Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
  Page title
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Small Sacrifices: Understanding Parashas Korbanos

Incense Offerings

While many of the sacrifices served as an atonement for our transgressions, the ketores (incense offering) had a different goal. Its purpose was simply to bring joy to Hashem, as the verse testifies: “Oil and incense gladden the heart” (Mishle 27). While in a state of joy, Hashem removes any traces of harsh judgment from the world (Medrash Tanchuma, Tetzaveh 15).

The Zohar adds: “If a person feels that bad things are happening in his life and nothing that he does is successful, he should meticulously recite the section of the ketores every morning and afternoon. If he does this, as well as repenting to Hashem, his situation will improve drastically” (Vayakel 219a). Saying this section is auspicious for financial prosperity, especially when written on parchment by a sofer (Seder Hayom p. 53).

The ketores contained eleven ingredients, and a Kohen who offered incense which lacked even one of them was subject to the death penalty. The Rema suggests that a person who skips a word of the verses describing the incense offering may be liable for a similar punishment. Based on this, some Jews in the Diaspora have the custom to only recite these verses on Shabbos and Yom Tov, when their schedules are more relaxed, so they can make sure that they recite these words carefully (Rema 132,2).

Others argue that the death penalty applies only to a Kohen in the Temple, and not to someone in our age who merely left out a word while reciting the ketores verses. Even a Kohen who offered incense that was missing an ingredient would be punished only if it was intentional (Beis Yosef). However, while taking time constraints into account, one should still try to say the ketores section carefully every day (Mishna Berura 132,17).


Text Copyright © 2008 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and Torah.org


 

ARTICLES ON KI SISA AND PURIM:

View Complete List

Defending the Indefensible
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5763

The Cause of the Pause
Rabbi Label Lam - 5771

Heads Up!
Shlomo Katz - 5766

ArtScroll

How Could They?
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5758

Complete Dedication
Rabbi Yosey Goldstein - 5756

All Things Considered
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5757

> A Purim Lesson???
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5756

Our Whole Selves
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5764

Keeping the Holy Holy!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5764

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Celebrate With Your Whole Self
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5758

Don't Second Guess G-d
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5757

Freedom of Religion
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5760

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Megillah - Don't Look Back
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5764

Mystery of the Golden Calf
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5760

Shabbos Has Kept the Children of Israel Holy
Rabbi Label Lam - 5763

Hear Conditioning
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5757



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information