Torah Inspiration From Kornmehl Goat Farm, Israel from Rabbi Yonatan Parshat Vayikrah 5778

Shalom from Rabbi Yonatan. This week I chose to present you with a short video Torah thought rather than a long written blog. Merav, my beautiful and brilliant spouse, shot this at the Kornmehl Goat Farm near Sde Boker in the Negev desert of Israel. (I inadvertently said Sderot in the clip, but definitely meant Sde Boker!) This place is very special and you would have to know that it exists in order to find it! It barely has a sign on the road blending into the desert landscape and you have to do some off-road driving to make it up the hill to arrive at this quaint little spot. The highlight is the little restaurant and cheese/dairy shop on the extremely isolated desert hill. I recommend their incredible goat cheese pizza, which they make from their very own goats! (all of their dairy products are hormone and antibiotic-free)

Photo Gallery from the Kornmehl Goat Farm 

Say...(Goat) Cheeeezzzz Pizza!

For those of you who enjoy my normal text study, I have included the Torah texts and commentaries that I mention or was inspired by in preparation for the making of this video. They are numbered below. 

Hope you enjoyed your quick dose of Torah inspiration. See you next week! 
(Inspirational Torah is published each Thursday.) 


Shabbat Shalom!


The primary text comes from Vayikra/Leviticus Chapter 2, a discussion about the minchah sacrificial offering. The contemporary minchah service (usually described as afternoon prayer service) corresponds to the minchah sacrifice offered daily in ancient Israel.

Text #1 Vayikra (Leviticus) Chapter 2
 1.  And when any of you will offer a meal offering (minchah) to the Lord, his offering shall be of fine flour; and he shall pour oil upon it, and put frankincense on it; 2  And he shall bring it to the sons of Aaron the priests; and he shall take from it his handful of its flour, and of its oil, with all its frankincense; and the priest shall burn it upon the altar, to be an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor to the Lord; 3  And the remnant of the meal offering shall be Aaron’s and his sons’; it is a thing most holy of the offerings of the Lord made by fire. 4  And if you bring a sacrifice of a meal offering baked in the oven, it shall be unleavened cakes of fine flour mixed with oil, or unleavened wafers (MATZAH -- sounds like both the Tortilla and Laffa versions) anointed with oil. ... 11  No meal offering (Minchah), which you shall bring to the Lord, shall be made with leaven; for you shall burn no leaven... And every sacrifice of your meal offering shall you season with salt; nor shall you allow the salt of the covenant of your God to be lacking from your meal offering; with all your offerings you shall offer salt...

