This week’s portion continues on from last week, giving instructions concerning the various sacrifices offered in the Tabernacle of Meeting. One of those offerings was the “Korban Todah,” or “Thanksgiving Offering.” Tradition tells us that the amount of fine flour cakes which came with this specific offering were 40 in number. A tithe was given to the “Kohanim—Priesthood,” while the remaining 36 cakes were the offerer’s to eat; but only for the day. Why was this “one day” stipulation put into place?
One of the reasons was to encourage the offerer to invite others to partake in the thanksgiving offering. This stipulation with time restraints concerning the meat and cakes would make a person to invite others to celebrate with them in their blessing. While the sin offering was a private affair between God and an individual, the thanksgiving offerings weren’t only for one’s own self. The entire offering was supposed to be a celebration, a party, in which the offerer could share their fortune and blessing with those around them.
What does this teach us? We should share the miraculous blessings of God that we experience in life! God’s blessings allow us to invite people to celebrate God’s goodness with us! As it says in the Psalms, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” This verse is an invitation to those on the outside to come and taste the blessings of God.
In the Gemara (Berachot 54b) it tells us that “Four must offer thanks to God with a thanks-offering and a special blessing. They are: Seafarers, those who walk in the desert, and one who was ill and recovered, and one who was incarcerated in prison and went out.” Perhaps there is no Temple to offer thanksgiving offerings, but people still travel, recover from sickness and are released from prison (whether physical or spiritual prison).
These occasions are invitations for celebrations and parties remembering the goodness of God! In the Midrash, Vayikra Rabbah 9:7, we read “Le’atid Lavo Kol HaKarbanot Betelin V’Karban Todah Eino Batel—In the future (Messianic Kingdom) all the sacrifices will be void and the thanksgiving offering will not be void.”
In time all the sacrifices will be terminated, except for the thanksgiving offering because we will never be able to completely thank God for all of His countless miracles and blessings! Let’s get started today! Now is a great time to be thankful and share His goodness!