you slaughter a peace offering to G-d, 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.” (Lev. Ch.19 V.5-7)
is teaching the law of piggul—rejection.
During any of the steps of the priest’s sacrificial offering—from the time
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—rejected.
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
G-d. But the mitzvah of piggul adds a whole new dimension to our understanding
of the commandments and how we relate to G-d. Piggul teaches us that it is not
merely our actions which have ramifications but also our thoughts.
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 perform it.
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 G-d. If while it is being offered the person offering it has
intent which goes against G-d’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 them unique, and
testifies to our relationship with G-d 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 — for whatever reason).
May we merit to understand why we perform the commandments and to use this understanding as a springboard for growth.