讜讬拽专讗 驻专拽 讘
  讗 讜ְ谞ֶ驻ֶ砖ׁ 讻ִּ讬־转ַ拽ְ专ִ讬讘 拽ָ专ְ讘ַּ谉 诪ִ谞ְ讞ָ讛 诇ַ讬讛讜ָֹ讛 住ֹ诇ֶ转 讬ִ讛ְ讬ֶ讛 拽ָ专ְ讘ָּ谞讜ֹ 讜ְ讬ָ爪ַ拽 注ָ诇ֶ讬讛ָ 砖ֶׁ诪ֶ谉 讜ְ谞ָ转ַ谉 注ָ诇ֶ讬讛ָ 诇ְ讘ֹ谞ָ讛:  讘 讜ֶ讛ֱ讘ִ讬讗ָ讛ּ 讗ֶ诇־讘ְּ谞ֵ讬 讗ַ讛ֲ专ֹ谉 讛ַ讻ֹּ讛ֲ谞ִ讬诐 讜ְ拽ָ诪ַ抓 诪ִ砖ָּׁ诐 诪ְ诇ֹ讗 拽ֻ诪ְ爪讜ֹ 诪ִ住ָּ诇ְ转ָּ讛ּ 讜ּ诪ִ砖ַּׁ诪ְ谞ָ讛ּ 注ַ诇 讻ָּ诇־诇ְ讘ֹ谞ָ转ָ讛ּ 讜ְ讛ִ拽ְ讟ִ讬专 讛ַ讻ֹּ讛ֵ谉 讗ֶ转־讗ַ讝ְ讻ָּ专ָ转ָ讛ּ 讛ַ诪ִּ讝ְ讘ֵּ讞ָ讛 讗ִ砖ֵּׁ讛 专ֵ讬讞ַ 谞ִ讬讞ֹ讞ַ 诇ַ讬讛讜ָֹ讛:  讙 讜ְ讛ַ谞ּ讜ֹ转ֶ专ֶ转 诪ִ谉־讛ַ诪ִּ谞ְ讞ָ讛 诇ְ讗ַ讛ֲ专ֹ谉 讜ּ诇ְ讘ָ谞ָ讬讜 拽ֹ讚ֶ砖ׁ 拽ָ讚ָ砖ִׁ讬诐 诪ֵ讗ִ砖ֵּׁ讬 讬ְ讛讜ָֹ讛: 住  讚 讜ְ讻ִ讬 转ַ拽ְ专ִ讘 拽ָ专ְ讘ַּ谉 诪ִ谞ְ讞ָ讛 诪ַ讗ֲ驻ֵ讛 转ַ谞ּ讜ּ专 住ֹ诇ֶ转 讞ַ诇ּ讜ֹ转 诪ַ爪ֹּ转 讘ְּ诇讜ּ诇ֹ转 讘ַּ砖ֶּׁ诪ֶ谉 讜ּ专ְ拽ִ讬拽ֵ讬 诪ַ爪ּ讜ֹ转 诪ְ砖ֻׁ讞ִ讬诐 讘ַּ砖ָּׁ诪ֶ谉: 住    讬讗 讻ָּ诇־讛ַ诪ִּ谞ְ讞ָ讛 讗ֲ砖ֶׁ专 转ַּ拽ְ专ִ讬讘讜ּ 诇ַ讬讛ֹ讜ָ讛 诇ֹ讗 转ֵ注ָ砖ֶׂ讛 讞ָ诪ֵ抓 讻ִּ讬 讻ָ诇־砖ְׂ讗ֹ专 讜ְ讻ָ诇־讚ְּ讘ַ砖ׁ 诇ֹ讗־转ַ拽ְ讟ִ讬专讜ּ 诪ִ诪ֶּ谞ּ讜ּ 讗ִ砖ֶּׁ讛 诇ַ讬讛讜ָֹ讛:  讬讘 拽ָ专ְ讘ַּ谉 专ֵ讗砖ִׁ讬转 转ַּ拽ְ专ִ讬讘讜ּ 讗ֹ转ָ诐 诇ַ讬讛讜ָֹ讛 讜ְ讗ֶ诇־讛ַ诪ִּ讝ְ讘ֵּ讞ַ 诇ֹ讗־讬ַ注ֲ诇讜ּ 诇ְ专ֵ讬讞ַ 谞ִ讬讞ֹ讞ַ:  讬讙 讜ְ讻ָ诇־拽ָ专ְ讘ַּ谉 诪ִ谞ְ讞ָ转ְ讱ָ 讘ַּ诪ֶּ诇ַ讞 转ִּ诪ְ诇ָ讞 讜ְ诇ֹ讗 转ַ砖ְׁ讘ִּ讬转 诪ֶ诇ַ讞 讘ְּ专ִ讬转 讗ֱ诇ֹ讛ֶ讬讱ָ 诪ֵ注ַ诇 诪ִ谞ְ讞ָ转ֶ讱ָ 注ַ诇 讻ָּ诇־拽ָ专ְ讘ָּ谞ְ讱ָ 转ַּ拽ְ专ִ讬讘 诪ֶ诇ַ讞: 住  讬讚 讜ְ讗ִ诐־转ַּ拽ְ专ִ讬讘 诪ִ谞ְ讞ַ转 讘ִּ讻ּ讜ּ专ִ讬诐 诇ַ讬讛讜ָֹ讛 讗ָ讘ִ讬讘 拽ָ诇讜ּ讬 讘ָּ讗ֵ砖ׁ 讙ֶּ专ֶ砖ׂ 讻ַּ专ְ诪ֶ诇 转ַּ拽ְ专ִ讬讘 讗ֵ转 诪ִ谞ְ讞ַ转 讘ִּ讻ּ讜ּ专ֶ讬讱ָ:  讟讜 讜ְ谞ָ转ַ转ָּ 注ָ诇ֶ讬讛ָ 砖ֶׁ诪ֶ谉 讜ְ砖ַׂ诪ְ转ָּ 注ָ诇ֶ讬讛ָ 诇ְ讘ֹ谞ָ讛 诪ִ谞ְ讞ָ讛 讛ִ讜讗:  讟讝 讜ְ讛ִ拽ְ讟ִ讬专 讛ַ讻ֹּ讛ֵ谉 讗ֶ转־讗ַ讝ְ讻ָּ专ָ转ָ讛ּ 诪ִ讙ִּ专ְ砖ָׂ讛ּ 讜ּ诪ִ砖ַּׁ诪ְ谞ָ讛ּ 注ַ诇 讻ָּ诇־诇ְ讘ֹ谞ָ转ָ讛ּ 讗ִ砖ֶּׁ讛 诇ַ讬讛讜ָֹ讛: 驻

A short side note: In the Vayikra text above, I highlighted the section about the Covenant of Salt (Brit Hamelach) that required each unleavened bread offering to be salted, since so many have asked me about the origins of salting our Challah for Shabbat and Matzah on Passover (even though this is unrelated to the point of our Sefat Emet commentary)! But now on to the teaching of the Sefat Emet! 

