<I>Tzav</I>: The Thanksgiving Offering

We can't bring the korban todah - yet.

Aloh Naaleh,

Arutz 7
To some, the notion of animal sacrifices as conveyed through the early portions of the book of Vayikra is antiquated. Presently, this issue is mute since we are unable to perform the Temple rituals and instead use prayer as a substitute. However, what is in store, speedily and in our days, when the glory will be restored?

The midrash (Vayikra Rabbah 9:7) states that “in the ‘future’ all of the sacrifices will be annulled; however, the thanksgiving offering (korban todah) will not be annulled.” The Redak (1160-1235) explains that in the era of Moshiach men will no longer succumb to sin, so the only remaining function for a sacrifice will be to thank and praise HaShem for the miracles He performs.

Rashi (Vayikra 7:12) presents four examples of when one would bring the korban todah: upon returning from an
The only remaining function for a sacrifice will be to thank and praise HaShem for the miracles He performs.
overseas journey; after crossing a desert; after being released from captivity; and after recuperating from an illness.

Metaphorically, the Jewish People in exile experience each of these constantly. They experience a sea of troubles. They live in a spiritual wasteland, devoid of the values of the Torah. Often, they are persecuted and discriminated against, virtual prisoners within their respective societies. Finally, their estrangement from HaShem is symptomatic of emotional sickness (“cholat ahava,” according to Song of Songs 2:5).

Living in Israel may not allow us to bring the korban todah, yet. However, it certainly gives us ample reason to thank HaShem for delivering us from the greatest severities of exile, from all four categories.

If the animal sacrifices themselves were viewed as a surrogate for the person, perhaps today’s olim can be viewed as living, breathing korbanot todah... at least, until we can repay our obligation at the restored Temple.
Rabbi Steven Ettinger lives with his family in Hashmonaim, having made Aliyah from Detroit. He practices international tax for KPMG in Tel Aviv. He is also the author of two books: Torah 24/7 and Connecting the Dates, from Devorah Publishing.

The foregoing article was distributed by the Aloh Naaleh organization.