Super Salt by Yitzi Taber


In Parashat VaYikra, the Pasuk states (VaYikra 2:13), “VeChol Korban Minchatecha BeMelach Timlach VeLo Tashbit Melach Berit Elokecha MeiAl Minchatecha Al Kol Korbanecha Takriv Melach,” “You shall salt your every meal-offering with salt; you may not discontinue the salt of your God’s covenant from upon your meal offering – on your every offering shall you offer salt.” During the creation of the world, Hashem separated the heavenly waters above the firmament and the waters of the earth below. The Midrash comments that the earthly waters protested that they wanted to be close to Hashem. To comfort the earthly waters, Hashem made a Berit that the water would have a share in the service of the Beit HaMikdash. Salt that comes from the sea is therefore placed on parts of Korbanot that go on the Mizbei’ach, and fresh water is poured on the Mizbei’ach every Sukkot. Why, though, wasn’t water poured on the Mizbei’ach for every offering?

The answer lies in the way that salt is drawn from the sea. The process involves the boiling and subsequent evaporation of the water, leaving the salt behind. Another way to view this is that the water rises to heaven, while the salt is “condemned” to remain in the lower world. Hashem said that salt is necessary for the service in the Beit HaMikdash, that it is an integral part of the service done there. Even though at first glance salt might connote bitterness, in reality it is very important. Similarly, we must learn that Torah and Mitzvot are not bitter; rather, they give a person a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment in life for not only himself, but also his community as a whole.

There is a crucial message that we can extract from the previously mentioned Pasuk and the Midrash’s interpretation of that Pasuk. There is a moral that people can learn every day of their lives. We should always find spirituality and a sense of accomplishment not only in pursuits that are clearly holy and heavenly, but also in the seemingly mundane activities, the salt of our lives.

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