Unholy Leftovers

First posted on The Times of Israel at: http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/tzav-unholy-leftovers/

Netziv Leviticus: Tzav

Unholy Leftovers

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow”. -Melody Beattie

Disclaimer: I truly enjoy leftovers and look forward to eating as much as I can get of my wife’s cooking. The above title is not meant in any way as a negative reflection of her culinary abilities, as our many guests can attest to.

However, in the list of animal sacrifices that were offered at the Sanctuary/Temple there are curious guidelines as to the time span within which the meat can be eaten. For the sacrifice of thanksgiving (Toda) there is an interesting combination of a relatively short period to eat and a lot of bread that is meant to accompany the sacrifice.

The Toda sacrifice is brought when a person wishes to give thanks to God for a particularly significant event, salvation, or overt manifestation of God in ones life.

The Netziv on Leviticus 7:13 explains that the constrained time to eat plentiful food for the thanksgiving offering is deliberate. Its purpose is to force the person to publicize the sacrifice he’s offering and the cause, and to invite as many people as possible to partake in the feast of thanks thereby spreading the word far and wide as to God’s direct involvement in our lives. Hence, by prohibiting leftovers, one is obliged to invite more people than he might have otherwise.

May we always have reasons to celebrate together and thank God for the goodness and the miraculous in our lives.

Shabbat Shalom and Happy Purim,



To all those who know how to have fun without getting drunk.

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