Futuristic Thanks – Tzav


Some things are just “bashert”. If anyone would have told me back at age 13, (barmitzvah parsha Tzav), that one day, 44 years later, I would be conducting  research on Menachot (one of the main focuses of Tzav), I would have considered them a little crazy. 44 years later however, I now see that it could not have been otherwise. Only after intense research and experimentation with different types of solet flour of different densities, did it emerge that the actual weight of one isaron of solet (HaRav Chaim Na’eh) that they used in the Mikdash is 1965g – the year of my birth (leminyanam). Some things are חקוק בנשמה, they just take some people (like me) longer to recognize. Better late than never!

In last year’s shiur we delved into the Korban Toda in detail. Today I would like to add another layer onto that, based on a shiur I heard from HaRav Rosenblum shlit"a, and in the process, gain a deeper insight into the concept of thanks.

רבי פנחס ורבי לוי ורבי יוחנן בשם ר' מנחם דגליא -  לעתיד לבא כל הקרבנות בטלין וקרבן תודה אינו בטל (ויקרא רבה פרשה ט, סימן ז).

According to the Midrash, after the Geulah, even though we will have the third Beit Hamikdash, “all” the korbanot will be cancelled, except for the Korban Toda.  

According to the Yefei Toar, not all the korbanot will be cancelled. The Midrash is referring to individual korbanot, not communal korbanot. All the individual korbanot (except for one) are brought to atone for sin. Since HKB”H will do away with the מלאך המוות (as we will read in Chad Gadya on Pesach), there will be no yetzer hara and - no sin. The only individual korban that is not sin related is the Shlamim, the Toda – that will not be cancelled. All the communal korbanot, the תמידין, like the Korban Tamid, the Ketoret, the Lechem Hapanim, the Musafim on Shabbat, Rosh Chodesh and Chag, etc. will remain intact.

It is a very famous Midrash I am sure you have heard many times. The question I would like to ask is – “Why will the Korban Toda continue to be relevant after the Geulah?”

As we know (Brachot 54b), the Korban Toda is brought by 4 categories of people. Someone who -

  1. returns safely from a sea voyage,
  2. returns safely from a journey in the desert
  3. recovers from an illness
  4. is imprisoned and set free.

None of these will apply in the time of Mashiach.

What reason would there be to leave Eretz Yisrael and go on a sea voyage or a journey in the desert?

According to Chazal, after the Geulah and תחיית המתים, all of Am Yisrael will return to Eretz Yisrael – there will not be one remaining Jew in Galut. So you will not need to travel there to visit friends or relatives.

After the Geulah, Eretz Yisrael will be filled with untold riches. Chazal say that the streets of Yerushalayim will not be paved with asphalt, but with diamonds and precious gems (Midrash,ישעיהו נד, יב). We will not need to work for parnasa ever again. If anyone needs anything, we will simply pick up a diamond or a ruby and use it to buy whatever we need. If it is something that does not exist in Eretz Yisrael, like cacao beans (which only grow in the equatorial regions), or sesame seeds (mostly grown in North Africa), etc. we will pay for it in precious stones and have it delivered to our door (most probably not by Amazon – unless someone wants to specifically buy an orchid that only grows near the Amazon river). All the natural wealth of the world will converge on Eretz Yisrael. So you will not need to travel for trade or business!

After the Geulah, all the breathtaking beauty that existed in Eretz Yisrael before the destruction of the 1st Beit Hamikdash and subsequently went into exile, will return to Eretz Yisrael. All the mountains and lakes will depart from Switzerland and return here, the magnificent rivers, canyons, scenery from all over the world will be concentrated right here. So the only place you will want to go on holiday is right here in Eretz Yisrael (in the time of Mashiach. the hotel prices will not be as inflated as they are now).

So scratch categories 1 and 2.

Nobody will ever recover from illness ….. because there will be no more illness! Lifespan will revert to what it was in the time of Adam Harishon – upwards of 900 years. If you are 100-years-old, you will be considered “wet behind the ears”. According to the Ramban (Bechukotai, 11) there will be no hospitals, no kuppat cholim, no MRI’s, no diabetes, nada! Scratch category 3.

After the Geulah, there will no longer be שעבוד מלכויות, so there will be no wars, no conflict, nobody will be taken captive. There will also be no sin, so no ערי מקלט. Imprisoned and set free? From where? From whom?

In fact all four categories will no longer exist. So why will the Korban Toda persist? For what?

