Friday, June 8, 2012

In Its Time

The sefer Vayedaber Moshe explains how we can still bring korabanos even today. “The Midrash explains that the verse regarding the korban tamid: 'תשמרו להקריב לי במועדו'—‘Take care to sacrifice to Me in its time’—is linked to the verse in Mishlei, 'צדיק אוכל לשובע נפשו'—‘A tzaddik eats to satisfy his soul.’ On a simple level this seems difficult. What possible connection is there between the korban tamid and how a tzaddik eats? “The key to understanding this puzzle is a statement of our sages which explains the word במועדו—‘in its time.’ The tamid must be offered on time, even on Shabbos and even when the Jewish people are ritually impure. We see that the word 'במועדו' connotes that the korban tamid must be brought twice daily, at all times and for all time, without exception. One may well wonder how the tamid has been brought twice daily since the destruction of the Beis Hamikdash so many years ago? The answer is that when we eat with sanctity this is likened to a sacrifice. One who eats for the honor of Hashem so that his body is healthy and the energy afforded from what he consumes is used to serve Hashem and learn Torah is in this category. His morning meal is like the morning tamid to Hashem and his dinner is the tamid shel bein ha’arbayim. This is the meaning of the verse in Yechezel: 'זה השלחן אשר לפני ה''—‘This is the table which is before Hashem.’ When one eats with sanctity his table is like the altar since his food is like a sacrifice to Hashem. “This is the connection between this verse regarding the korban tamid and the verse that a tzaddik eats to satisfy his soul. A tzaddik does not eat to satiate his body. He eats for his nefesh. This is the meaning of the surprising statement Hillel would make when going to eat, ‘I am going to bestow chessed upon the hostel that houses my soul.’”

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