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Ki Tisa: Rav Hirsch: Mitzvah 104 – Concept 311

“You shall not bring upon it alien incense, or an elevation offering or Meal Offering, nor may you pour a libation upon it.” (Exodus 30:9) We may not burn anything on the Golden Altar besides Incense. (Rambam, Hilchot Klei Hamikdash V’Haovdim Bo – The Laws of The Temple Vessels and Employees)

Every arbitrary forming of the highest ideal of life is excluded. Hence, there is not A highest ideal of life. There is only THE highest ideal of life. Only completely sublimating oneself in the expressed will of God, putting aside one’s own ideal, only sublimating oneself in the will of God as attested in the Ark of Testimony is pleasant to God. And, equally so, all other offerings are excluded from this Altar. All other offerings express only part of the meaning, or their meaning is only preparatory, compared to the completeness and perfection of achievement, to the expression of which the Incense Altar is dedicated. (Rabbi Samson R. Hirsch)

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