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you slaughter a peace offering to Hashem, you shall slaughter it to find favor
for yourselves. On the day of your slaughter it shall be eaten and on the next
day, and whatever remains until the third day shall be burned in fire. But if it
shall be eaten on the third day it is rejected.” (Vayikra 19:5-7)
is teaching the law of piggul
— rejection. During any of the steps of the priest’s sacrificial
offering — from the time the animal is being slaughtered, to the time blood of
the animal is thrown on the altar — if the priest has
in mind that the sacrifice will be eaten or burned outside of the permitted
time, or eaten or burned in the wrong place, the sacrifice becomes piggul
commandment has very interesting and far reaching implications.
general perception people have regarding the commandments are that they are
ritualistic actions which a person either does (eats matzah, sits in a sukkah),
or refrains from doing (not eating pig, not performing forbidden labor on
Shabbos); and that by following these commandments, we bring ourselves closer to
Hashem. But the mitzvah of piggul adds a whole new dimension to our
understanding of the commandments and how we relate to Hashem. Piggul
teaches us that it is not merely our actions that have ramifications but also
example, a person desires to help someone out. But before he is able to do so,
the opportunity is removed. Though the act is not accomplished, since the desire
to perform the act was present, the person gets credit for having intended to
element of thought goes even deeper. The Talmud (Tractate Rosh Hashanah 28b)
queries: “while performing the commandments, does one require intent?” In
other words, are the commandments mere rituals, or is there something more? As
we know, there is much more to the commandments of the Torah than mere
performance. There must also be intent, a why to the how.
explains the law of piggul. A person offers a sacrifice in order to bring
himself closer to Hashem. If while it is being offered the person offering it
has intent which goes against Hashem’s will, this negates what he is trying to
accomplish. Our thoughts are meant to complement the actions we perform, not
a person sees eating of Kosher food as something which makes him unique, and
testifies to our relationship with Hashem, even in the most physical of
actions, he will gain infinitely more than someone who eats kosher food only
because it is more convenient (although a person does garner reward for keeping
the commandments — even without intent).
we merit to understand why we perform the commandments and to use this
understanding as a springboard for growth.