Sacrifice before you eat!

Yisrael Eldad, with his piercing insight in the book Hegionot Mikra, touches upon a very interesting point in Parshat Shmini. He says that the laws pertaining to forbidden and allowable foods come after the completion of the laws regarding sacrifices.

Specifically, he says that one must bring a sacrifice while still hungry in order to feel that one is actually giving of himself, rather than after eating and simply dedicating whatever leftovers might remain. Moreover, if one has not sacrificed he should not eat.

Metaphorically he briefly touches upon a much deeper point that I’d like to expand upon here. The real point, I believe, is that before a Jew sits to eat, to enjoy, he first must give of himself, to make a sacrifice. If a Jew is only ready to enjoy, to receive, but not ready or willing to sacrifice his time, money or being for the larger cause, then he really isn’t acting like a proper Jew. He’s going through the motions for himself, perhaps even looking very “religious”, but the truth is he’s not connected to the real Jewish message or to G-d.

Some food for thought.

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