“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, the 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. One was 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 can only be consumed for one day. This is especially intriguing given the fact the Todah was a very large offering comprised of multiple loaves. Why did the Torah 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. 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. One can only eat of the Korban Todah for one day (the day on which it is offered), for tomorrow we must not focus on the miracles of yesterday, but devote ourselves to seeing and discerning the miracles of today.
We are in the midst of the month of Nissan, a month of incredible miraculous activity. There were plagues, manna from the heavens, a well which followed us during our sojourn in the desert and a variety of other jaw-dropping feats from Above. We might not have seen these great miracles, but we do have a front row seat for the miracles which occur for us every day. We opened our eyes, flexed our fingers, stood on our own two feet. We can speak, are able to think and able to take care of our bodily needs. We have warm coats, shoes without holes and full stomachs. There is some money in our wallets and parents who love us. There is a roof over our heads and clothing in our closets. Are these events any less miraculous than the splitting of the sea? Truth be told, we each should have to bring a Korban Todah each and every day, to thank God for the incredible miracles He has bestowed upon us. Every day generates its own distinct Todah obligation. We have the obligation to actively look for my daily miracles. We must carve our time to contemplate the incredible blessings and events which unfold around us 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. That day will come, but until then I give you one simple word, Todah; thank 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.”