Two brothers wanted to thank God for what he had given them, but God only accepted the sacrifice of one of them. Abel sent the best of his livestock in thanks to God for all the blessing that he had given him and God found favor in his actions and accepted his gift. His brother, Cain, did not send of his best and God told him that he should try harder. This led to the first case of sibling rivalry. This week’s portion presents the different sacrifices one is supposed to give for each of the holidays. Perhaps by defining what is acceptable God was trying to avoid future family feuds.
Today we do not have the Temple anymore and we cannot bring sacrifices anymore; but the ideas behind the sacrifice has never changed. We are supposed to give of our best to God in thanks for what he has given us. The Rabbis teach us that today even by studying the laws of sacrifice it is if we are actually bringing a sacrifice. Let us discuss the sacrifice needed to give thanks for the greatest gift God has ever given us… Our planet.
God has given us this beautiful world. We have to make sure we are giving him our best in return. Unfortunately I do not think we are. We are actively destroying our planet. We need to give him our best. It is time that we take our greatest minds and have them work together to find solutions to the problems that we have caused by abusing this gift.
We need to start saying thank you with all of our resources. The Rabbis teach us that a healthy body is needed to have a healthy soul. Isn’t this edict even more true for our planet? Let’s make our planet healthy again so that we can heal its collective soul.