#TieBlog #Vayikra

20 Mar

Rabbi Ed Bernstein

Sacrificial lambs Sacrificial lambs

Parashat Vayikra brings us into the world of sacrifices. As arcane as animal sacrifice seems to us today, it’s helpful to reflect on how our ancestors understood sacrifice. For them, sacrifice was an occasion to feel God’s presence, not out in the distant cosmos, but right at their own table. Society’s view of religion tends to be biased toward the transcendent, more distant, view of God. However, Vayikra presents a strong and equally valid position of the Torah that God is also immanent, right there with us at our meal. When we sit down to a meal with loved ones, particularly on Shabbat or holidays, rather than focusing on the stress we receive from the “black sheep” in our family (see the Tie!), we should focus on the aspects of God’s presence that bring us together. Even if we don’t sacrifice sheep and other livestock as they did…

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