"Hashem spoke to Moshe, saying: Command Aaron and his sons, saying: This is the Law of the elevation-offering: It is the elevation-offering [that stays] on the flame, on the Altar all night until morning, and the fire of the Altar should be kept aflame on it"(6:1-2).
Last week I explored the rationale for the Korbanot. This week I will try to delve into their deeper meaning. According to the Shem Mishmuel (Rabbi Shmuel Bornstein of Sochaczev, Poland) Korbanot deepen the relationship between the owner and G-d; it brings them closer together. However, just as Korbanot bring Man closer to G-d, there are opposing forces in the world which try to pull this special relationship apart.
These are the Four Kingdoms-the nations of Babylon, Media (actually Persia), Greece, and Edom (Rome). Each of these nations have tried to destroy and sever the special bond between the Jewish People and G-d. These nations are still at work today (some) in different forms. Babylonia destroyed the First Temple- the Temple of Solomon. Edom (Rome) destroyed the Second Temple. The Medes and Greece tried to transform the Temple into their own with idolatry/Hellenism. They tried to destroy Judaism by assimilation rather than outright physical destruction.The same forces are at work today. Unfortunately, we do not have Korbanot to offset these powerful forces. We have our Prayers, our Torah and our Good Deeds working to counter these forces.
There is a famous Medrash that essentially says that when the Babylonians and the Romans destroyed the Jewish Temples the world committed suicide. The Medrash in Bamidbar Rabbah Perek One states, "If the nations of the world knew how beneficial the Beit Hamikdash was to them they would surround it with guards". Unfortunately, the world does not understand the value, the protection and the benefits the Beit Hamikdash brings to the table for them.
This is seen on a daily basis as the United Nations continually bashes and attacks Israel. The United Nations is doing a major disservice to Humanity by its incessant barrages against Israel. The Holy Temple offered the world the ability to do repentance, to get closer to G-d, to grow on all levels but it cut its nose to spite its face. You might think the world might have learned this valuable lesson but it has not. Only with a Third Temple will the world rebound and pull itself out of its quagmire. Some of the candidates for President in this election cycle actually understand this. I might add this is the first time in my lifetime that I have seen a willingness on the part of some of the candidates to consider allowing Israel to build a Third Temple.
They will not say it publicly but they are all for it if Israel decides to make the move. Unfortunately, Israel is not yet ready to do so. The fact that American Politicians are for it is a remarkable turn of events and means progress is being made. The Four Nations of the world have for millennia tried to deny the Jewish people the ability to do Mitzvot. The function of Klal Yisrael is to be a messenger and bearer of the Divine Presence in the world. These Four Nations bring destruction by denying Klal Yisrael's ability to fulfill its mission and purpose. In fact in Kabbala the four letters of the name of G-d, "yod", "hei", "vav", "hei" are opposed by the Four Nations. The four greatest specimens of Humanity; Abraham, Isaac, Yaakov, and King David are the antithesis of these Four Nations. Not only are there Four Anti-Spiritual Nations in the world but there are Four Cardinal Sins which each of these Nations has (one) at its core.
The Four Korbanot atone for these sins and represent Abraham, Isaac, Yaakov, and King David. It all ties together. G-d gave each of the Four Animal Korbanot for a reason. The nation of Babylonia represents the first Cardinal Sin of Idolatry. Isaac is the Human who fought Idolatry to its very essence by offering himself in the Akeda. The Olah or Elevation Offering which atones for Evil Thoughts atones for Idolatry(derived from a delusional thought process) and represents Isaac. Isaac was willing to completely sacrifice himself so the Olah is appropriate because it is completely burnt up. The Chatat or "sin offering" is brought for primarily accidental sins of sexual immorality. Unlike the Olah which is brought for sins of the mind, the Chatat is brought for sins of the body. Abraham excelled at overcoming the drive for immorality.
The nation that most involves itself with sexual immorality is Greece. Hence the Chatat atoned for this nation's weakness. The Shelamim or Peace Offerings correspond to Yaakov who indeed was the first Human to bring a Peace Offering (Bereishit 46:1). Yaakov who was in fear of his brother Esau the progenitor of Edom(Rome) his whole life brought the Shelamim to atone for his Brother's Sin of Murder-the hallmark of Edom. Murder which brings War was offset by the Shelamim which bring Peace. The last cardinal sin according to the Shem Mishmuel was the sin of Lashon HaRa (Evil Talk). According to the Gemara (Arachin 156) Lashon HaRa is considered worse than each of the three cardinal sins listed above (it leads to all three). The Gemara states, "It was taught in the school of Rabbi Yishmael: anyone who speaks Lashon HaRa increases his sins in correspondence to the three transgressions, idolatry, sexual immorality, and murder." King David is considered the antidote to Lashon HaRa as he composed the Psalms to offset Lashon HaRa.
The Asham or Guilt Offering which has components of the Chatat (some of its meat is eaten by the Cohanim), and the Olah (its blood is sprinkled on the Altar) corresponds to King David. The Gemara Shabbat 56b says about King David, "Had David not listened to Lashon HaRa, the kingdom of the House of David would not have been divided, and had Yisrael not committed idolatry we would not have been exiled from our Land". The nation that the Asham atones for is Media which is represented by Persia or Iran today ("Paras and Madai"). The Four Nations are out to destroy Israel. The nation of today that is most out to destroy us is Iran(Persia). King David who is represented by the Asham will destroy Iran.
It is interesting that the name of the country of Iran is derived from the word "Aryan". The original "Aryan Race" who Hitler based his whole "Master Race" philosophy upon was Iran. He considered Iran, Aryan but tainted by Islam. Reza Shah Pahlavi made a pact with Hitler in 1933 because he considered both the Nazis and the Iranians part of the "Aryan Master Race". Don't think for one minute that the Iranians don't want to outdo the Nazis.
The Iranians have teamed up with Yishmael (Arabs) to try to destroy Israel. The Rabeinu Bachye considers Yishmael a stronger enemy of Israel than even Edom (Deuteronomy 30:37). Rabeinu Moshe Dovid Vali based upon Psalm 124 ("Blessed is Hashem, Who did not present us as prey for their teeth") says the Yismael fight will be the most difficult of all our battles. In the end we shall prevail. The Third Temple will be rebuilt with G-d's help, and the Four Animal Korbanot will be re-instituted. The world will finally be at Peace when that happens. Shabbat Shalom