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Ohr Chadash: Tzav: Thanksgiving Offering-Bride and Groom

The 9th of Adar is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Chaim Ephraim Zeitchek, Mashgiach of Novardok,Yerushalayim and Rosh Yeshivas Ohr Chodosh (1989)


“If he shall offer it for a Thanksgiving offering, he shall offer with the feast Thanksgiving offering unleavened loaves mixed with oil, onion leavened wafers smeared with oil, and lows of scalded fine flour mixed with oil. With loaves of unleavened bread shall he bring his offering, with his feast Thanksgiving peace offering (Vayikra 7:12–13).” “If ye shall offer it for Thanksgiving offering,” if he is coming to give thanks for a miracle that happened to him such as those who traveled by the sea, traveled through the desert, recently released from prison, or a sick person who was healed, the ones who are obligated to give thanks as the first says give thanks to God for His kindness, His wonders to the son of men, and they gave offerings of Thanksgiving (Psalms 107:21).” Both Chametz and matzoh, two things that represent opposites: Chametz represents the Attribute of Din, Justice, and matzoh represents the Attribute of Rachamim, or Compassion. This is to teach us that all the things that happen in this world, its challenges ended Spain’s, represent the Chametz, the Justice in the world. However, even at the time of Chametz, there is matzoh, compassion. The Chametz and the matzoh are brought together to remind us that all that happens to human beings have the combination of these two opposites in them, almost like twins that were created together in order to bring God’s Light and Compassion for the sake of a human being.

The Thanksgiving offering that has this mixture of both Chametz and matzoh, Justice and Compassion, is brought in response to a miracle; someone who was suffering, experiencing the Chametz but save the day by the matzoh.

The thanksgiving offering is a statement that we know how to find the light of new life even in the darkest times. We acknowledge that it is through justice that compassion will then be revealed in the world. It is for this that we bring the Thanksgiving offering.

Our sages taught, “all who cause a groom and bride to rejoice; it is as if they have offered a Thanksgiving offering (Berachot 7a).”

The groom and the bride, the new couple, when they join together to build their home, all seems well organized and prepared. It is indeed a beautiful site as we see the tables set, everyone happy, the home prepared with all sorts of new and beautiful things. However, even at such a moment both the groom and the bride have concern for the future, they wonder how will their life be, will they learn how to live together in peace, will they be able to withstand the challenges of life? All of these fears and concerns are somewhere deep inside even during these moments of joy.

They are experiencing what we have described as the combination of Chametz and matzoh. Therefore one who comes to cause them to rejoice in trust and faith in God, and explains to them that it’s only through the combination of opposites,, Chametz and matzoh, men and woman, these twins created by God to push us to discover His presence in the world. This person is bringing to the groom and his bride the equivalent of a Thanksgiving offering.

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