Meal Offerings

Mar 15, 2015

וְנֶפֶשׁ כִּי־תַקְרִיב קָרְבַּן מִנְחָה לַיהֹוָה סֹלֶת יִהְיֶה קָרְבָּנוֹ וְיָצַק עָלֶיהָ שֶׁמֶן וְנָתַן עָלֶיהָ לְבֹנָה׃

When a person presents an offering of meal to Hashem, his offering shall be of choice flour; he shall pour oil upon it, lay frankincense on it,

v'-NE-fesh kee tak-REEV kor-BAN min-KHAH la-do-NAI SO-let yih-YEH kor-ba-NO v'-ya-TZAK a-LE-ha SHE-men v'-na-TAN a-LE-ha l'-vo-NAH

Leviticus 2:1

וְהִקְטִיר הַכֹּהֵן אֶת־אַזְכָּרָתָהּ מִגִּרְשָׂהּ וּמִשַּׁמְנָהּ עַל כָּל־לְבֹנָתָהּ אִשֶּׁה לַיהֹוָה׃

And the Kohen shall turn a token portion of it into smoke: some of the grits and oil, with all of the frankincense, as an offering by fire to Hashem.

Leviticus 2:16

The meal offering consists of a portion of grain and oil, usually mixed with frankincense. It can be brought raw, baked, fried or cooked. If it is not raw, it must not be leavened, nor may honey be added to it, but it must be seasoned with salt. A portion of the meal offering is burned for God, and the rest is eaten in holiness by the priests.


As the Israel Bible points out, the ingredients for the meal offering are far less expensive than those of the animal offerings mentioned previously. According to the Talmud, for this reason the Hebrew word nefesh, which means ‘soul’, is used to describe the one who brings the meal offering — when a poor person goes to this much trouble to bring an offering from his meager means, it is valued as if he has offered his soul to God.


Virtual Classroom Discussion

What do you think is the significance of forbidding leaven or honey but requiring salt be added to the meal offering?


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