The Power of Chesed

One of the prominent karbanot discussed in parshat Vayikra is the korban mincha, which consists of wheat and olive oil mixed together, and then cooked or fried in various ways.

The gemara in Menachot (104b) comments on the Vayikra pasuk 2:1 – “V’nefesh ki takriv korban mincha” – why does the word “nefesh” appear in this pasuk in connection with the korban mincha? The gemara answers that the korban mincha is usually brought by a poor person and so Hashem considers it as if the poor person has offered his very soul – his nefesh - up to Hashem because it is so difficult for a desitute person to afford the korban. Indeed, we see in connection with the korban "oleh v'yored" (5:1-13), where the type of korban brought depends upon the individual's financial status, that the poor man may bring a simple flour offering.

Thus, the mincha offering is associated with destitute individuals. Yet, interestingly, we see that the mincha offering also appears among the offerings that each of the Nesi’im of Bnei Yisroel – the princes of Israel – brought when the Mishkan was completed. As described in parshat Naso (7:12-83), we see that each Nasi brought wheat mixed with olive oil as a mincha offering – solet belulah b’shemen l'mincha.

What can we learn from the fact that the simple mincha typically brought by poor people was also part of the offerings brought by the most prominent, famous and richest princes of Israel?

Continue reading "The Power of Chesed" »