Meditations for ADAR

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Yakriv Mikem / Sacrifice “Of You”

Speak to the children of Israel and say to them: when one of you offers a sacrifice to the Lord, the sacrifice must be taken from the cattle, sheep or goats” (Lev. 1:2).

Or so the verse would read if it were constructed according to the normal rules of grammar. However, in Hebrew the word order of the sentence is strange and unexpected. We would expect to read: adam mikem ki yakriv, “when one of you offers a sacrifice”. Instead what it says is adam ki yakriv mikem, “when one offers a sacrifice of you”. The essence of sacrifice, said R. Shneor Zalman, is that we offer ourselves. We bring to G-d our faculties, our energies, our thoughts and emotions. The physical form of sacrifice -an animal offered on the altar – is only an external manifestation of an inner act. The real sacrifice is mikem, “of you”. We give G-d something of ourselves. ~ Rabbi Sacks, Self and Sacrifice

Meditations for ADAR

* Photo Credit: Israel Defense Forces, Facebook

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