Rabbi Milevsky's Thought of the Week: Vayikra - 5781
CAUTION WITH KORBANOT
In the realm of spiritual growth, nothing is more damaging than the reliance on the external, while ignoring the fundamental and core issues required from man. "I don't need your sacrifices" is a common message heard from the great prophets of Israel. Yishayahu stated very clearly in the name of Hashem that "I have had enough of burnt offerings and rams and the fat of well-fed cattle; I have no desire for the blood of bulls, lambs or male goats."
These messages were very significant to a society surrounded by pagan cultures which believed that the gods can be placated by offering a few animals. Hashem wanted the Children of Israel to know that although Korbanot do play a very significant and important part in our service of Him, they should never become a practice that would allow the worshiper to feel content after bringing the sacrifice and that he is allowed to do as he pleases, since he has satisfied the God of Israel.
This message is as relevant today as it was three thousand years ago. A Jew committed to the values of Torah must never allow external acts, even those that are Mitzvot, to justify behaviour that is against the essence of our faith.
Let us all keep this in mind as we begin the book of Vayikra, the book of the Korbanot.