There were signs all around the medical lab asking: “Have you seen all the changes we made for your comfort? At _____________ the patient always comes first!” It certainly didn’t feel like I came first. I entered a complex bureaucracy. I first had to register my name. I received an electronic notification device, the same type that you see in The Purple Pear in Monsey. The device beeps and then you can go and file your doctor’s orders and your insurance information. You the return to the waiting area until you can enter the actual lab, where you wait again until it is time for your device to beep and you go to yet another desk to review all the necessary information, such as where you went to school, what was the name of your favorite teacher in 7th grade, and your pet’s weight. The tests began about an hour after I entered the lab where “I come first.” I was miserable long before the actual tests began.
I am certain that the Third Temple will have all the latest electronic devices. I really hope that when I go to bring all the offerings I owe that I will not be faced with such a complicated process. Put it this way: I don’t want to be handed the same type of device that is used at the Purple Pear. I don’t want to feel that I am swallowed up in some complicated bureaucracy.
So, it was with some relief that I realized that the Torah first addressed itself primarily to the people who would bring the offerings in the previous portion, and only begins to address the Kohanim in this week’s portion. The person came first; the bureaucracy second. The Torah stresses the importance of the individual coming for spiritual succor over and above the rules of the bureaucracy.
No lines. Hopefully, no fancy devices. Just me and a Kohen bringing me closer to God.
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