Friday, March 23, 2012

Vayikra: Blood, sweat and tears

Leviticus 2:13
You shall offer salt on all your sacrifices.”

From Hosea 6:6 we get inspiration for the modern transformation of physical sacrifice into deeds of loving-kindness. " For I desire mercy, and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God rather than burnt-offerings." But what is the salt that we should offer with those acts of loving-kindness?

Salt is used to preserve food. Therefore, its offer with a sacrifice symbolized the incorruptibility of our link with godliness. It is also a widely used symbol of hospitality. In ancient times, salt was a precious commodity – even used as money. In our time, it is so widely available, that many of us have to work hard to limit it in our diets. So salt is something that preserves, that used to be as precious as money, and that is now plentiful. In our bodies, salt is present in all of our cells, in all of our fluids – in our blood, sweat, and tears. Too much or too little salt, and our cells cannot function.

Considering all these qualities of salt, what do we learn about how to offer a “sacrifice” of love and kindness? We must give from our core selves (our blood, sweat and tears), and we must give something precious to us, but we must be measured. Too much giving depletes us. When we achieve that right balance of lovingkindness and self care, we touch into relationship-making that is sustained and pure.

May we be blessed to live lasting and uplifting lives, salted with loving-kindness and integrity.

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