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    Engaging your being – Vayikra

    cantor moshe oysher prayerThe Torah reading this Shabbat is full of sacrifices.

    The command commences, “If any of you brings a sacrifice”. The Hebrew verse can be understood as saying, “If anyone brings a sacrifice of you”.

    There are many sacrifices of animals (“You shall bring your offering from the cattle, the herds and the flock”), but the first and most important offering comes “of you”.

    The word for “sacrifice” is korban, from the root k-r-v which means “to draw near”.

    The Zohar points out that there are special categories – Kohanim and Levi’im – who have obligations to draw near to the Almighty in the sanctuary, but in addition the masses of the population have to involve themselves in the communal offering. Not merely in the Tabernacle or Temple, but everywhere and at all times.

    Anyone who believes in God cannot and must not leave the relationship on an intellectual or theoretical level. They must engage their whole being in the service of the Creator.

    When people see a believer, they should be able to say, “When I look at what that person does, I know from their deeds that they are filled with the thought of God and the yearning to be in His Presence.”

    Not only this, but when the believer seeks God, one of the best ways is to remember to sacrifice the animal spirit within them, i.e. the urge to catch other people and do them harm.

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