Posted by: R Jonathan Gewirtz | March 25, 2009

A Thought for Vayikra

When I was about to turn 14, my birthday came out on Parshas Vayikra. I turned to posuk 14, and got a fright.

It discussed sacrificing birds and said, “If one brings a sacrifice from birds, he shall bring from pigeons or “b’nai Yonah,” young doves, as his sacrifice.

Well, my father’s name is Jonah and I was SURE that I, as one of the “b’nai Yonah” was going to die. It was clearly written in the Torah! Didn’t I turn 14 on Parshas Vayikra, and the 14th posuk discussed sacrificing the “sons of Jonah”???

In tears, I called my father. He didn’t laugh, he didn’t criticize, he didn’t ridicule. He understood how emotionally charged I was.

Instead, (and I can still remember which payphone in Yeshiva I was talking on when I called him) he explained that the root of the word korban comes from “karov,” close. He explained that perhaps the Torah was pointing out that I had a special opportunity to come closer to HaShem.

I have never forgotten that moment, and I hope I never will.

I can only pray that I have the presence of mind to be that comforting to MY children when they are scared, and to guide them on the right path as my dad did that day.

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Responses

  1. I am the jonah of your story…I thank you for recording the phone call which you and I shared..watching you all your life and being always proud of your dedication,devotion and sensitive awareness…I testify that you are a karov and a great makriv boruch Hasem. yes I know “klum adam mayeed al bno v’talmido..but facts are facts and realities are testimonies in their own right..May you always be a korban Mincha LaShem..and as a proud father may I add “zeh hakaton gadol hu…v’ruach chachamim nocheh haimenu “.
    May your Torah and machashava tzelula illumine forever..b’ahavah v’yikar..yonah av l’yonason michoel..alei v’chazak.


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