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Parsha Mitzvot: Tzav: Mitzvah 136 – Concept 355

“This is the teaching of the Guilt-Offering; it is most holy.” We are commanded to carry out the procedure of the Asham – Guilt-Offering (Rambam, Hilchot Ma’aseh ha-Korbanaot – The Laws of the Sacrificial Procedure).


We explained that the reason the Torah had stipulated that the sin offering is to be slaughtered on the same site as the total offering, was to teach us that penitence rehabilitates completely, even for actively committed sins. Now the Torah mentions that also the guilt offering is to be slaughtered in the same location. The reason is that the guilt offering is offered in atonement for certain sins committed knowingly. I might have thought that rehabilitation in such cases is less complete than in other types of sin.

In order to demonstrate that the guilt offering to obtains complete forgiveness for the center, the Torah has to mention that it is to be slaughtered in the same place as the sin offering and the total offering.

In order to demonstrate that a sinner who has repented is on an even higher moral plateau then the perfectly righteous person who had never sinned, the Torah describes the sprinkling of the blood of the guilt offering as: “he was sprinkle his blood,” as if to include the blood of the personality of he who has offered the sacrifice. Repentance motivated by love for God is considered as transforming previous sinful acts into meritorious deeds, not merely neutralizing the accumulated demerits.

The various parts of the animal that have to be removed and burned up are symbolic of the sinner who has indulged his body by his sin and who has come to do penance and demonstrate that his repentance is sincere and that he does not wish to retain any of the benefits this sin had bestowed on him. (Alshich ha-Kadosh)

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