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Please include Israel's captive soldiers in your tefillot: Zecharia Shlomo ben Miriam Baumel, Tzvi ben Penina Feldman, Yekutiel Yehuda Nachman ben Sarah Katz, Ron ben Batya Arad, Guy ben Rina Chever.

May HaKadosh Barukh Hu have mercy upon His people and upon His land.

Monday, 22 Av 5774 – August 18, 2014             

            As discussed yesterday, the Torah in Parashat Re’ei presents the command forbidding the offering of sacrifices anywhere outside the designated site – the Beit Ha-mikdash: “Take care not to sacrifice your burnt-offerings anywhere you see” (12:13).  Once the Beit Ha-mikdash was built, sacrifices were allowed only there; offering sacrifices elsewhere became forbidden.

            Symbolically, this prohibition conveys a broader and very significant message (as discussed by Rabbi Fabian Schonfeld).  Many people are driven to “sacrifice,” to give of themselves and their resources on behalf of something or someone else.  Sacrifice brings satisfaction and pride, along with a sense of meaning and purpose.  The Torah here warns us to exercise caution in choosing which “sacrifices” to make.  People are often tempted to make sacrifices for a goal which offers little or no long-term benefit to themselves or to others.  People may be misled to sacrifice on behalf of a cause which ultimately proves useless and counterproductive.  “Take care not to sacrifice your burnt-offerings anywhere you see.”  Our eyes and perception can deceive us into affording importance and significance to pursuits and goals which are neither important nor significant.  We are to reserve our sacrifices for the “Beit Ha-mikdash,” for meaningful, worthwhile causes that are part of our devoted service of God.

Rav David Silverberg     



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(c) 2014 Israel Koschitzky Virtual Beit Midrash, Yeshivat Har Etzion.







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