Rabbi Milevsky's Thought of the Week: Vayikra - 5774
WOOD AND FIRE FOR HASHEM
In the beginning of Parashat Vayikra, the Torah describes the procedure of bringing an Elevation-Offering-the Olah.
After the animal is slaughtered, cut and skinned, the Torah notes that “The sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire on the altar and arrange wood on the fire.” The next Pasuk continues “Aaron’s sons the priests shall arrange the pieces, the head, and the fat, on the wood that is on the fire that is on the altar.”
Commentators wonder why the Torah needs to tell us in the second Pasuk that wood was on the fire. This information is already known to us?
To serve Hashem two essential components are necessary; an emotional urge to connect to Hashem and a guiding system. The emotion of relating to the Higher-Being is analogous to fire; upward moving flickering and at times uncontrollable. The ethical system can be compared to wood, as we declare every Shabbat that the Torah is an “Eitz Chaim” a tree of life.
Thus the reason the Torah repeats the requirement of wood and fire on the altar is to remind us of the crucial ingredients in our service of Hashem.