The Tamid Offering

“And say to them: This is the order of the oblations you shall offer before the L-rd; two lambs of the year, unblemished, daily, a perpetual burnt offering.”

  • Targum Jonathan on Numbers 28:3, sefaria.org

Everything was set in order upon the inauguration of the Mishkan, for the sake of the Levitical offerings, and the benefit of the people. Here, in parashas Pinchas is the daily tamid offering mentioned, to be brought in the morning and the afternoon. These two continual offerings denote the daily grind of avodas (worship) instituted in regard to the Mishkan, and later the temple, the central location of worship, as constituted within the framework of the offerings made for atonement, thanksgiving, and personal devotion.

This rigamarole reflects the constant focus on G-d that we should have in our hearts, if not in our daily activities; in other words. Even if we are living in the world, not exactly being engaged all of the time with outwardly godly pursuits, we can still keep our minds on H’Shem; regardless of how much opportunity we have to pray, study Torah, or do good deeds. This is the way of those who may be said to be pious of heart; regardless of externals in one’s life, the internal disposition is what matters most. This is otherwise known as kavannah (intention); although, in modern terms, could be associated with “mindfulness.”

Yet, this does not mean at all to forsake the commandments; all that we do must be within the designated guidelines set down for us in the commandments. The point being, that the righteous are righteous because of their conduct, regardless of vocation. In fact, many of the laws of Torah have to do with business, as well as our own personal conduct. The patriarchs who tended sheep, had plenty of time in isolation, like David to reflect on G-d. So, if we keep our lives simple, our hearts and minds can be on G-d, irrespective of our outward duties.

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