Thursday, July 13, 2006

Yoma 36 Purpose of an Olah

Rav Yosi Haglili states that a korban olah is brought for the sin of not giving the poor people from your grain, which one is obligated to do. Rebbe Akiva disagrees and holds that a korban olah is brought to atone for transgressing a positive commandment. Chazal say that an olah is a doron - a present to Hashem. The Seforim say that an olah shows a tremendous amount of love between the person and Hashem. The Ramban writes that when one brings a chatos or an asham, he should feel as if he is bringing himself as a sacrifice, for in truth, that is what he deserves. By an olah, it is as if he is giving himself to Hashem out of love.

How do we reconcile an olah being a present and a sign of love with the fact that Chazal say it is brought for transgressing certain aveiros?

8 comments:

Kerry said...

Isn't a shelamim also like a present? How does it differ from an olah?

Anonymous said...

It is not brought as an atonement for Mitzvos of any kind. It is brought as an expression of love. It is that love that atones for the failure to perform Mitzvos which should have been performed out of love.

David said...

Mandatory gifts are also expressions of love. That is true with many things in life. Raising our children is mandatory ( at least till bar Mitzvah) yet if we were asked why we do it, we would say, "out of love".

Avromi said...

Annonymous: Your words fit into the way the Aruch L'ner in Makkos 17b explains the Ritva there. The Gemora contrasts a chatos and asham that is coming for atonement and an olah is not. The Ritva asks from the Gemora in Yoma and Zevachim that it does givr forgiveness for some aveiros and he answers that when one brings an olah as a donation, it atones for those aveiros.

Avromi said...

David: The Brisker Rav once told someone that we don't raise children with the intent that they will reciprocate, rather it is because Hashem created the world with chesed as stated olam chesed yibaneh and just as He created us with complete kindness, so too that should be our outlook on raising children. Similar to your statement.

Jay said...

Kerry:
In response to what is the distinction between an olah and a shelamim, let me attempt to explain the way I understand it.
A korban olah is brought when one was mevatel a positive commandment or
thinking about doing an aveira and is fully
consumed (the Ramban says the name olah is for
thoughts that “arise” in our heads). This is because
every mitzva has a portion of shleimus - completeness, and when a person is
mevatel this mitzva, or has hirhurei aveira, he is lacking
shleimus. Therefore, in order to be fix that which we are lacking, a
person offers himself כביכול completely to Hashem.
A shelamim on the other hand is brought out of a desire to
give to Hashem (which stems from completeness), and
can therefore be “shared” (eaten by people) with Hashem, as this is a connotation of our partnership
with Him. A גוי can bring a korbon olah as they too are
missing from the mitzvos, but not a shelamim, as they are not
partners with Hashem.

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