a nice dinner and drinks at a classy restaurant. Both are far cries from sacrificing the choicest of cows but the intent is the same. Making amends is something we have to initiate first in our hearts and then through our actions, this is exactly what Vayikra is about.
Wait there’s more! Sacrificial offerings also add closure. Done with sincerity showing your remorse to those you have hurt helps all involved, both sides are then able to close and lock a door that opens into a painful part of life. Closure is a crucial tool in spiritual growth dwelling on past mistakes will only strangle you like a vine.
What are your sacrificial offerings? Share in the comments below or send me a message: Jeremiah@punktorah.org Twitter: @circlepitbimah