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Vayikra/Leviticus 2:7 And if your offering is a grain-offering in a deep vessel ...
The word , here ending with a tav because it is in construct form, means literally 'gift' but is used to refer to grain, flour or meal offerings. As well as being a required part of many of the animal offerings - which are to be accompanied by both grain and wine offerings - a grain offering may be free-standing offering in its own right. Only the memorial potion is actually offered on the altar; the bulk of the offering is given to the priests to eat.Hirsch suggests that the grain offering expresses our acknowledgement to HaShem in respect of "our food, comfort and satisfaction - our happiness in life" and points out that the many different ways the grain offering can be made reflects the many ways in which G-d blesses us, not just in necessity but also in the extras that we could do without. So G-d loves a deep-pan offering as much as we do!
Nachmanides,Ramban, comments for all the classes of grain offering that while it is the priest that actually offers the before the L-rd, it is the individual that is making the offering who mixes mixes the oil and the flour and, if it is a cooked grain offering, cooks it before bringing it to the cohen. This is an important level of involvement and participation for every person who makes this offering; not only do they provide the material, but unlike the animal offerings where the priest does all the preparation, each individual prepared the offering with their own hands.
Nechama Leibowitz points out that the early Sages emphasised that a poor man's meal offering - instead of the more costly, but for him, out of reach, burnt offering - was considered superior: as if he had offered up himself. "A woman once brought a handful of flour, whereupon the priest scorned her, saying 'See what these offer us! It will do neither for a meal nor for the altar!' This cohen was addressed in a dream: Do not scorn her, it is as if she had offered up her very soul" (Vayikra Rabba 3:5). The Talmud puts these words in G-d's mouth: "Whose habit is it to bring a meal offering? It is the poor man's. I consider it as if he had offered his very soul to Me" (Menakhot 104b).
In the Temple with His talmidim, Yeshua took the opportunity to emphasise this principle: "as He watched the rich placing their gifts in the Temple offering boxes, He also saw a poor widow put in two small coins. He said, 'I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put in more than all the others. For they, out of their wealth, have contributed money they could easily spare; but she, out of her poverty, has given all she had to live on!" (Luke 21:1-4, CJB).
Further Study: D'varim 16:16-17; Acts 2:44-45; Revelation 8:2-4
Application: No matter how small and insignificant you may feel, G-d values everything that you are. He isn't after your money, He wants you! Whether rich or poor, the variety and joy of a life offered to Him is always pleasing in His sight.
© Jonathan Allen, 2006
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