The Power of the Daily Offerings - פנחס

Friday, 7 July, 2023 - 11:04 am


The Power of the Daily Offerings 

Who doesn't love holidays? Holidays offer a break from the routine and a chance to find excitement and inspiration from the changed schedule and environment. Sometimes we find that the best way to invigorate our daily responsibilities and routines is to take a break and do something out of the ordinary.

Our service of G-d also requires "holidays”, times when we stop the daily flow of our life and are more focused on celebrating and enhancing our relationship with G-d. Indeed, in this week's Parsha, the Torah lists the additional offerings brought in the temple on Shabbat and the holidays, symbolizing the additional closeness to G-d which we experience on those days.

Yet, this week's Parsha also highlights the profound power of consistent routine. 

The sages of the Midrash discuss which verse in the Torah is the one that encompasses and captures the core message of the Torah. The first three sages offer verses that indeed seem to capture the essence of Judaism: all people are created in the image of G-d; the belief in one G-d; and the obligation to love our fellow as ourselves: 

Ben Azzai says: "This is the book of the chronicles of man; on the day that G-d created man He created him in the image of G-d." is a general principle of the Torah. 

Ben Zoma says: We have found a more encompassing verse, which is, "Shema Yisrael." 

Ben Nanas says: We have found a more encompassing verse, which is, "Love your fellow as yourself."

The fourth opinion, however, is surprising: 

Shimon Ben Pazi says: We have found a more encompassing verse, which is, "The first lamb you shall sacrifice in the morning and the second lamb you shall sacrifice in the afternoon." a certain rabbi stood up and said: The halachah follows Ben Pazi.

Shimon Ben Pazi states that the most critical principle in the Torah is the consistency with which we can apply the Torah to our daily lives. Shimon Ben Pazzi refers to the daily offerings offered in the temple every day of the year as the most encompassing principle of the Torah because, ultimately, the daily commitment is what affects and impacts our lives. More important than the great principles of the Torah is the ability to take daily action expressing these truths. 

We often wait for a new beginning, an inspired moment, or an extraordinary event that will help us grow and become a better person, parent, spouse, and friend. But perhaps the most consistent and impactful growth comes from the seemingly small, consistent, daily action. 

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