Tag Archives: Shalosh Regalim

Temple Offerings (P#41-67)

The mitzvot continue with services that were performed in the Temple.

Read the full text here.

‘Pilgrimage to the Second Jerusalem Temple’ by Alex Levin

Summary: The 41st positive mitzvah is to offer an additional sacrifice on Shabbat, on top of the usual daily sacrifices. The 42nd, 43rd, 45th, 47th, 48th, 50th, and 51st mitzvahs are to similarly offer an additional sacrifice on Rosh Chodesh, Pesach, Shavuot, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, and Shemini Atzeret, respectively. The 44th mitzvah is to offer the omer grain offering from the day after Pesach, until Shavuot, while the 46th is the special offering of two loaves on Shavuot. The 49th mitzvah is the entire Yom Kippur atonement service (as outlined in parashat Acharei Mot in the Torah). The 52nd mitzvah is to celebrate the three regalim, pilgrimage festivals of Pesach, Shavuot, and Sukkot, while the 53rd is specifically to make the pilgrimage to Jerusalem on these holidays, and the 54th is to rejoice and be happy on these holidays. Mitzvahs #55-58 all relate to the preparation and consumption of the korban pesach, the “paschal lamb”, both on Passover itself and on Pesach Sheni, the second Passover one month later for those who were unable to observe the first Pesach. The 59th mitzvah is to blow the special Temple trumpets, the chatzotzrot. The next three are all general rules regarding sacrifices: an animal that is sacrificed must be at least 8 days old (#60), it must be completely unblemished (#61), and every sacrifice must be salted (#62). The next five are for individuals, when necessary, to bring various offerings to the Temple, such as the ‘olah (“burnt offering”, #63), the chatat (“sin offering”, #64), the asham (“guilt offering”, #65), the shlamim (“peace offering”, #66), and the minchah (“meal offering”, #67).

Insight: In our generation, it is hard to understand the offering of animal sacrifices. The root of the word korban (קורבן), “sacrifice”, means to draw near, karov (קרוב), for it was meant to draw a person closer to God. One would give something that was valuable to them up to Hashem and dedicate it for use in the Holy Temple, similar to how one today might give up a large sum of money to charity for a holy purpose. It is important to note that the animal was not wasted, but was consumed in most cases (except when the sacrifice was brought for the most grievous of sins). The priests serving in the Temple subsisted off of the offerings that were brought by the people. On a mystical level, the bringing of the animal as a sacrifice in the Temple served to elevate its soul, and to liberate any human souls that might have been reincarnated inside the animal, restoring it to Heaven. Today, we are still able to rectify reincarnated souls in this way through the recitation of blessings before and after consuming a food, along with the various mitzvot of the meal table (see, for instance, Sha’ar HaMitzvot on Ekev). The Ba’al HaTurim (Rabbi Yakov ben Asher, 1269-1343) states that the five main types of offerings correspond to the Five Books of the Torah, and one who diligently studies the Torah is considered as if they have brought all five offerings and fulfilled those mitzvot (see his commentary on Numbers 28:1-3).

Further Reading:Will There Be Sacrifices in the Third Temple?