If His Offering Is a Burnt Offering

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117) “’If his offering is a burnt offering from the cattle.” What is the difference if he brings an offering from the cattle, an offering from the flock, or an offering from the fowl? How do they differ from one another? After all, offerings are made of all of them, but one who can afford it sacrifices from the cattle; if he cannot afford it, he brings from the flock, and if he cannot do this, too, he brings from the fowl. This is because it is written, “But if he is poor and his means are insufficient,” meaning that the Creator does not burden one with more than he can bear.

118) One sacrifices according to the sin. The rich, whose heart is sometimes proud, would offer from the cattle, since his heart is more able to sin before his Master. An intermediate offers from the flock because his spirit is not so high as to sin. A poor, whose heart is not high and whose spirit is lower than all, offers the lightest of them all—the fowl. Also, the offerings of each of them are known, and the Creator judges each with a just weight.

119) Hunger comes to the world for the three sins of not giving “donation,” “tithing,” and Hallah [twist bread]. All these sins are only in the rich because their hearts are proud. They are absent in the poor. But what is the sentence? The Creator kills the poor and leaves the rich, for only the poor die of hunger, not the rich. Thus, the rich shall continue to sin before Him because they are not hurt. When the Creator wishes to avenge the wicked and obliterate them from the world, He gives them peace in this world and fulfills everything for them.

120) All the people in the world are not as close to the high King as those Kelim that He uses, which are, “A broken and a remorseful heart,” and “The contrite and lowly of spirit.” Those are the King’s vessels, and when there is drought and hunger in the world and the Din over the poor intensifies, they cry and yell before the King and the Creator brings them closer than any man, as it is written, “For He has not despised nor abhorred the lowliness of the poor.” Then the Creator remembers why hunger has come to the world. Woe unto the wicked, who have caused it.

121) When the King awakens to watch over the world because of the sound of the cry of the poor, the Merciful one will save us from them and from their affront. Then it is written, “I will surely hear their cry.” It writes hear twice [in Hebrew], once to watch over with their voice, and once to avenge them who caused it to them, as it is written, “That I will hear; for I am gracious, and My anger will be kindled.” Hence, when there is hunger in the world, woe unto the wicked wealthy for the sound of the cry of the poor before the Creator.

122) The offering of the poor is the lightest because his heart is broken. And even though he contemplates sinning, the sin is removed from him for his own affliction and the affliction of his household is sufficient. Hence, every single offering itself is known before the priest.

125) It is written, “And Saul said unto the Kenites, ‘Go, depart, go down from among the Amalekites.’” Who are the Kenites? Those are the sons of Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law. They made a nest in the desert like that sparrow, as it is written, “And the sparrow [found] a nest,” to engage in Torah. This is because the Torah requires neither pleasure nor merchandise, but to toil in it days and nights. And from there they will go to the desert from the pleasure in Jericho, as it is written, “And the children of the Kenite … went up out of the city of palm-trees.”

126) And you acted graciously with the whole of the people of Israel, since he delighted Moses in his house, and Moses was the whole of Israel. Moreover, because he added an extra portion to the Torah, he thus did a great act of mercy with the whole of Israel.

127) Why did this thing come in the war of Amalek? When Israel went out to Egypt, of all the nations in the world, not one would bond with Israel and slander them but Amalek. They harmed Israel and waged war against them. And you, the Kenite, greeted Israel with peace and were gracious to all of them. This is why you are not fit for bonding with Amalek.

128) Moreover, it is written of Jethro, “And Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, took a burnt-offering and sacrifices for God.” Thus, he made an offering before the Creator and came to convert. The writing teaches us that his sacrifice was important to the Creator because he made an offering before the Creator. It is written, “And Aaron came, and all the elders of Israel, to eat bread with Moses’ father-in-law before God,” precisely before God. We learn from here that anyone who makes a willing offering, the Creator appears before him.

129) The offering of the poor is important to the Creator because he offers two sacrifices before Him: One is his lifeblood and the other is the sacrifice that he offers, since he has nothing to eat, yet he brings an offering. As a result, his lifeblood diminishes. The offering of the poor is the lightest: two turtledoves or two young pigeons. And if not, he brings a little flour and is thus forgiven. At that time, it is declared and said, “For He has not despised nor abhorred the lowliness of the poor,” since the offering of the poor is the most praised.

130) As the poor boils his lifeblood, the flour that he brings boils him in good oil. And here we learn that even if any person sacrifices this offering on the pan and the grain offering that is made in a pan, since the sin boils his lifeblood in the fire of the evil inclination and all his organs boil in fire, so is this offering, since the essence of the offering is as that of the sin. And to sacrifice one’s heart and spirit and soul before the Creator is what He is fond of the most.

131) Happy are the righteous who offer themselves and their souls before the Creator daily. I wish to make that sacrifice, as this is what the Creator wants of man in this world. Hence, this very offering is best because through it, all the worlds are blessed.

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