Thursday, October 15, 2009

The value of reciting the korbanot


“It is written (Bereishit 15): ‘And he [Avraham] said: How do I know that I will inherit it [Israel]?’

“Avraham said before Gd: Master of the Universe! Perhaps, Gd-forbid, the Jews will sin before You and You will do to them as You did to the generation of the Flood and the generation of the Tower of Bavel!

“Gd replied: No.

“Avraham said before Him: Master of the Universe, how do I know that?

“Gd replied: Bring a calf… [symbolizing the korbanot]

“Avraham said before Him: Master of the Universe, that is fine for when the beit hamikdash [Jerusalem Temple] stands, but what will happen to them when the beit hamikdash does not stand?

“Gd said to him: I have already created the order of the korbanot for them; whenever they recite it, I consider it for them as though they had brought the korban before Me, and I forgive them for all of their sins.”

(Talmud, Megilah 31b)

Have a great day,


  1. Thanks, that helps a lot. I've always had a difficult time reciting all the korbanot because I can't imagine G-d wanting sacrificed animals, flour, fat, oil, etc.

  2. Anonymous-
    I'm glad it helps.
    The best analysis I have ever seen is in the Rama's introduction to the second part of his Torat ha'Olah - writing at the start of the 16th century, he collects more than a dozen explanations of why the korbanot are important. The approaches range from the mystical to the mussar/ethical to the rational.