April 18, 2024
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In Parshat Shemini at the end of the first aliyah, it says that the korban was done in the proper way that the law commanded. Was there a reason to believe that the korban would be brought in the wrong way? Why add that it was done in the proper way?

I believe that the reason the Torah is telling us it was done in accordance with the law is to teach us how to do mitzvot properly. Sometimes we may think we know better or a way to enhance the mitzvah, but it is Hashem’s way, the way of the Torah, that is correct. It is easy to lose the spirit of the mitzvah. For example, when Hashem said to Bnei Yisrael to give half a shekel so they could be counted, He said no more or less. Had the rich given more to this contribution in front of everyone they would have embarrassed the poor who can’t give more. Furthermore, it would have messed up the counting of the population. Similarly, if you want to give food or money to the poor and you give a big sum to someone specific but you do it publicly, you may embarrass the poor person. You may have thought that by doing it grandly you were doing something greater, when in reality you were losing sight of the mitzvah, which is to help someone.

The giving of the korbanot in this parsha is the beginning of the kohanim giving korbanot. Just like in the beginning they give it in the regular way of the law, when we start mitzvot for the first time it should be done in the regular way of the law. To be able to enhance a mitzvah one must first know how to do the mitzvah properly so they will know, when they enhance it, how to do it for the right reasons.

By Shira Sedek

 

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