Challah for the Soul: Parshas Vayikra

Adam ki yakriv mikem korban... "A person amongst you who brings a sacrifice"

This week we begin reading the book of Vayikra.

It begins with Moshe hearing Hashem calling lovingly to him, speaking to him of the offerings.

In the literal translation of the verse: "A person offers of themselves a sacrifice."

The truest sacrifice is that of the self.

Us women-mothers, daughters, sisters-we would die for our loved ones if it ever Gd forbid came to that.

But can we LIVE for them?

That is a much larger and more constant sacrifice, one which requires our ongoing commitment and presence. As women we are familiar with the concept of sacrifice.

If we would not sacrifice our space, our time, our very bodies... future generations would not exist.

But can we continue that level of giving—from the very essence of who we are—on a daily basis? In this age of total distractedness...

Can we focus our complete presence towards our loved ones?

Can we deny ourselves the momentary delight of checking our "likes" on Instagram, to truly acknowledge—in real time—what is going on with our loved ones?

There are many offerings spoken of in the Torah.

Of them is the Korban Tamid, the "constant sacrifice". It is brought each morning and evening unfailingly.

Regardless of mood or inclination this sacrifice is constant. This is the hardest of them all.

The sacrifices that we brought in the passion of thankfulness or the sorrow of regret... These are sacrifices to be sure.

But the greatest of all is the one that occurs at 2 pm on a Tuesday afternoon.

Nothing special, nothing earth shattering, can we still give of ourselves as if this was our last moment on earth?

This voice of Hashem that Moshe hears-speaking of the sacrifices- is coming from between the cherubs, the keruvim. These represent the intimate relationships in our lives. When the keruvim are facing one another, it is a sign of peace. The loving voice that only moshe can hear is coming from this space.

This is the way we bring peace, harmony and intimacy into our homes, into our lives.

We remove a piece of challah from the seemingly perfect ball of dough and only then is the dough complete. We sacrifice—our space, our distractions, our desire to be 'right'—and find—in this new month of Nisan—a month of freedom and rebirth- that we are more joyful, free and connected for it.

May your Shabbos Rosh Chodesh be peaceful, joyful and connective.

Good Shabbos and Chodesh tov.

From my kitchen to your heart... with love.

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