Monday, August 09, 2010

Korbanos as compromise

Summary: Ibn Caspi. If so, do we really desire them in messianic times?

Post: I posted an interesting Ibn Caspi on Reeh, in that Hashem wouldn't really test us with miracles and signs from a false prophet. The prophet is faking it. But there needs to be a readily understandable explanation to the hamon am.

According to another fascinating Ibn Caspi on the parasha, Hashem really would have preferred to not have korbanos. A very Maimonidean assertion. He ties it in to a pasuk:

2. You shall utterly destroy from all the places where the nations, that you shall possess, worshipped their gods, upon the lofty mountains and upon the hills, and under every lush tree.ב. אַבֵּד תְּאַבְּדוּן אֶת כָּל הַמְּקֹמוֹת אֲשֶׁר עָבְדוּ שָׁם הַגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם יֹרְשִׁים אֹתָם אֶת אֱלֹהֵיהֶם עַל הֶהָרִים הָרָמִים וְעַל הַגְּבָעוֹת וְתַחַת כָּל עֵץ רַעֲנָן:
3. And you shall tear down their altars, smash their monuments, burn their asherim with fire, cut down the graven images of their gods, and destroy their name from that place.ג. וְנִתַּצְתֶּם אֶת מִזְבְּחֹתָם וְשִׁבַּרְתֶּם אֶת מַצֵּבֹתָם וַאֲשֵׁרֵיהֶם תִּשְׂרְפוּן בָּאֵשׁ וּפְסִילֵי אֱלֹהֵיהֶם תְּגַדֵּעוּן וְאִבַּדְתֶּם אֶת שְׁמָם מִן הַמָּקוֹם הַהוּא:
4. You shall not do so to the Lord, your God.ד. לֹא תַעֲשׂוּן כֵּן לַי־הֹוָ־ה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם:
5. But only to the place which the Lord your God shall choose from all your tribes, to set His Name there; you shall inquire after His dwelling and come there.ה. כִּי אִם אֶל הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר יִבְחַר יְ־הֹוָ־ה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם מִכָּל שִׁבְטֵיכֶם לָשׂוּם אֶת שְׁמוֹ שָׁם לְשִׁכְנוֹ תִדְרְשׁוּ וּבָאתָ שָׁמָּה:
6. And there you shall bring your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, and your tithes, and the separation by your hand, and your vows and your donations, and the firstborn of your cattle and of your sheep.ו. וַהֲבֵאתֶם שָׁמָּה עֹלֹתֵיכֶם וְזִבְחֵיכֶם וְאֵת מַעְשְׂרֹתֵיכֶם וְאֵת תְּרוּמַת יֶדְכֶם וְנִדְרֵיכֶם וְנִדְבֹתֵיכֶם וּבְכֹרֹת בְּקַרְכֶם וְצֹאנְכֶם:

In pasuk 4, what shouldn't you do? It couldn't be destroying Hashem's mizbeach, etc., because that would just be too obvious to state. (Though some offer the derash that one should not do aveiros which would cause the Beis Hamikdash to be destroyed.) Rather, it is the forms of worship of the nations. It is not just that these were dedicated to foreign and false deities, but the mode of worship is ruled out. Instead of private altars, there is a centralized place of worship.

Ibn Caspi appears to read into this distaste for the mode of worship of korbanot in general, and views pasuk 5 and 6 as a sort of compromise for the hamon am who require it. Thus, he writes:

Optimal would have been no korbanos -- had Moshe been able to take them away from sacrifices entirely, which had been offered to the deities of the nations, Hashem would have desired this. But since he was not able to shift them away from this root, he shifted them away from the various particulars as far as he could from the offensive worships, such as the burning of children, be it burning them entirely or the burning of their skin of hair as they passed by, for one would refer to all these in connection to burning.

One wonders what kavanot Ibn Caspi had during Shmoneh Esrei. After all, one of the berachot is:
רְצֵה ה' אֱלהֵינוּ בְּעַמְּךָ יִשרָאֵל וּבִתְפִלָּתָם וְהָשֵׁב אֶת הָעֲבודָה לִדְבִיר בֵּיתֶךָ. וְאִשֵּׁי יִשרָאֵל וּתְפִלָּתָם. בְּאַהֲבָה תְקַבֵּל בְּרָצון. וּתְהִי לְרָצון תָּמִיד עֲבודַת יִשרָאֵל עַמֶּךָ: 
וְתֶחֱזֶינָה עֵינֵינוּ בְּשׁוּבְךָ לְצִיּון בְּרַחֲמִים:
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', הַמַּחֲזִיר שְׁכִינָתו לְצִיּון: 

This includes a prayer for a restoration of the sacrificial rites, did he imagine that the non-optimal form of worship would be restored in messianic times, and did he hope and pray for it three times daily? Perhaps. (And perhaps, since all Jewry was hoping and praying for it, we would still be in this non-optimal state and still require / desire it, even then.)

1 comment:

zach said...

Of course, many hold that v.4-5 comes to teach us about sheimot..


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