Flowers … ad infinitum

Gilded mirrors,
and Monets to line her walls,
like so many prizes
won in games
long forgotten.

Perhaps that’s what she is,
now. A trophy.

But still she hopes.

For it isn’t gold, or silver, or bronze
which will mend this broken heart.

More than anything,
She wants to be loved.

This week, we read of the sacrifices that were offered daily in the Mishkan, and then later the Temple. It is difficult for us to connect with the concept – our time is a modern one, far removed from the grim realities of sacrificial blood. Today, we replace those very sacrifices with words. Today, we sacrifice our time – so very precious in this busy world – to try and connect with God. And yet, we are in danger of losing the plot.

The Jews of antiquity saw sacrifices as a way to appease God. Much like the mobsters who attend church before a murder, they sinned in one breath and offered sacrifices for atonement in the next. “For what use are your many sacrifices,” God asks, “When you come to appear before me, who has asked this of you, this trampling of my courts?”

In antiquity, sacrifices were a mode of creating connection to a diety that must have seemed all to far removed in an age of ever-present idols. Today, our words can serve that same purpose – but as in our reading above, when removed from relationship, when made mechanical, those very words can also destroy.

Vayikra reminds us that our relationship with God is of utmost importance, whatever the medium. Shabbat shalom.

About the Author
Hailing originally from Chicago and later from Israel where he served as a combat medic with the IDF, Samuel Millunchick was educated at the University of Illinois, at Yeshivat Yesodei HaTorah and at the Ida Crown Jewish Academy, Chicago. He now lives in London with his wife and children. Sam is involved in Jewish education across the London community, and is training to be an Orthodox Rabbi. Drawing on his experiences with Jews in all walks of life, Sam is passionate about ‘making Judaism accessible and appealing to every Jew’.
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