Thursday, March 22, 2007

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Sacrifices and The Return to G-d

A great tidbit from Aish.Com, by Rabbi Ari Kahn...

The Ramban writes: ...the true (Kabbalistic) path has an elusive mystical reason for korbanot (sacrifices) ... the name of G-d exclusively used in regard to the korbanot is not "El" nor Elohim ... rather YHVH, the unique name, ... that no one should think that the korban is in order to feed G-d.

The Ramban reminds us that the name YHVH refers to the transcendent aspect of G-d; it is the name which indicates that G-d is beyond man’s understanding. The Torah employs this name in reference to the offerings --to the exclusion of all other names of God -- pointing up the incongruity of the idea of "G-d’s needs." The name Elohim, on the other hand, refers to G-d as judge, a concept which humans can grasp. Had this name of G-d been used in connection with offerings, one might have been tempted to imagine that a "bribe" is possible. But when we contemplate that the offerings are commanded by YHVH, we realize that no bribes can be offered.

Additionally, YHVH -- the singular, timeless name -- refers to G-d's trait of existing outside of time. This may help us understand how forgiveness takes place: If a man sinned yesterday, and repented today, how can his present attitude undo that which he did yesterday?

If we understand that G-d exists outside of time -- indeed, G-d created time -- when we try to reestablish a relationship with G-d, then time becomes less of a factor.

When man connects with the transcendent G-d, "yesterday" becomes limited to the human perspective, which no longer confines him.

This is the mystery of teshuva, "repentance" (which literally means "return") and of forgiveness. Man repents, returns to G-d, and G-d forgives him.

This also explains why the word korban is derived from the root k-r-v, "to come close." The korban is the act which allows man to come close to G-d. Teshuva is not only a return to G-d, it is also a return to oneself, to the potential within man, to the image of G-d within each and every one of us. When man repents, he returns to the core of godliness within himself, that tzelem Elohim, the "image of G-d" that is his essence.

Read the whole thing here.

Don't forget Reb Nati's Kimcha d'Pischa - Moas Chitim campaign to Help the Poor in the Shomron (West Bank) and other parts of Israel for this Passover. Info Here. Thank you to those who have helped so far!!! May Hashem bless you to always be able to!


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