“And the flesh of his thanksgiving peace offering shall be eaten on the day it is offered up; he shall not leave any of it over until morning.” (Vayikra 7:15)
Among the various sacrificial details contained in this week’s Parsha, the Torah teaches us the laws of the Korban Todah (thanksgiving offering). This offering was brought when a person was saved from a life-threatening or inherently dangerous situation. It was a sacrificial rite which enabled the individual to thank God for deliverance and salvation.
The Imrei Emes (Rav Avraham Mordechai Alter of Gur, 1866-1948) raises a fascinating question. Every korban (sacrificial offering) has a consumption window. You are permitted to eat the sacrifice for a certain amount of time. After that permitted time has elapsed, the korban becomes nossar (left over) and prohibited. Most of the sacrificial offerings were consumed for two days and one night. Yet, the Korban Todah could only be consumed for one day. This is especially intriguing given the fact the Todah is a very large offering comprised of multiple loaves. Why does the Torah only allow a shorter time for consumption?
The Rebbe provides a beautiful insight: “Korban Todah, mi’viin oso al ha’nes, v’harey b’chol yom va’yom misrachashin itanu nissim chadoshim. V’eych yochlu mi’nes shel emesh al neys shel ha’yom.” Meaning: “The thanksgiving offering is brought for a miracle (which God has performed for the individual). Each and every day God performs new miracles for us. How can we eat and celebrate yesterday’s miracle, when we have to celebrate today’s miracle?”
We experience miracles every day. Sometimes they are supernatural, but more often, they are cloaked in the ordinary and mundane circumstances of daily living. Our job is to discern the miraculous events which surround us. You can only eat of the Korban Todah for one day (the day on which it is offered), for tomorrow you must not focus on the miracles of yesterday, you must devote yourself to seeing and discerning the miracles of today.
We stand at a miraculous crossroads. We just finished celebrating Purim and we must now begin to prepare for the Yom Tov of Pesach. Purim is the Yom Tov of “ordinary miracles” cloaked in everyday circumstances. Pesach is a celebration of the supernatural prowess of God. During this season of miracles, we must focus ourselves on seeing the daily miracles which unfold around us. We should each say, “Today, I opened my eyes, I flexed my fingers, I stood on my own two feet. I can speak, I am able to think, and I am able to take care of my bodily needs. I have a warm coat, shoes without holes, and a full stomach. There is some money in my wallet and parents who love me. There is a roof over my head and clothing in my closet.”
Are these events any less miraculous than the fall of Haman or the splitting of the sea? In truth, we should each have to bring a Korban Todah every day to thank God for the incredible miracles He has bestowed upon us. Every day generates its own distinct Todah obligation. I have the obligation to actively look for my daily miracles. I must carve out time to contemplate the incredible blessings and events which unfold around me every day.
We don’t yet have the opportunity to bring an actual Korban (sacrifice), so we must do the next best thing; offer our thanks with our words. Take the time to say, “Thank you Hashem for all of the miracles. I know that I often focus on what I lack and what is deficient and broken. But I want You to know, if I could, I would bring You a Korban Todah every day. Until that day comes, I give You one simple word, Todah; thank You for the miracles of my past, thank You for the miracles of my present, and I thank You in advance for the miracles which have yet to unfold.”