The Meal Offering of the Kohen Gadol


Parashat Tzav 5772

When the Torah writes about sacrifices, what’s the first thing you think of?

How many of you said, “A cracker”?

Let’s look at some verses that discuss the meal offering of the Kohen Gadol. It seems like it was some sort of a cracker, maybe similar to a matzah. As is usual, the translation is from Judaica Press.


Thinking about Third Temple Sacrifices

sheep - sacrifices

Parashat Vayikra 5772

Earlier in the week I asked a number of questions to stimulate thinking about the difficult topic of animal sacrifices (offerings) in the Temple.

In this post I will focus on four questions:

  • Why lean on the animal’s head?
  • What is the purpose of animal sacrifices?
  • Is there Judaism without animal sacrifices?
  • Will there be animal sacrifices in the Third Temple?


Will There be Sacrifices in the Third Temple?

sheep - sacrifices

Parashat Vayikra 5772

As we read last week, at the end of Sefer Shemot, Moshe set up the Mishkan and the glory of God filled it.

Here at the beginning of Sefer Vayikra, God calls to Moshe and tells him which sacrifices the Jewish people will be offering.

I must mention that my teacher, Rabbi Mendel Farber, often told me that we should not refer to the animal offerings as sacrifices. To sacrifice something can imply that it is lost and now without value. He contends that whatever we give to God is never lost and never loses its value.


Building the Tabernacle

not the tabernacle

Parashat VaYakhel – Pekudei 5772

Our tradition tells us that God forgave the Jewish people for the sin of the Golden Calf on Yom Kippur.

Moshe gathered the people and told them about the Divine command to build the Tabernacle (Mishkan).


3 Lessons After the Golden Calf

Parashat Ki Tisa 5772

After the sin of the Golden Calf, God told Moshe that he was going to destroy the Jewish people.

After Moshe destroyed the Golden Calf he then went back up to Har Sinai to plead for the people (Shemot 32:30-32).

Moshe pleaded with HaShem that the Divine Presence would remain with them. Here is part of that exchange (translation from Judaica Press):


After the Golden Calf

Parashat Ki Tisa 5772

If it’s possible for a whole nation to have a bad hair day, then the Jewish people had one.

The people were confused about when Moshe would return from Har Sinai. They got anxious and urged Aharon to make a visual representation of God (Shemot 32: 1-6).

This is the event that is called Cheit HaEigal or the Golden Calf.


The Priestly Garments – Honor and Glory

SSG Giunta

Parashat Tetzaveh 5772

I have a confession to make.

I feel like I’ve never understood the concept of honor (kavod) and glory (tiferet) with regards to the priestly garments.

Then I came across the picture of Congressional Medal of Honor recipient U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Salvatore A. Giunta.

It struck me. That’s honor and glory. See the look in his eyes. See his bearing. It’s all brought together by the dignity of his uniform.