Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Nighttime Offering

Rav Shach, zt”l, once traveled to the Kotel with a close student. He was obviously very moved by the visit and offered a very heartfelt prayer. When they were on the way home Rav Shach explained what had touched him so deeply. “I remembered that a certain person is very ill but I also recalled the Nefesh Hachaim who writes that Hashem renews the world every instant of each day. I pleaded with Hashem, ‘Master of the world! Just like you renew creation at all times, you can make it that this man will have a complete recovery. After all, the world is completely recreated. Surely in this new world You can cause that he feels entirely better!”
The Rama, zt”l, provides a similar explanation for why we only offer sacrifices by day, yet we may bring the innards and limbs of the animals on the mizbeach at night. “Korbanos allude to Hashem’s complete recreation of the world at all times, which is the foundation of emunah. The person who brings an offering affirms that there is Divine providence and that he is in Hashem’s hands like a defenseless animal. For this reason they are offered by day whose light is called good. As the verse states, 'וירא אלוקים את האור כי טוב'. Since the night represents the darkness when we do not perceive Hashem’s kindness, it is not fitting to offer sacrifices which teach Hashem’s renewal of the world.
“But bringing the fats and limbs onto the altar which is not essential for the atonement represents the material nature of this world, which obscures Hashem’s renewal. For this reason these can be brought at night which represents the apparent darkness of this world.”

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