Recognizing Hashem's Miracles by Zev Kahane


Sefer VaYikra describes the sacrificial processes of the Mikdash and Mishkan.  In order to appreciate the importance of Sefer VaYikra, it is important to understand the purpose of bringing a Korban.

On a simple level, the Shoresh of “Korban” is Karov, close; the Korbanot are brought in order to bring us closer to HaKadosh Baruch Hu.  Although this explains why we bring Korbanot, it fails to explain how they bring us closer to Hashem.

Chazal teach us that the Mikdash is a microcosm of the world; every part of the Mishkan corresponds to some element of the world.  For example, the light of the Menorah represents the light of the sun.  The Abarbanel asks what can be learned from this comparison.

The Abarbanel explains that throughout the Mikdash and Mishkan, there were miracles on public display.  In the beginning of this week’s Parasha, the Torah describes the eternal light which burned on the Mizbeiach.  Obviously, the eternal flame was able to withstand the natural wind and rain only with the help of Hashem.  Additionally, Hashem’s hand was also seen in the Lechem HaPanim which miraculously would stay fresh all week.  All of the miracles in the Mishkan and Mikdash serve a collective purpose.  When someone traveled to the Mikdash to give a Korban, he experienced all of these miracles and see the hand of HaKadosh Baruch Hu. Chazal compare the Mikdash to the world in order to teach us an important lesson.  One who travels to the Mikdash to bring a Korban and sees the miracles should understand that just as there are miracles in the Mikdash, there are miracles throughout the world.  After all, the Mikdash is a microcosm of the world.  Even though one may not perceive the banalities of life as miraculous, he will begin to recognize Hashem’s hand in his everyday life.  This is how the process of bringing a Korban brings a person closer to Hashem.

Ramban at the end of Parashat Bo strengthens this idea. In a lengthy discussion in which Ramban tries to explain why the Torah puts such strong focus on Yetziat Mitzrayim, he explains that Hashem performs great miracles only to help us find the smaller and hidden miracles in our lives. Through the recognition of the great and obvious miracles in the Mikdash, we may additionally appreciate the hidden miracles in our lives.  Ramban even says that there is no such thing as “nature;” everything is miraculous. This idea that one must see Hashem’s hand even when it is not obvious is a key message in the story of Purim as well.  The Megillah tells us about Mordechai, “VaYehi Omein Et Hadasah Hee Ester,” “And he raised Hadasah, who is Ester” (2:7).  Rav Nachman from Breslov asks, why does the Megillah use such an unusual word of Omein?  He explains that the word Omein comes from the word Emunah, faith.  Because of the hidden miracle of Purim, it is so easy to fail to recognize Hashem’s hand in the Neis.  After all, Hashem’s name does not appear a single time in the whole Megillah!  Yet, as we know, the Yehudim did not fight Haman blindfolded, but rather with the foresight and guiding hand of Hashem.  It is for this reason that we read the Megillah every year.

Every day, we are faced with the challenge of recognizing Hashem's involvement in our lives.  I once heard a joke in which a person on his way to an important business deal was desperately searching for a parking spot.  After driving around unsuccessfully for ten minutes, he turned to Hashem and said, “God, if You can just give me one parking spot, I will give You twenty percent of my profits to charity.”  Immediately, a car pulled out, giving him the spot he desperately needed.  The man turned back to Hashem and said, “Never mind God, I found a spot.”  This man failed to notice Hashem’s hand in his life; he was unable to thank Hashem for delivering the exact thing he prayed for!  Too often we to fail to notice the miracles Hashem performs for us every day.  Through the joint message of the Korbanot and Purim, may we strengthen our Emunah and be able to notice the miracles Hashem performs for us day in and day out.  By doing so, may we all be Zocheh to the building of Bayit Shelishi, where we will be able to see Nisim Giluyim, open and blatant miracles, as well as Nisim Nistarim, those which are not easy to discern, but which we must acknowledge as well.

Tzav Tzav by Moshe Kollmar

Timeless Thanks by Rabbi Steven Finkelstein