Vayikra

Sacrifices came from a universal human need to visibly express raw emotion. Feelings of remorse, desire, joy and thanks were given tangible form and set in a relationship to God: afterwards, unburdened, life could continue. Sacrifice, korban, means both giving-up and drawing-close. Some sacrifices were burned entirely, while others became an occasion for a feast; simultaneous affirmations and denials of materialism. How do we translate these expressions into words today? In prayer, emotions are verbalised, given form, sometimes given away, sometimes kept and savoured. Our ego is not annulled, yet neither is it completely in control. Prayer, whether religious liturgy or ‘just’ a fervent feeling that we allow to become conscious, is our way to navigate through this complex world.

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[Inspired by: Leviticus 1 and Genesis 4; Mei Shiloach on Vayikra; Abarbanel’s Introduction to Vayikra; and The Sacrifice of Cain and Abel by Mariotto Albertinelli.]

 

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2 comments on “Vayikra

  1. I never realised the meaning of drawing close in the word Korban. An interesting aspect… My brother lost his job last week, akin to a korban, I guess. Thank you for your words, Josh, and a gite Woch! Naomi

    Like

    • Thanks Naomi! Hard to lose a job. I hope he can control the narrative of what happens next. It could be a korban, a pivotal moment, a renewal of relationships. Good luck to him and you!

      Like

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