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Vayikra

Thursday, 14th March 2019

"He (the priest) shall split it (with its feathers), he need not sever it ......." (Vayikra 1:17)
When a person feels inclined to give an offering to G-d, he may do so with the "Olah" sacrifice. If the person is poor, he may bring a dove as a sacrifice. This dove was offered on the alter with its feathers. Rashi comments that even though the smell of burning feathers is offensive, the sacrifice from this poor man still adorns the alter and is accepted by G-d. 
 
There is an important lesson that we can learn from the poor man’s sacrifice.
 
We all feel some doubt at times in regard to our spiritual growth and might feel that we are somewhat unable to reach great spiritual heights as compared to the many great sages and Rabbis and give up. This notion is a fallacy when we begin to see how precious burning feathers are when offered by a poor man.  Even burning feathers when offered with sincerity can be accepted by G-d.  When a person has nothing to offer G-d except for 'feathers', then that should still be offered. 
 
If we deem ourselves lacking ability, we should still learn Torah and offer G-d what we can even if perhaps the Torah learning may not be as grand as our friends. Even if our Torah might be like "burning feathers", we should offer it anyhow, even if only for the sake of giving whatever we have, to G-d. 
 
A king once decreed that whoever brings him the most precious item, that person will be granted a great title and prestige in the kingdom. Many people brought various magnificent and precious objects, yet the king seemed unimpressed for he already posessed many great treasures. However, in this kingdom lived a very poor man who also wished to particpate in this contest.

Although he had nothing of value, he did have a single penny. This penny was very dirty and dull in appearance, so this poor fellow decided to shine it and clean it until it sparkled.

He spent many hours shining the penny untill a magnificent shine emerged that literally lit up the room. This poor man travelled to the capital in order to gain an audience with the king so that he can present his item to the king. When the poor man presented the penny to the king, its shine was so magnificent that at first the king had mistakenly mistook the penny for a very precious gem with illuminating qualities, but after further observation it became apparent that this gem was actually just a very shiny penny.

The king then truly understood the real value of this poor man’s "most precious Item".
We must never underestimate what we personally have to offer, as long as it is given with sincerity and heart. 
 
In Talmud Barachos 5b the Sages said, "It is the same whether one does more or less, provided he intends it for the sake of Heaven".

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