MidrESHET Hayil

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Pesah 5772 and Parashat Shemini- Fill Up That Empty Space with Beautiful Songs and Heartfelt Grace

Pesah 5772 and Parashat Shemini- Fill Up That Empty Space with Beautiful Songs and Heartfelt Grace

א  מִזְמוֹר לְתוֹדָה: הָרִיעוּ לַיהוָה, כָּל-הָאָרֶץ.
1 A Psalm of thanksgiving. Shout to HaShem, all the earth.

Out of all the songs and mizmorim that we recite, the only mizmor that we will sing in the days of Mashiah is Perek 100 of Tehillim, ‘Mizmor le’Todah’, a Song of Thanksgiving. At the same token, the only korban that will be brought in the days of Mashiah is the Korban Todah, the Thanksgiving Offering which we learn about in Parashat Tsav, the Parashah we have learned this past week; all other korbanot will not be necessary. A Korban Todah is brought in four special instances, as we learn from Perek 107 of Tehillim: when one is released from prison, when one travels the sea, when one recovers from illness (mainly brought by hunger) and by one who crosses the desert.

The only other korban similar to the Korban Todah is the Korban Pesah. Both have to be eaten the same day they are offered and cannot be left until the next morning and they both must be brought and eaten with 30 loaves of massah (the Korban Todah is eaten with an additional 10 loaves of hallah/hamess, totaling 40 loaves). If we think about it, during Pesah, we thank HaKadosh Barukh Hu for the same exact things that we bring the Korban Todah for: we were released from the imprisonment of Misrayim, we crossed through the Yam Souf, we cried to HaShem to save us from hunger and He sent us the mannah, and lastly, we traveled the midbar, the desert, for fourty years.

Just imagine eating either of the two korbanot. They are so massive that one certainly will not be able to consume it all himself (imagine eating 40 entire loaves and an entire lamb on your own….in one day); he would have to gather friends, family and even strangers and share it with others. Obviously, they are all going to ask what this korban is all about and instantly, an environment is created where HaShem is thanked in public. But we learn something more from this instance…

When a person saves for tomorrow, it shows a lack of bitahon, Trust in HaShem, on his part. By doing so, he says that he doesn’t believe that HaKadosh Barukh Hu will provide for him on a daily basis, instead, he must save for himself to be ‘secure’. When we are sharing the korban with others, we are showing our recognition that we are thanking HaShem for TODAY, for its own intrinsic value of just loving and appreciating HaShem for everything He gives us, not for wanting to get something tomorrow. Sometimes, people can commit an act of kindness in order to have a guarantee that somebody will pay them back in the future. This is not how we work! We thank HaShem for what He does for us here and now, and obviously, without a doubt He will continue to provide for us every day to follow. We don’t need to thank Him today as an investment to secure tomorrow’s needs.  

It seems that Pesah and Todah, Gratitude, are intricately linked together. Pesah is inherently a festival of Thanks. During Pesah we look at things with fresh eyes and thank HaKadosh Barukh Hu for things we sometimes forget we are blessed with. We thank Him for bringing us this far in the history of the world and for making us HIS nation. What a Kavod!

Parashat Shemini is called Shemini because it is the ‘Eighth’. The eighth of what? Until now was the Shivaat Yemei HaMiluim, the Seven Days of Preparation of the Mishkan so that on this Eighth Day, the Mishkan will be complete and HaKadosh Barukh Hu will finally rest His Shekhinah there among us. Miluim means practice and preparation, but it comes from the word maleh or miluy which mean ‘filled’. During these seven days, Mosheh Rabbenu prepared the Kohanim by filling them. What did he fill them with? With the same exact korban as the Korban Todah.

These Seven days of Pesah are days that we must fill ourselves up in preparation for the coming year. Of course we cannot fill ourselves up physically with the Korban Todah, but we can surely fill ourselves up with Todah itself!

Be’Ezrat HaShem Yitbarakh, may the Thanks and Gratitude we give to HaKadosh Barukh Hu last us through the coming year. May the Gratitude we show be genuine, and not as a collateral for guaranteed favors in the future. May HaShem always gives us what to be thankful for, and may we be zokhim to offer BOTH Korban Pesah and Korban Todah in the near future with all of Kelal Yisrael in Yerushalayim, Amen!

Hag Pesah Kasher ve’Sameah and Shabbat Shalom u’Mevorakh!

Ariella Samimi

Based on the elevating, inspirational and absoluetly brilliant shiur given by Rabbi Levy!

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