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D’var Torah: Parashat Tzav

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This week the Chief Rabbi explains how even the things in life that we take for granted are miracles from Hashem. 

Miracles are happening for you right now.

Maybe you realise it, maybe you don’t.

Parashat Tzav presents us with details of the ‘korban shlamim’, the peace offering – the most wonderful sacrifice through which one could come to the temple and thank the Almighty for peace of mind, for peace in the world and for peace in one’s home. Then the Torah presents us with a subset of that category – the ‘korban toda’ – the thanksgiving offering, to come and thank Hashem when a miracle has taken place in one’s life.

For the korban shlamim, the peace offering, one is entitled to eat from the animal on the day that one has bought the sacrifice, through the following night and also on the following day, because it’s important that we continue to feel its effect and celebrate peace in our lives.

With regard to the korban toda, the thanksgiving offering, the Torah says “b’yom korbano ye’achil” – it must be eaten on the day that it is sacrificed, “lo yaniach mineino ad boker”, on the following day, no left overs! You eat it on this day, and also through the following night, but no on the second day. But hold on – the toda is one of the shlamim, so why is it different from them?

There is a beautiful perush given by the Imrei Emet, one of the previous Rebbes of Gur. He says as follows: On every single day of our lives God performs miracles for us, that’s why in our Amida prayer we thank Hashem “al niseicha shebachol yom imanu”, for all the miracles which are with us on every single day, “v’al niflotecha v’tovotecha shebachol et, erev vavoker vzaharayim” and for all your wonders and for all the goodness that never leaves us in the evening, in the morning and in the afternoon.

You see, sometimes we notice a miracle that has happened for us, but mostly we are oblivious to the miracles that happen to us. Isn’t it incredible? it’s an act of God that I can speak to you now, that I can see, that I can hear, that we can function as human beings, that the world can function in the most remarkable and extraordinary way. Therefore, says the Imrei Emeth, when I notice a miracle and I come to celebrate it, I only celebrate it today. And why is it restricted only to today? Because tomorrow, please G-d, there’ll be many more miracles!

Therefore from the korban toda, the thanksgiving offering, we learn how important it is to appreciate what Hashem does for us, some of which we know, but most of which we will never find out. That is why we also say three times a day in our prayers “v’al niflotecha v’tovotecha shebachol et, erev vavoker vzaharayim”, thank you G-d, for your wonders and your goodness which never leaves us evening, morning and afternoon.

Shabbat Shalom