<I>Vayikra</I>: Sacrifices Today

During the previous century, the Orthodox community fought many battles in order to preserve authentic Judaism.

Aloh Naaleh,

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Arutz 7
"Adam ki yakriv mikem korban laShem...." This is the foundation of avodah, service of God. While, according to its plain sense, the verse is dealing with the law governing an individual from among the Jewish people who brings a sacrifice, the literal sense of the verse imparts a very different message. "A person, when he sacrifices, of yourself bring a sacrifice for God." True service of God involves sacrificing "of yourself," forgoing things that are most important to you for the service of God.

During the previous century, the Orthodox community fought many battles in order to preserve authentic Judaism. Battles were fought for Shabbat, Kashrut, Torah study and Jewish education with tremendous sacrifice and devotion, and the success of these battles enables us today to take these matters for granted. They may now be observed with relative ease because of the willingness of Jews to sacrifice things that were important to them at the time - material and financial well-being, and social acceptance - in the service of God and to ensure the integrity of the Jewish nation.

Sacrifice is fundamental to our service of God, and each generation must identify its unique challenges and be willing to sacrifice to stand up to those challenges. It appears that one of the few difficult things left for Jews living in comfort and freedom is enhancing and actualizing their connection with Eretz Israel. There have always been extenuating circumstances exempting Jews from fulfillment of the mitzvah of yishuv Eretz Israel. But with so few areas of Jewish observance that require true sacrifice today, increased focus on finding ways to fulfill this mitzvah is an authentic way to sacrifice something of ourselves in the service of God.
Rabbi Shaya Karlinsky is the Dean of Yeshivat Darche Noam/David Shapell College of Jewish Studies and Midreshet Rachel College of Jewish Studies for Women in Jerusalem. The schools' student bodies are composed of English-speaking college graduates and young professionals, and nearly 40% of the graduates have settled in Israel. Rabbi Karlinsky studied in Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh and Mir, received S'micha from ITRI and a Master's Degree in Educational Psychology from Temple University, Philadelphia. He and his wife have been living in Jerusalem for almost 35 years, and they have six children and even more grandchildren.