Monday, March 10, 2014

Responsum to Beinart on Sacrifices

Petar Beinart, at his Facebook page, asked

anyone know a pithy, ethically sensitive, way to explain animal sacrifice to a kindergartener?

I replied, offering (sorry about the pun) this formulation:

Son, you know how I get all dressed up in a chef's hat and borrow Mommy's large kitchen apron and I take out the special implements to barbecue that delicious meat we eat on summer Sundays?  Well, our forefathers, when the Temple existed, did it in a much more spiritual manner not to satiate our hunger and appetites or to show off to our neighbors, like I do, to let thwem know how great I am at cooking and roasting or how great a coal fire I can light, but to give thanks to God for what He has bestowed upon us through our labors in the fields and meadows, to show that all we are is because of Him.  It is not a matter of ourselves but who we are because of the values we serve.  It's not about the good food (and most of those sacrifices we didn't even eat, except special ones) but our good fortune. The sacrifices are a symbol, much more that lamb chops and steaks and hamburgers and franks.  Son, we're Jews and we're different.



Anonymous said...

Actually you missed the part that during the time of the Torah, communities that surrounded Israel, sacrificed human beings. So the Jews in sacrificing animals was actually showing the importance of human life and creating an understanding of right and wrong that we live with until today.Then add, 'Son we're Jews, we were always different." #Justsayin'

YMedad said...

now, is Beinart going to use all that?