This week’s Parashah describes the prohibition of Notar, the prohibition of eating the leftover food of a Korban Shlamim. The Torah writes that we may eat the Korban for one day and the following night, and after that night, we must burn the leftovers. If the leftovers are not burned, one receives Kareit, one of the most severe punishments that the Torah administers. If a Kohen brings a Korban and has the intention to eat it past the permitted time, the intention alone makes the Korban forbidden to the Kohen, and if the Kohen ate it, he would be subject to Kareit. This law is referred to as Pigul. Rav Shimshon Rafael Hirsch explains that when one violates the prohibition of Notar and eats a Korban past its permitted time, one is separating the physical part of the Korban from the spiritual. The physical aspect is the actual consumption of the Korban, and the spiritual side is the Mitzvot associated with the Korban. An example of one of these Mitzvot would be a time limit. This explanation applies to the law of Pigul as well. If a Kohen has in mind to eat a Korban past its proper timeframe, he immediately separates the physical from the spiritual and does not bring the Korban in the appropriate fashion.
Why is the Mitzvah of Notar placed in between the Mitzvot of keeping Shabbat and fearing one’s parents? The Mitzvot of Shabbat and fearing one’s parents are the foundation for living a dedicated and religious life. The prohibition of Notar permits us to extend this idea of holiness to our everyday lives and our everyday environment. Taking something so basic in our lives such as food and assuring that a Kohen eats it in a specific manner is a significant accomplishment. The idea of converting mundane activities to actions that involve spirituality and recognition of Hashem is vital in Torah life. We should always serve Hashem with our full ability and understand that Hashem is involved in all of our actions and activities.