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The Crown of Halacha

Vayikra 5776 – Souled Out

Vayikra

Souled Out

“And when ‘a soul’ brings a meal-offering to Hashem…” (2:1)

Rashi points out that the word “soul” is not connected to any voluntary korban except the meal offering. He asks, “Who customarily brings a meal-offering?  A poor man. Hakodesh Baruch Hu says about him, “I credit him as though he offered his very soul.”

The poor person is bringing the equivalent of a bag of flour. And yet, he is highly praised! We all know that charity from the poor is equal to the charity from the wealthy as long as the intentions are l’shaim shamayim. The amount does not matter; the intention and the desire to give are the crucial components.

The Torah is teaching us that it is not a matter of how much we can give – but how we give what we can. Here is a man who is risking hunger in order to bring his korban to Hashem. This ‘bag of flour’ is even more significant because there is no foreseeable way of replacing it. Yet, the poor man trusts in Hashem. He has elevated his korban to the level of actually giving his soul.

We all have periods in our lives where we say, “I’ve reached my limit.” This happens when we run out of physical and emotional resources. It could be while caring for a loved one, raising children, earning a parnassa, etc. It seems impossible to go on, we feel helpless and alone. All we have left at this point is our desire to serve Hashem. We are likened to the poor man. At this stage we can make a huge spiritual leap by giving everything we have to complete the task.

The praise that Hashem gives the poor man assures him of success. We learn from his simple offering the power of devotion. Put your soul into it!

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