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By March 27, 2020 Read More →

Parsha: Rav Alex Israel, Brendan Stern

Read these parsha ideas to get you in the parsha mood:

Rav Alex Israel: Parsha Discussion. Vayikra. A Covenant of Salt

Salt is traditionally placed alongside the bread at our Shabbat table (Shulhan Arukh. Orah Hayim 167:5). The source for the Jewish practice of dipping the bread into salt comes from our parsha:

“You shall season every flour offering with salt; Do not omit the salt of your covenant with God from your flour offerings; with all your offerings you must offer salt.” (2:13)

Why is salt such an important part of the sacrifices?

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Brendan Stern: Vayikra – Bringing Out Your Inner Potential

The Torah tells us (Vayikra 2:11) that Mincha offerings were to be brought of pure flour without any leavening or honey additives to enhance the basic taste of the offering. However 2 verses later the Torah tells us that the offering must be brought along with salt. If the Torah wanted the offering to be brought without any enhancements, why was salt not only allowed but absolutely required whereas sweetening agents were forbidden?Rav Mordechai Gifter explains that extraneous elements are forbidden from offerings. The recipe for a Korban cannot be improved upon – neither by the use of a leavening agent to make it rise nor by the use of a sweetening agent to improve its taste. Salt is different, however, in that salt brings out and enhances the natural taste that already exists in the food. When we salt our food we are not adding an extraneous taste but rather enhancing the pre-existing taste.Rav Gifter says that this is the nature of spirituality. In seeking spirituality, a person should not introduce extraneous additives. A person should not try to be someone that he is not or act in a way that does not really represent his true and inner real self. In developing one’s spirituality, the goal should always be to try and bring out the best of your own self within the context of who you really are.Furthermore, salt acts as a preservative which symbolises the notion of longevity and persistence in our service of Hashem. When an individual brings a sacrifice and is inspired by the experience of being in a holy place, he needs to ensure he “salts” the experience to ensure the feeling does not “spoil” over time. Only through a commitment to change can the inspiration be maintained long-term!

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