This Shabbat:

Friday Candle Lighting: 7:01pm
Shabbat Ends: 7:50 pm

Torah Message:

A Burning Sensation

“…Command Aharon and his sons, saying: This is the Torah of the Olah: it is the elevation-offering that stays on the flame… and the flame of the Altar should be kept aflame on it.” (13:17)

Korbanot — animal sacrifices — don’t make sense.

How can the offering of an animal on the Altar be atonement for our wrongdoing?

The Ramban explains that the essence of a korban is that the offender should watch the shechita of the korban and think: “That should be me!”

It is his neck that really should be feeling the slaughterer’s knife, and only through G-d’s great mercy is the wrongdoer allowed to substitute the body of an animal for that of his own.

But it doesn’t stop there. This feeling must also lead the offender to repentance, to turn aside from his wrongdoing and mend his ways.

This idea is hinted to in the Torah text:

“…Command Aharon and his sons, saying,” — meaning that they should say to every Jew who brings a korban, “This is the Torah of the elevation-offering…” — this is the essence and the purpose of the korban — that “it (can also be translated as ‘he’) is the elevation-offering” — he should see himself as though everything being done to the korban should really be done to him.

“And the flame of the Altar should be kept aflame on it (him).” In other words, the flame should be kept burning his body, but G-d in His Mercy accepts the korban as a substitute.

  • Sources: HaDrash V’ha’Iyun in Mayana shel Torah