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Friday, March 7

The Weekly Shtikle - Vayikra

    In 1:14 we are told that an olah offering of birds is of turtledoves or pigeons. Ramban describes why specifically these two birds are chosen for the olah offering of birds over all other birds. He explains that the traits of these birds resemble that of B'nei Yisrael hinting to a more metaphysical resemblance between the birds and humans. I believe there is a specific reason why Ramban was compelled to take this approach to the bird offerings.
    On pasuk 9 we are exposed to the famous dispute between Ramban and Rambam in Moreh Nevuchim as to the reasoning behind korbanos. Ramban states there that the sacrificing of the animal is representative of the deserved sacrifice of one's own body. The animal on the mizbei'ach is really an exchange for the body of the one bringing it. It is easier to understand this connection with regular, four-legged mammals. They have four limbs and innards like that of a human. When a bull or sheep is lying on the mizbe'ach, one can conceive how it represents a human being. When its innards are burnt, one can conceive how this is an exchange for the burning of a human's innards. However, with a bird, the connection is harder to see. A bird's physical make-up is nothing like that of a human. The bringing of a bird offering does not entail the burning of the innards as an essential component like the animal offerings do. Therefore, Ramban illustrates that although a physical connection between birds and humans is hard to see, a spiritual connection between the birds and B'nei Yisrael exists in such a way that we may conceive a bird offering on the mizbei'ach to represent the one who is bringing it.

Have a good Shabbos. Mishenichnas Adar Marbin beSimchah! 

Eliezer Bulka

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