Friday, April 18, 2008

Bull Refuses to Budge

The Medrash (Vayikra Rabbah 3:5) cites the following incident: There was an animal that was being brought to the Beis Hamikdosh to be brought up on the Altar as a korban. As they got near the final destination, the animal refused to budge. A pauper came by and fed the animal a bundle of truksima (a certain type of grass that is known to cause animals to sneeze). As the animal sneezed, a needle discharged from inside its throat. The animal then allowed itself to be pulled towards the Altar and be brought as a korban (if the needle would have stayed inside, it would have punctured one of the animal’s vital organs rendering it a treifa, which would invalidate it from being used as a korban). The poor person appeared to the animal’s owner in a dream and said, “The offering of a pauper (my bundle of vegetables) is regarded as being more significant than your bull.

The Drush Shmuel explains the following verse accordingly [Vayikra 1:3]: An unblemished male you shall offer it according to his will. Only if the animal is going willingly should it be brought as a korban; otherwise (if it refuses to budge), do not offer it as a sacrifice, for it might be because it has a blemish (that the owner is not aware of).