Why are the fats completely burned and why is the blood of the sin-offering sprinkled on the Altar?
By Joseph Frager, MD
"And the fats and the kidneys, and the diaphragm with the liver of the Sin-Offering, he caused to go up in smoke on the Altar, as Hashem had commanded Moshe." (9:10) Why are the fats completely burned and why is the blood of the sin-offering sprinkled on the Altar? What is the deeper meaning behind these actions? The fats and the blood are wholly dedicated to G-d.
Man is not permitted to consume these specific fats or the blood. Rabbi Yitzchok Isaac Chover Z'TL who continued and maintained the Kabalistic teachings of his Rebbe the Vilna Gaon delves into the far reaches of the meaning of why this is so. The Korbanot held up and sustained the entire World.
They connected the various levels of Kedusha (sanctity) together. They not only connected the world we see but all of the Kabalistic Spheres which are hidden from the naive, unfocused and untrained eye. The Korbanot brought the Schechina down to Earth.They allowed for the Gilui Schechinah (revelation of the Schechina) for all to see. The Korbanot instill the Spirit of G-d in the World. They vaccinate and immunize the World against Evil.
This is how the World benefits from the Holy Temple and its offerings. All of these deliberations about Korbanot fulfill the well known Chazal that if one studies Korbanot, it is considered as if one actually offered them in reality (Menachot 110a). Rabbi Yitzchok Isaac Chover Z'TL explains the reason for the burning of the Chelev(fats) and sprinkling of blood. He believes that there are four "Elements" in the world: (1)Fire(Energy),(2) Ruach-Wind(Gases), (3) Liquids, (4)Solids. These four "Elements are involved in the Korbanot. In other words the Korbanot represent all of existence in a symbolic and profound sense. Fire is most powerful. It brings to mind Einstein's discovery that E(Energy)=MC squared.That is to say that Energy or Fire supersedes the other three "Elements". Both G-d and Man are compared to Fire. Fire rises. Man is Erect. Man can rise like Fire.
Fire is Gevura(Might). Isaac our Forefather represents Gevura. He was to be burnt on the Altar at the Akedah. He is fire and as I mentioned last week, in Parshat Tzav, Isaac is represented by the Olah (Elevation Offering) which is completely burnt. All four "Elements" of the Universe: Fire, Wind(gas), Liquids,and Solids are manifest in the Korbanot. The Fire burns the fats completely. Fats are the best fuel for the fire. The Chelev feeds the flames and allows the actual process to take place. The fats are G-d's choicest hence man cannot consume them. The Ruach or winds are represented in the smoke that rises to heaven from the Altar "and he caused it to go up in smoke on the Altar"(9:10-14).
The liquids of the Universe are represented by blood which is capable of being sprinkled upon the Altar. The solids are the solid parts of the Korban. Thus Korbanot tie the entire Universe together according to Rabbi Yitzchok Isaac Chover Z'TL. They cover every aspect of the Universe. The Fire that came down from Heaven and consumed the Korban represents the Schechina coming down into the World. The Fire coming out of the Altar is then represented by Man as I said earlier-"Man is Erect". The Fire coming down from Heaven separates or vaporizes the Korban. It represents G-d's Providence (Hashgachah). G-d will destroy Evil the same way as he vaporizes a Korban. Until the Korbanot are reinstituted (may it happen speedily in our day) we have to struggle mightily to bring the Schechinah into the World. The study of Korbanot is one way as I alluded to earlier.
Torah Study, doing Mitzvot, doing Good Deeds, and Praying hard all bring the Schechinah into the World. For 2000 years since the destruction of the Second Temple, the World has been devoid for the most part of the Schechinah( these are the true Dark Ages of Humanity). With the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 the Schechinah has begun to come back. The World is tremendously better off with the State of Israel in existence than it was for 2000 years. To hear Presidential Candidates tell about their Love of Israel says volumes about how we are coming out of the Dark Ages.
The World will even be much better off with the building of the Third Temple and the offering of Korbanot. I realize this is a very hard concept to swallow in this day in age. I hope and pray that Rabbi Yitzchok Isaac Chover's Z'TL deeper understanding of the Korbanot brings Humanity to a better place and reveal G-d's Operating System in a way that actually produces tangible results and a New Reality. This can happen and indeed will happen, with G-d's help, soon.