Parshas Pinchas and The Three Weeks
“The Temple Sacrifices of Today”
Transcribed and translated from previous recordings of
HaRav Eliezer Berland Shlit”a
“’Master of the World, when the holy Temple was around if a person sinned he brought a sacrifice and was forgiven, but now that there is no Temple what will be the sinners?!’ The Holy One answered ‘I have already established for them all of the Karbanos prayers, whenever a person says them I consider it as if they brought a sacrifice before me and I forgive them for their sins’” (megilla 31b)
When a person recites the “korbanos” they must imagine the Beis Hamikdash right before their eyes, as though it were there in reality. It is there! It was never burned down! It was not destroyed! The Beis Hamikdash is right in front of our eyes! Nothing has been burnt, nothing! The burning of the Beis Hamikdash was only an illusion. It was staged purely for the sake of the nations! As it says in “Asarah Maamaros”, that in the time of the Churban Beis Hamikdash, Ruchos and Sheidim (demons, spirits) came and brought stones with them! “Burnt avnei Sid” (stones of sid, in Hebrew can be read Sheid), they brought burnt stones and planted them in the Beis Hamikdash, all for the sake of tricking the goyim so they would be satisfied (to think they had succeeded). The Zohar Hakadosh says (Shmos, Pekudei, 240b) that the stones and foundation of the first and second Beis Hamikdash are all still there and shining though they are hidden away. They have all been hidden! They Beis Hamikdash was not harmed in the slightest! Not even one stone was lost! Not one stone from the stones of Yerushalayim has been lost; not of Yerushalayim of the first Beis Hamikdash nor from Yerushalayim of the second Beis Hamikdash. Everything is in place! “For they will see the return of Hashem eye to eye…” When the Geula takes place, all will see that the goyim never destroyed even one wall! The only thing the goyim destroyed were those stones brought by the Ruchos and Sheidim. Everyone will see that it was all just an illusion. This is why the “Emek Hamelch” says about the Gemara, “I heard that korbanos are being offered even though there is no Beis Mikdash” (Megilla 10:1), He says, Know this! The service of the korbanos continues! The Beis Hamikdash exists! The korbanos exist! The service in the Beis Hamikdash continues! Eliyahu Hanavi sacrifices korbanos in the Beis Hamikdash! The Malach Gavriel sacrifices korbanos in the Beis Hamikdash! It is told about the Baal Shem Tov that he once saw Eliyahu Hanavi buying sheep for Avodas Beis Hamikdash. When we say “Korbanos” in the morning, we are giving power to Eliyahu Hanavi and the Malach Michael, who are currently the Kohanim gedolim, to continue their service in the Beis Hamikdash. By saying the “Korbanos” we are literally taking part in the service of the Beis Hamikdash. As soon as we begin our tefilla in the morning the Kohanim begin their service of offering korbanos. The Kohanim begin their avodah! They light the Chatas and the Tamid… When we say “Korbanos” Eliyahu Hanavi and the Malach Michael get their koach to continue their service with the korbanos.
When a person sins he causes tuma’a (impurity) to spread. That tuma’a reaches the even shtiya! It goes right up to the Beis Hamikdash! Such impurity leads to the destruction of the Beis Hamikdash! This is why we say in the Korbanos, “And their blood required sprinkling between the staves, upon the veil and the Golden altar.” The tuma’a reached all the way “between the staves”! Right up to the Paroches! Finally, it burned the Beis Hamikdash.
“And their blood required sprinkling, upon the veil and the Golden altar.” Why is there no Paroches? Why is there no Golden Mizbeach? This is because we are continuing to defile the Beis Hamikdash. No sooner does the person sin than he has already defiled everything! There is no Golden Mizbeach! No Mizbach Ha’Olah! No Azaros! Nothing! Therefore, when a man recites the “Korbanos”, he must have the intention that he is saying Korbanos for his own misdeeds! “Cows that are burning and goats that are burning…” I deserve to burn! I am those burning cows! The whole inyan (point) of the korbanos is in order to surrender the beastliness within ourselves. We burn the beast and shecht it. When we mention, in the Korbanos, the part about the shechita and the sreifa… it is I being burnt; I am being shechted. The Rebbe writes in the Tora about “And he slaughtered him ‘al yerech hamizbeach’, North, before Hashem…”, when we say “and he slaughtered him,” we must feel that it is we who are being slaughtered! The person is being shechted for all of his aveiros and he must accept upon himself the four mitos Beis Din (high court penalties of death): Skila, sreifa, hereg and chenek. When he intends this to be for himself, then all of his aveiros are forgiven. Tana Dvei Eliyahu says, “whether it be a Jew or whether a goy – even a goy who recites the possuk, “and he slaughtered it on the Northern side of the Mizbeach,” (with the proper kavanah), all of his sins will be forgiven. When you say, “Hapshat Nituach, klil la’ishim, skinning and dissecting completely for the fire” you must have in mind that everything is said about yourself! When the Chatas is set alight and the Tamid is being skinned – this is all happening to me! I am being skinned! I am being cut into pieces! I am being burned! The korbanos of Asham, Todah, Shelamim, etc., it is all happening to me. They are burning me, cutting me and spraying my blood. When we say “Korbanos”, all of the klipos - shells crack. The shells surrounding the olam ha’asiyah crack and fall; everything is atoned! You must be sure to recite the korbanos slowly and with a lot of messirus nefesh (self-sacrifice). When the person recites Korbanos, he is cracking apart the klipos he has created! Just as in the time of the Beis Hamikdash, the Tamid offering in the morning atoned for the aveiros of nighttime and the Tamid of bein ha’arbayim atoned for the aveiros done throughout the day, so it is when a person recites the Korbanos of Tamid in shacharis, it atones for his sins that he has done at night and then when he recites the part of the Tamid bein ha’arbaim, it atones for his sins that he has done in the daytime.
People sin 24 hours a day; we have countless sins! We should receive for these aveiros hereg, chenek, sreifa and skila. If a person does not try to recite the tefilla with kavanah, he has achieved nothing! Hashem says, ‘what are you coming to me for?! You say, “give me this and give me that…” first, do teshuva! Ask forgiveness for everything you did wrong over the past 24 hours! You brought tuma’a into the world! You had forbidden thoughts, saw forbidden sights… say Korbanos with kavanah! When you recite “ba’parim hanisrafim”, (and the burnt cow offerings…) have the intentions of, “I am prepared to be burned, I am prepared to be stoned!” Say the Korbanos aloud! The mere fact that you are accepting upon yourself sreifa, hereg and chenek, the fact that you admit that you have sinned makes everything become atoned and forgiven and your prayers are accepted.
The morning tefilla begins with korbanos. The Zohar says, ‘You must not skip Korbanos! Korbanos is the highest thing! The Korbanos come from Atika kadisha, from risha dela esyada, as it says, “siluka dekorbana ad ein sof.” The tfilla of Korbanos is “ein sof” (endless)! You must not skip even one word of Korbanos, don’t give up on even one word!
(Note from the editor: Though it is the general practice that women do not say the Korbanos prayers other than the Tamid offering, a women who wishes to say all the Korbanos is praiseworthy - see Chida “Yosef ometz” 67 that just as the Korbanos prayer attones for men it also attones for women)
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