Orthodox Judaism/Sacrifice

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Question
I would like to hear your views on the importance of sacrifice and how it has impacted the lives of people from past, present and future?

Impacts of Jewish sacrifices?

Were the sacrifices essential?

How was the Abraham and Isaac sacrifice significant to Jews?

Thankyou very much for reading

If you are able to answer these questions could you please send through your name and where you are from so I can reference you in my assignment

Answer
Hi Erin

As you can imagine, there is a fortune of information on this subject and you would do well to look into more than just the information I can give you briefly here. This would be a good place to start: http://www.chabad.org/search/results.asp?searchWord=sacrifice

Of course, people typically think of a sacrifice as taking an animal and slaughtering it and burning it on an altar. Actually, there is a whole lot more to the  idea of bringing a sacrifice.

One: Sacrifice is called "korban" in Hebrew, which actually means to "come close". The idea of the sacrifice is to draw closer to G-d- and to bring the animal closer to G-d too. So, it's not just about blood and guts, it's about trying to meditate and connect and lift the world you live in to a higher spiritual plane.

The impact of the sacrifice is 1) on the person- the person should ask themselves "how am I coming closer to G-d" and 2) on the world- by involving that one animal in the sacrifice, the person actually brings the whole animal world a step closer to G-d. Every sacrifice also included some grain or wine, which brought the plant world closer and every sacrifice had some salt, which brought the mineral world closer to G-d.

The sacrifices were an essential part of Judaism and were always accompanied by prayer. Nowadays, we "bring sacrifices" by praying and trying to bring ourselves closer to G-d that way.

The sacrifice of Abraham and Isaac teaches us about the other angle of sacrifices- that we should all be ready at any time to sacrifice everything we have for G-d.

I hope that helps.

Sincerely,

Rabbi Shishler

Orthodox Judaism

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Rabbi Ari Shishler

Expertise

I am a rabbi who loves teaching, through writing and speaking. In 1999, my wife and I started our own Chabad House and it's grown exponentially. I'm also the learning director at Chabad House of Johannesburg, a high school teacher and the father of young children. As you can imagine, I get to answer lots of questions every day. I'd be glad to answer your questions on Judaism, Jewish spirituality and practice.

Experience

I have been a practicing Orthodox rabbi since 1997 and have headed my own community since 1999. I teach Talmud at a religious high school in Johannesburg and give daily lectures to adults on Jewish practice, spiritualty, Chassidic philosophy and Kabbalah. I'm the campus rabbi at our two major universities in Johannesburg.

Organizations
Chabad-Lubavitch South African Rabbinical Association.

Publications
Monthly column in Jewish Life magazine, South Africa. Jewish Tradition, South Africa. Jewish Report, South Africa. South African Union of Jewish Students annual Holiday guide. Jewish Observer, South Africa. Nshei Chabad Newsletter, NY. Jewish Online Magazine. www.chabad.org

Education/Credentials
After completing high scool, I spent six years studying in Rabbinical seminaries in South Africa, Israel and New York.

Past/Present Clients
www.chabad.org www.askmoses.com ChaiFM (www.chaifm.com) Jewish Life magazine

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