Parshas Vayikra
{Leviticus 1:1 - 5:26}
Shabbos Zakhor {The Shabbos before Purim when
a special Torah reading replaces the Maphtir Deuteronomy 25:17-19, }

The Misunderstanding:
Being Out of Order and Procedure...
Offering the Karbon of Tefillah ©
By Dr. Akiva G. Belk

The parsha study is a lesson on the weekly portion {parsha} of the Torah specified for study by our sages.

This week's parsha centers around the Karbon, the offering at the Tent of Meeting.

There are several points we immediately notice:

The Karbon is offered at a particular place. It is offered at the entrance to the Mishkon, the place where Hashem dwells. This teaches us that there is a place for offering. It also teaches us that there is a being, G-d, who is greater than mankind, the one to whom the Karbon is offered. In the Mishkon area there are representatives appointed by G-d, the Kohanim. One of the responsibilities of the Kohanim is to follow the correct pattern for offering the Karbon.

We are discussing "ORDER", we are talking "PROCEDURE", we are considering G-d's prescribed instructions for offering a Karbon. This is very significant because Christians / Messianics claim Jesus was the sacrifice that, according to their beliefs, ended all sacrifices.

Now in the light of their claim the place, the order, the procedure, the prescribed instructions take on a completely different meaning. One does not need to be an apologist to understand that Jesus does not meet the conditions for a Karbon as described in this week's parsha.

Christians / Messianics make many claims about Jesus as a sacrificial lamb, but they are only claims... NOWHERE in the Bible does G-d in any fashion ever state that human sacrifice is acceptable or required! Nowhere in the Bible does G-d ever state that a human sacrifice will be required! However G-d did state to Moshe, "Speak to B'nei Yisroel and say to them; {if} a man among you will bring an offering to Hashem; of animals, cattle or sheep you should bring your offering." Leviticus 1:2

G-d did say, " If his offering is a burnt offering of cattle he shall bring an unblemished male...
G-d did say, "If his offering is from flocks of sheep - of lambs or of goats - for a burnt offering, he shall bring an unblemished male...
G-d did say, "If his burnt-offering to Hashem is of fowl, he shall bring either turtle doves or the young pigeons {as} his offering...
G-d did say, "When a soul brings a meal-offering to Hashem his offering shall be of fine flour; he shall pour oil upon it and place frankincense upon it....

Human sacrifice is NOT INCLUDED in these categories...

In addition it is improper to suggest or portray that Jesus' death was symbolic of a Karbon in the Temple courtyard. There is no comparison. The New Testament states that Jesus was tried before a Jewish court and sentenced to death by a Roman leader, Pilate. Jewish sacrifices are not whipped, beaten, mocked and nailed to a cross. This is inhumane! The Torah does not permit any form of abuse to animals of any kind and certainly NOT to humans.

A Karbon is slaughtered before Hashem, before the Kohen Godal and the Kohanim on the temple grounds, NOT as a prisoner in a Roman prison by prison guards. Then the Karbon's blood is sprinkled around a very holy place, the Mez Bay Ach, the altar. The Karbon is skinned and cut into pieces then the pieces are arranged in a certain order upon the altar and burnt. The innards and the legs are washed, then burned upon the altar. Again there is a great difference between Jesus' inhumane death and that of a Temple sacrifice.

My dear reader, there is NO comparison between Jesus and a Jewish Karbon. Christians / Messianics can discuss their hand selected similarities BUT they are only similarities. The fact remains that Jesus does NOT qualify under any circumstances as a Karbon!

Don't be threatened by claims of hellfire! Stand on what G-d has said in the Torah. They are only claims.

Our G-d is a very loving G-d! Our G-d considers the Karbon needs of all His people. G-d has provided a way for each of us to offer a Karbon even if it's only a handful of flour or our tefillah, that is, our prayers. None of our offerings has anything to do with Jesus. Our offerings are between each Jew and Hashem our G-d!

Now today we live in gollos. We the Jewish people have no Temple. We cannot offer all the sacrifices as prescribed in the Torah. Christians / Messianics are quick to jump to the conclusion that because we do not have a Temple and because we cannot offer all the sacrifices as prescribed in the Torah our sins are not forgiven. They claim we are going to die and burn in hellfire! That is utter nonsense.