The following commentary is from a book entitled Sefat Emet (Language of Truth) by Yehudah Aryeh Leib Alter (1847-1905), a well-known Hassidic master, most often referred to by the name of his famous commentary. He discusses the fact that the minchah offering is equal to other animal sacrifices mentioned in this weekly portion, even though it is quite modest in comparison to the others  (considering that it had to be unleavened bread!) This teaching is based on the Mishnah (#3-4 below). The following translation comes from Rabbi Art Green's book, The Language of Truth: The Torah Commentary of the Sefat Emet (JPS Books).

Text #2 Sefat Emet, Parshat Vayikra
My Grandfather and teacher said in the name of the Rabbi of Przysucha: Our sages taught that "It is all one (equal), whether you do more or less, as long as you direct your heart to heaven." The famous commentator Turei Zahav [David ha-Levi Segal, 1586 – 1667) opened his work with a question regarding this statement. "But suppose," he said, "that the one who does more also directs his heart to heaven? Is his conduct not still preferable?"
The Rabbi of Przysucha answered this with a parable, a tale of two merchants who went on the same journey. One arrived quickly, while the other was prevented from doing so and got there only some time later. When asked what his delay was all about, he replied: "The point is that I am here. Whatever happened, happened." He did not comment further.
The meaning seems to be as follows: "As long as you direct your heart" - says that the final goal of your deeds should be that your heart be directed to God, whether this comes to you rather easily or takes a great deal of effort. Deeds are to help one to direct the heart. 
Here this is said of the gift offering (minchah). Since one's offering is a coming near (korban=sacrifice/drawing near) to God, and that is the desired goal and the end of the matter, it makes no difference whether you give more or less. The end is one: coming near to God. This is the very meaning, in fact, of "direct your heart"-like the offering, you are drawn after your own root. This (root) is the life-force of divinity, which has been placed in every thing.
(The Language of Truth, Arthur Green, 148-149)

For the original Hebrew, click below:,_Leviticus,_Vayikra.4.3?lang=en&with=all&lang2=en

The last two short texts are the basis for the Sefat Emet commentary above:

Texts #3-#4  Babylonian Talmud; Tractate Berachot  [5:2]
We have learned: One who does more, and one who does less, as long as he directs his heart to heaven!

转诇诪讜讚 讘讘诇讬 诪住讻转 讘专讻讜转 讚祝 讛 注诪讜讚 讘 
砖谞讬谞讜: 讗讞讚 讛诪专讘讛 讜讗讞讚 讛诪诪注讬讟 讜讘诇讘讚 砖讬讻讜讬谉 诇讘讜 诇砖诪讬诐! 

This is the text from the Mishnah that actually equates all of the sacrifices!

Mishnah Tractate Menachot Chapter 13:11

“An offering made by fire of pleasing odor” (Leviticus 1:9); and of the olah of birds, “An offering made by fire of pleasing odor (vs. 17); and of the grain offering, “An offering made by fire of pleasing odor” (Leviticus 2:2): to teach you that it is the same whether one offers much or little, so long as one directs one’s heart to heaven.

诪砖谞讛 诪住讻转 诪谞讞讜转 驻专拽 讬讙 -诪砖谞讛 讬讗
[*] 谞讗诪专 讘注讜诇转 讛讘讛诪讛 讗砖讛 专讬讞 谞讬讞讜讞 讜讘注讜诇转 讛注讜祝 讗砖讛 专讬讞 谞讬讞讜讞 讜讘诪谞讞讛 讗砖讛 专讬讞 谞讬讞讜讞 诇诇诪讚 砖讗讞讚 讛诪专讘讛 讜讗讞讚 讛诪诪注讬讟 讜讘诇讘讚 砖讬讻讜讬谉 讗讚诐 讗转 讚注转讜 诇砖诪讬诐:

I believe that studying these texts will help us absorb the message I began with in the video d'var; that is, that our intention is of utmost importance and it is our righteous intention that directs our actions, making them pure and holy to help us foster true closeness to God. This closeness to God is often manifested in concrete ways through our connections with others, all of whom are born with a holy spark of divinity within him or herself.

Shabbat Shalom and Chodesh Tov!


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