In this week’s Parasha Tzav, God provides the Kohanim with the tools and education to uphold the special rituals of sacrifice.
There are three sacrificial meal offerings each symbolizing sin, guilt, and peace. The Kohanim eat the meat of the sin and guilt offerings. The peace offering is eaten by the individual who brought it, except for a small portion given to the kohen. The holy meat of the offerings must be eaten by someone who is ritually pure, in their designated holy place at a special time.
A key component of these rituals is the fire on the altar. The fire must be burning at all times. Without the warmth and light of the fire, these rituals would cease to exist. This parasha reveals the true importance of rituals and the significance they have in our lives. Rituals have an extraordinary effect on the way we connect, whether it’s to Judaism, family, friends our ourselves. Ritual is a force of connectivity, or better yet, an incandescent fire which helps us embrace the unknown and express gratitude for what we have. Even amongst the long school days and tiring work hours, we must strive to keep that fire going, to kindle and care for our inner radiance.
This Shabbat take the time to reflect on the rituals you already take part in. The family meals, weekly phone calls to a friend, morning dog walks and of course Hineni every Sunday. What do they give you? How are you taking steps to nourish and flourish your inner eternal flame?