Third Temple Torah True Teachings

When Moshiach Comes
Learning About That Time
(Let it be now!)

Parashas Tzav
Leviticus/Vayikra (Third Book of the Torah) Chapter 6

The following excerpt from Peninim on the Torah, Fifth Series, by Rabbi A.L. Scheinbaum of the Hebrew Academy of Cleveland, has been used with explicit permission.

"This is the law of the feast peace-offering... if he shall offer it for a thanksgiving - offering." (7:11,12)

When someone has survived a life-threatening crisis he offers a Korban Todah, thanksgiving offering, as a way of expressing his gratitude to Hashem [G-d]. Chazal [the Torah-true Sages] teach us that in the era of Moshiach all sacrifices will become void. One exception to this rule is the Korban Todah [thanksgiving offering], which will never become void. The same idea is mentioned in regard to prayer, for all tefillos (prayers) will be abolished then except those of thanksgiving. How are we to understand these statements? True the era of Moshiach will usher in an idyllic world wherein man will be free of sin. He will have no reason to seek atonement through the vehicle of korbanos [offerings]. But there will also be no pain and sorrow, no crisis or danger from which to be spared. What will then oblige us to offer thanksgiving?

Horav Mordechai Rogov, z.l., offers a novel interpretation of this Chazal [wisdom from the sages]. We express our gratitude only when we perceive a need to do so. When we are in grave danger or when we are confronted with a serious illness or dangerous situation, we come face to face with crises and we realize what it is we were saved from. What about one who goes about his daily business completely oblivious to the various crises that could have occurred had Hashem [G-d] not prevented them? Is this not a reason for acknowledging Hashem's [G-d's] intervention? Regrettably, we say "thank you" only when we emerge triumphant or unscathed from a threatening situation. When we see what we were saved from, it behooves us to express our gratitude. But if it happens that we do not see the danger, we ignore our Benefactor, Who has averted its occurrence. We must come to the realization that for every healthy moment, every successful venture, every day that goes by without crisis, we have reason to proclaim our gratitude to Hashem. Must we suffer before we are grateful? Whouldn't it be preferable to thank Hashem simply for the continued good that we enjoy? True, in the era of Moshiach, life will be pure and sublime. Yet, even during such abundance we must express our gratitude for Hashem's maintaining this wonderful life. Man is aware only of the past, while the future remains Hashem's domain. It is equally important to express our gratitude to Hashem for granting us continued access to future goodness as it is to acknowledge His beneficence in the past.

"If he shall offer it for a thanksgiving-offering." (7:12)

One who has survived a life-threatening situation is adjured to bring a Korban Todah (thanksgiving-offering). Rashi cites Tehillim 107 [Psalm 107] which is used by Chazal [the Sages] as the source for requiring a Korban Todah from a Jew who finds himself in any of four types of situations: He has been liberated from prison, has recently recovered from a serious illness, he returned from a sea voyage, or traveled in the desert and has arrived safely. In each of these cases, he is to express his gratitude to Hashem with a specific korban.

In Tehillim 50:23 [Psalm 50, verse 23] the pasuk [passage] states, "he who offers a thanksgiving offering, honors Me". The word "y'kavodnani" [honors Me] is spelled with an extra "nun", which Chazal [the Sages] suggest teaches us to give kavod (honor/gratitude) twice to Hashem [G-d]. What is the reason for this double expression of gratitude? The Kesav Sofer [Rav Avraham Shmuel Binyamin Sofer] explains that one must thank Hashem not only for his salvation from peril, but also for originally being placed in grave danger. "Whatever Hashem does is for the good" is a noted dictum of Chazal [the Sages]. "As one blesses with joy for the good (situation), likewise he should bless Him for the bad" is a halacha [the embodiment of Torah Law]. This, states the Kesav Sofer, is Dovid HaMelech's [King David] intention when he says, "I bless Hashem at all times" (Tehillim 34:2 [Psalm 34, verse 2]). Consequently, one who offers a Korban Todah expresses two forms of gratitude: he thanks Hashem for rescuing him from grave peril, and he acknowledges Hashem's beneficence in "availing" him the "opportunity" to move closer to Him via prayer and repentance by placing him in the dire situation which he has survived. For this reason, Dovid HaMelech [King David] uses a double "nun" to express the two forms of praise to Hashem for the good and for the bad.

Why specifically are these four situations single out as being examples for which a Korban Todah is requisite? Horav Yosef Chaim, z.l., of Baghdad in his Ben Ish Chai, suggests that one who survives these experiences is more apt to delude himself that it was someone or something other than Hashem who/which was the source of his salvation. For example, one who is ill will invariably attribute this having been healed to the intervention of good doctors who applied their skills and used the latest medical techniques on his behalf. One who was incarcerated figures that he was liberated through the mediation and spirited efforts of others who had his best interests at heart. One who traveled through a desert will assure himself that he had taken adequate measures to safeguard his journey. Likewise, one who traveled across the sea will be confident that he had provided for himself the safest means possible of voyaging. In all these cases one might not come to acknowledge the real source of his salvation. Accordingly, he must emphasize his sense of appreciation to Hashem, the Supreme Benefactor.

Indeed, the definition of hakoras hatov (gratitude/appreciation) is the ability to acknowledge / recognize (hakoras) the good (hatov). One must concede recognition of the great kindness of his Benefactor. Indeed, if we delve into the source of all the wonderful things that happen to us, we will certainly confront the truth that they all come from Hashem.

(Peninim on the Torah, p. 168-70)

The above "Third Temple Times Torah True Teaching" was brought to my attention (Avrohom Dovid) by Shepsel (Sidney Rudin, blessed be his memory, who left this world on Kislev 21, 5763 (November 26, 2002)). Sidney said why should we wait for Moshiach and the Third Temple, which we all want now, to offer the Korban Todah (thanksgiving offering) to the Al-mighty when we can actually do it now every day by giving charity, being more gracious and kind than what comes naturally, and learning and teaching the light of Torah.