Several weeks ago in our Gematria of Parshas Vayakhel, we discussed the construction of the Mishkon, both the physical Mishkon and the spiritual Mishkon. We stated, "...our sages consider this {the Mishkon} to mean dwelling places {tents} of learning and prayer, the Jewish home, the Jewish neshama where G-d presently resides in the absence of the Bais HaMikdosh. So the first step in lifting up the third Holy Temple {as in the wilderness "Echad Mishkon"} is the restoration of each Jewish soul and of each Jewish home with learning and prayer. This is the responsibility of every Jew everywhere! The Mishkon cannot be restored without you. As the Miami Boys Choir sings, 'We need your tefillah.' We, Kal Yisroel, are Ha Mishkon Echad!"

Now, dear readers, we see this connection in the statement, "when a soul {meaning person} brings a meal offering...." Our sages say the usage of "nefesh" {meaning soul} is in reference to a poor person that cannot afford an animal offering. It is G-d's way of making it possible for that person to give an offering to Hashem. Dear reader, just as G-d made a way for the poor person to give a Karbon G-d has also made a way for every Jew living in gollos to offer sacrifices to Him. That way is NOT Jesus!

The Karbon that we can offer to Hashem is from the Temple grounds of our nefesh, of our soul. Our sages expounded on the concept that a poor person actually gives their soul for sacrifice to Hashem. How? The poor person offers a matzoh as a Karbon to Hashem. The matzoh is unleavened bread. It has no yeast! It has no sin. Yet the message behind the matzoh is, "By the sweat of your brow shall you eat bread." Genesis 3:9 That being the situation Adam, the first man, had to labor hard to offer matzoh to Hashem. Each of us has to labor very much to offer matzoh as a sacrifice to Hashem. We have to prepare fields, plow fields, sow fields, reap fields, stack, thresh, winnow, clean, ground, sift, build an oven, gather wood to heat the oven, create and prepare a mixing bowl, gather olives for oil, mix and bake the matzoh. When we gather the olives for oil, it is necessary to climb the olive tree and dangle from the branches. This is dangerous. We could fall and G-d forbid be killed from the fall. In doing all this labor and in placing our life at risk, it is as if we actually offer our soul to Hashem when we give the matzoh.

Then when we offer the matzoh it is not like we experience the same effects as placing our hand on an animal's forehead, cutting the animal's throat, watching it bleed, watching the animal's blood being gathered and sprinkled before the altar, watching as the animal is cut into pieces and arranged on the altar, watching as the innards and legs are washed and burnt on the altar. Offering matzoh does not have this effect. Why?

When a soul offers matzoh, that soul is required to prepare before offering the matzoh to Hashem. This is not by accident because it teaches us what to do in the absence of an animal Karbon. It teaches us what to do in the absence of the Bais Ha Mikdosh. This is what we do today. This is how we offer to Hashem now! Rabbi Zalman Sorotzkin states, "He must examine his deeds, think deeply, and ask himself whether he is fit to offer a meal-offering to the One Who said: 'From the rising of the sun to its going down, My name is great among the nations, and in every place burnt offerings are presented to My name, and pure meal-offerings' (Malachi 1:11). If the nations of the world offer 'pure meal-offerings' to Hashem, then, certainly the Jewish people should do so as well. Therefore, one must properly contemplate whether his meal-offering is pure; whether he himself is not contaminating it with his impure hands,... whether he is not one of those about whom the prophet said in the name of Hashem: '...that they should not burn fire on My Altar in vain. I have no delight in you,' said Hashem, L-rd of hosts, 'and I do not want a meal-offering from your hands' (Malachi 1:10). Only after such introspection can he offer a 'pure meal-offering' to Hashem. This kind of introspection can only be performed by a baal nefesh, a person who is in control of his own soul. Therefore the verse says: 'When a soul offers a meal-offering...'"

Dear reader, in the exact same way we are to offer tefillah from the Mishkon of our pure nefesh. In other words we are to clean and maintain our soul, the heart of our Mishkon and our home, the best we can so that we have a spiritual place from which to offer the Karbon of praise to Hashem, as Dovid Ha Melech spoke of, "O Hashem open my lips that my mouth may declare Your praise. For you do not desire a sacrifice, else I would give it; a burnt offering You do not want. The sacrifices G-d desires are a broken spirit; a heart broken and humbled, O G-d, You will not despise..." Tehillim 51:17-19

This is why each time before we begin praying the Amidah each morning, afternoon and evening we say, "O Hashem open my lips that my mouth may declare Your praise." These are the daily Karbons that we offer to Hashem from the Mishkon of our nefesh.

Wishing you the best,

Dr. Akiva G. Belk

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