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  • Torah Reading: Naso
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Vayikra(Leviticus 1-5)

With a Grain of Salt

For you shall not cause to go up in smoke from any leavening or fruit-honey as a fire-offering to Hashem. You shall salt every meal- offering… (2:11, 13)

The verse states that one is not permitted to use honey in the meal offering, while it is an obligation to use salt for all the offerings. Why is one obligated to bring salt as part of a sacrifice, as opposed to honey?

Even though honey and salt are both used for flavoring food there is a fundamental difference between them. Honey itself is sweet and when poured on food, it provides the food with a sweet taste. Salt, however, enhances flavor, pulling the flavor out of food and giving it a stronger taste. It can be added to something bland and make it flavorful.

The symbolism of the obligation to use salt on the offerings as opposed to honey teaches us that God wants every person to develop and nurture his own unique talents. This is like a good teacher who doesn’t merely put information into the student - rather he brings out and develops what’s already there.

The Zohar states that the word “Yisrael” is an acronym for there are six hundred thousand letters in the Torah. This number corresponds to the six hundred thousand men who left Egypt. Every Jew is a letter in the Torah. If there is one letter in a Torah scroll that is touching another letter that Torah is invalid, and so too, a Jew who ignores his own abilities and tries to be like others is ‘invalid’. Everyone needs to serve God in his own unique way. Don’t imitate others; rather locate qualities within yourself, ‘salt’ them, and let them shine.

March 9, 2013

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Visitor Comments: 6

(6) gloria, March 31, 2017 4:58 PM

wow!! i never thought of that! thanks for posting

(5) Janice, March 30, 2017 3:45 PM

This came at the perfect time for me to remember. Thank you.

(4) Anonymous, March 28, 2016 1:47 AM

Permeated Torah Flavor

Interesting about the acronym "Yisrael", wow!! That's why Judaism is so intriguing, and enlightening, so deep. The more one reads, the more one wants to continue learning. Also, I never before gave any thought to the fundamental difference between honey and salt in relation to ancient offering to Hashem, and it is relevant today. How great is the Torah! Thank you so very much for sharing this learning tool.

(3) Anonymous, March 14, 2016 1:26 PM

Great article! Thanks for posting!

(2) Anonymous, March 19, 2015 1:32 PM

Great article! Thanks for posting this!

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