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INSIGHT: The First Korban Ever – by Adam HaRishon

A Time-Honored Tradition

A Time-Honored Tradition

Although this was the first time HaShem commanded Bnei Yisrael to bring Korbanos, it was not the first time sacrifices were offered. In fact, there were 7 great people, beginning with Adam, and leading up to Moshe, who offered Korbanos even before the Mishkan was built.

  1. Adam HaRishon, the first man on planet earth, offered a sacrifice as a way to show that he was sorry for eating the forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge.
  2. Adam’s son Hevel sacrificed his best sheep as a special gift to HaShem.
  3. Noach brought Korbanos after the flood ended. It was his way of thanking HaShem for saving him and his family.
  4. Avraham, the first Jew, also offered sacrifices, on four different altars that he built in the land of Israel.
  5. Yitzchak, the son of Avraham, built one altar where he brought a Korban.
  6. Yaakov, the son of Yitzchak, built two altars on which he brought Korbanos.
  7. Here in this week’s Parsha we find that Moshe offered Korbanos even before HaShem commanded him. It was a sacrifice of thanks to HaShem for their remarkable victory over the mighty nation of Amalek.

Through Divine Inspiration, these great people who lived before the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai, already knew the laws of Korbanos, and were careful to offer nothing but Kosher animals on their altars.

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Two Rabbis (by the name Moshe) and Two Opinions

Korbonas… Sacrifices… Why? Two great Rabbis, both by the name Moshe explained..

The names of these Rabbis are Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon (a.k.a. Rambam or Maimonides), and Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman (a.k.a. Ramban). Both of them lived over 800 years ago and both were born in Spain.

Rambam’s opinion is mentioned in his book Moreh Nevuchim, “Guide of the Perplexed.” Ramban in his commentary to the Chumash explains why he disagrees with the Rambam, and offers his own opinion.

Of course, like so many subjects in Torah, throughout the ages, Rabbis “commented” on this subject – some supported the Rambam, others vehemently opposed him and agreed with the Ramban. Still, there are other Rabbis who offered their own opinion. So, although we don’t have Korbanos nowadays, it remains a never-ending topic!

(BTW: The first words of Sefer VaYikra is “VaYikra el Moshe” – “And He called to Moshe”. Perhaps this is a hint to the two above Rabbis… both by the name Moshe.)

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Geared for Kids... Great for Adults!

Geared for Kids... Great for Adults!

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