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Shabbat Themes-Vayikra-B’alei Tosafot-The Dignity of Our Table

The 29th of Adar is the Yahrtzeit of Rabbeinu Yitzchak of Speyer. Grandson of the Riva, he was murdered with numerous other Jews because of a blood libel. “He shall wash its innards and its feet with water; and the Kohen shall cause it all to go up in smoke on the Altar; an elevation-offering, a satisfying aroma to God (Vayikra 1:9).”  The Kohen and the person bringing the offering must remember that, that which goes on the Altar, is going on the table of the King, and must therefore be done with extra cleanliness and honor (Ba’alei Tosafot).


We are often taught that our table, especially that of the Shabbat or a Festival meal, or one to which we have invited the poor, is as the Altar in the Temple. We must therefore remember that everything at the table, including speech and the way we interact and eat, must be done with great care, cleanliness and honor.

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