The Mefarshim say that the Korban Toda will persist and that we will continue to give thanks, but not for the above reasons. The classic Korban Toda is brought to give thanks for some kind of miracle. The entire makeup of the Korban Toda is for the purpose of Pirsumei Nisa – the enormous volume of food, the short time frame within which it may be eaten, etc. During the Geulah, there will be stupendous miracles that make the Exodus from Egypt look like a sideshow in comparison. The reason to bring a Korban Toda לעתיד לבוא is not to celebrate a private miracle - which can never come close to the miracles we will witness in the Geulah - but to give thanks in its purest form.

Rebi Shlomo Kluger says there is a concept of כל מאן דעביד רחמנא לטב עביד – whatever HKB”H puts us through in this life, it is for our own good. When we experience a נסיון during our lives however, we are caught in the suffering of the moment and most of us find it difficult to understand how, in the bigger scheme of things, such a thing could positively impact us.

לעתיד לבוא however, HKB”H will replay all these נסיונות for us and show us exactly why they occurred and how they were good for us. Why did someone’s business go bankrupt? Why did someone lose a child? Why did someone get cancer? Lose a limb? Crash their car? Have the IRS do an audit on them? etc. etc. HKB”H will show us, one by one, exactly why it was necessary to have that נסיון, why it was for our benefit and not to punish us. We will finally be able to look back in retrospect, see the big picture and understand that truly כל מאן דעביד רחמנא לטב עביד and give thanks to HKB”H for it. This, according to Rebi Shlomo Kluger, will be the purpose of the Korban Toda לעתיד לבוא, to give thanks in its purest form.

This incidentally is a central raison d'etre of the Korban Lechem Hapanim (מאיר פנים, פרק יד) – the concept of כל which is like a coin with two sides, the side of what appears to us to be “good” and the flip side, what appears to us to be a “test” (כל מאן דעביד רחמנא, הוה מקבל את כל האדם בסבר פנים יפות) – both sides are actually the same coin, reflections of each other and are both good. We will all recognize this, in retrospect, after the Geulah, but we don’t have to wait until then. HKB”H wants us to make a Herculean effort to recognize and accept it now, while we are in the midst of it and without the privilege of hindsight.

The Korban Toda encompasses that which is visible and that which is not visible - reflected by the matza and chametz bread components of the korban. It is one thing to thank HKB”H for something which is visibly a miracle, something not according to the laws of nature. We are required however, to take it to the next level, to give הודאה also for the things that are “invisible” and not out of the ordinary which we take for granted, the daily miracles like our heart beating, our eyes blinking, our nerves synapsing. These are miracles of no lesser degree, they have just become the “norm” because they occur so frequently, we tend to miss them. But it does not end there. The Korban Toda must be taken to its final level to give thanks for even those things we consider “bad”, but which in fact are good. This is the only level that will persist after the Geulah.

Someone who can live their lives in constant thanks, who can accept unquestioningly whatever situation they find themselves in, like Nachum Ish Gamzu – is someone who is truly wealthy. True wealth, symbolized by the Lechem Hapanim, is this type of wealth – someone who is שמח בחלקו, whatever it may be. They don’t teach this at business school (actually I once read an article in the Reader’s Digest from the Harvard Business Review about how to live a “happy, fulfilling life” which hinted at this – one article in umpteen decades of articles on how to make a killing on Wall Street). Business school cannot teach you how to acquire true wealth, only parshat Tzav can.

The Korban Toda is not theoretical. Yes, we no longer have the Mikdash (yet) so we cannot bring a Korban Toda, once in a blue moon, described in Tzav, but instead, we do it myriad times a day. In Shacharit, Mincha and Maariv when we say Modim, every time we say a bracha acharona or birkat hamazon, after we go to the bathroom, every time we wake up in the morning and say modeh ani.

This is how we can practically apply these principles right now in our daily lives, to live a life filled with thanks. Thanks for the good, thanks for the bad, thanks for the seen, thanks for the unseen, thanks for the ordinary, thanks for the out of the ordinary, thanks for our children, thanks for our spouse, thanks for the roof over our heads, thanks that we are not in the Ukraine right now, thanks for the bumper rainfall this year that the Kinneret is only 70cm away from the upper limit (and that is before all the snow melts), thanks that most of us have survived the COVID, <add your own 1000 things here…..>.

This is the midda of כל, the midda of יעקב אבינו, the central theme of the Lechem Hapanim, איזהו עשיר בשמח בחלקו and the Korban Toda in this week’s parsha …. And it is not something exclusively futuristic, it is something we all can, and should, apply in our lives right now.

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