This week’s Torah portion, Parshat Vayikra, discusses the Korbanot (offerings) that were brought at the Mishkan and Beit HaMikdash. One category of offering was the Olah, a voluntary contribution. People were able to give different animals based on their wealth, whether it was an expensive cow, a sheep, or a bird for those on a budget. The absolutely destitute could bring an offering of flour, called the Mincha.
The Torah uses an interesting phrase to refer to one who brings this Korban. It uses the word Nefesh, which literally means soul. This is the only time that this word appears in conjunction with a voluntary offering. What can we learn from this?
Rashi explains that the word Nefesh was used here to show that Hashem considers this offering of a destitute person as if he gave his soul to Hashem.
This teaches us an important lesson. It is not the final outcome that matters, but it is the effort that one pours in. May we all learn from this and dedicate ourselves fully to whatever we put our minds to.
By: Jack Benveniste-Plitt (11th Grade)